how to clone repository

How To Clone Git Repository in Ubuntu

Git is a popular version control system used by many businesses around the world. However, it requires you to have a copy of the git repository before you can begin working on it. You need to clone a git repository to your local desktop or laptop, before you can start making any changes to it. In this article, we will look at how to clone a git repository in Ubuntu. You can use these steps to clone a repository in github, bitbucket, gitlab and other popular git-based developer platforms.


What is git clone?

Git clone is basically a command to point to an existing repository and make a copy of it, at another location. In this case, the git command will create a new directory, set it up for use with git and copy files into it. Unless you clone a git repo, you will not be able to contribute changes to it.


How To Clone Git Repository in Ubuntu

There are different ways to clone a git repository, depending on your requirement. We will look at each case separately.

Clone a remote repository

Let us say you want to clone a remote repository from Github, Bitbucket, or any other cloud platform to your local machine.

Open terminal and navigate to the location (e.g /home/ubuntu) where you want the repo to be copied.

#cd /home/ubuntu/

Also read : How to Install Git in Ubuntu

Every remote git repo will have a URL. Log into your development platform such as Github, and note its URL. It will be of the format.

https://git-website.com/username/repository-name

For example, your git repo (e.g demo) will have the following URLs, depending on the platform.

Github

https://github.com/username/demo.git

Bitbucket

https://bitbucket.com/username/demo.git

Sometimes, the URL can also be of the form

ssh://username@example.com/path/to/my-project.git 

Also read : How to Install Virtualenv in Ubuntu


Note the URL for your repository, and use it in the git clone command as shown below.

# sudo git clone https://github.com/username/repository-name

Replace username with your Github username, and repository-name with your repository’s name. For example,

# sudo git clone https://github.com/test_user/demo.git

You will be asked for your password for authentication, after which Git will automatically download the copy of your repository to your present working directory.

Also read : How to Upgrade Python in Ubuntu


Cloning to a specific folder

Here’s the command to clone your repository to a specific folder.

# sudo git clone <repo> <directory>

For example, let us say you want to clone your repository to /home/developer folder

# sudo git clone https://github.com/test_user/demo.git /home/developer


Shallow clone a repository

If you need to clone a big repository with large commit history, it can be very time consuming. In such cases, you can do a shallow clone where you can specify the last n commits you want to be cloned. It will be much faster and take up very little space on your system.

Here is the syntax for shallow clone, where n is the number of most recent commits you want to clone.

# sudo git clone -depth=n <repo>

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Here is the command to clone the last 1 commit of your repository.

# sudo git clone -depth=1 https://github.com/test_user/demo.git

Similarly, here is the command to clone the last 10 commits of your repository.

# sudo git clone -depth=10 https://github.com/test_user/demo.git

Clone a Git Branch

If you want to only clone a specific branch (e.g working) and not the entire repository, use the -branch option in git clone.

# git clone -branch working https://github.com/test_user/demo.git

That’s it. As you can see, it is very easy to clone a git repository in Ubuntu.

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