Workshop: Git and GitLab for Beginners

Wed 21. Jul 2021 14:00 Uhr

Dealing with different versions of files is becoming an increasingly important task in research data management. It is important to keep an overview and to reliably secure your own work, both in collaborative and independent work. This task can get complicated quickly, but version control software like Git has a solution. Git helps to keep your data tidy in your day-to-day work, to save older work statuses and to document changes to files over time in a traceable manner.

Since Git has so far mainly been used in software development and is often used with the help of the command line, researchers from non-technical subjects may initially feel unfamiliar. But you shouldn't be put off. The basic principles of Git are easy to understand and with just a few learned steps you can better and more easily document your work processes. The best way to practice these moves is through practical application. Therefore, in our workshop you will mainly be active yourself. You will learn the basics of working with Git and GitLab and practice them using practical examples. We'll show you how to use Git on the command line and with a graphical client. No prior knowledge is required, just a few preparatory steps (see below).

Workshop leader: Dr. Christian Knüpfer (Competence Center Digital Research, FSU Jena), Yannic Bracke (Contact Point Research Data Management, FSU Jena)

Location: Webinar via Zoom

Date/Time: 07/21/2021, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (s.t.)

Language: German

Max. Number of participants: 30

Material: Link




1. Getting started with version management and git
Please watch - as soon as the video is available on the site - the Coffee Lecture Event Versioning with Git - The Introduction. The coffee lecture on July 7, 2021 introduces the topic of version management and offers first insights into git.

2. Install git
Downloads and installation instructions for various operating systems can be found here: Link
For Windows you can also find a detailed explanation of the installation here: Link (Note: Only install Git for our course, not TortoiseGit).
If you have problems installing git, please contact us directly by email: or

3. Create a GitLab account
We will use the GitLab web application to demonstrate data storage in the cloud and collaborative work with Git. Please create an account for if you don't have one yet: Link. You will use this yourself before the course (see point 4).

4. Take a look at the sample project

  • Log into the FSU GitLab and view the sample repository:
  • You will see the GitLab web application. There you will find a project - a collection of folders and files that we do version control with using Git. Among other things, GitLab makes it possible to track changes to files - who changed a file when and what was changed?
  • In the menu on the left, click Repository > Files to view the project folder. Get an overview of the structure of the project - what folders and files are there?
  • Navigate to the file data/20210721-participants.csv and use the History button (see screenshot) to find out the version history of the file. Who created the file, who last edited it? Also click on a commit message, such as "sort participants by last name". See what changes were made in this step. What has changed in the individual versions? Also use the "Side-by-side" view.

  • Repeat for any other files in the project. Can you find out what changes have been made to the PDF file?


5. Tell us something
We want to adapt the course as well as possible to your needs. You can help us if you leave an entry on the digital pin board in advance: Link
What are your expectations of the course? Do you have specific questions? Have you ever worked with the command line and / or version control software? Answers to these questions and any suggestions and comments are very welcome.


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