Lesson 5. How to find and navigate a repo on the GitHub website

Intro version control git

In this tutorial, we will learn how to use the GitHub website.

Learning objectives

At the end of this activity, you will be able to:

  • Know how to navigate GitHub repositories in a web browser.

What you need

  • A GitHub user account
  • A terminal running bash, and
  • git installed and configured on your computer.

Follow the setup instructions here:

Repositories (AKA repos)

According to the GitHub glossary:

A repository is the most basic element of GitHub. They’re easiest to imagine as a project’s folder. A repository contains all of the project files (including documentation), and stores each file’s revision history. Repositories can have multiple collaborators and can be either public or private.

In this workshop you will collaborate with your colleagues using the 14ers-git repo.

Find an existing repo

The first thing that you’ll need to do is find the earthlab/14ers-git repo. You can find repos in two ways:

  1. Type “14ers-git” in the github.com search bar to find the repository.
  2. Use the repository URL if you have it: https://github.com/EarthLab/14ers-git.

The GitHub interface

Once you have found the https://github.com/EarthLab/14ers-git repo, explore it.

  • Notice the format of the repository name. Repository names will always begin with the account or organization name followed by the repo name, like this: organization-or-account-name/repo-name

The full name of our repo is:


  • Next, below the repo full name, explore the header tabs

Notice the following headers that you will use in this workshop:

  • Code: Click here to view structure & contents of the repo.
  • Issues: Submit discussion topics, or problems that you are having with the content in the repo, here.
  • Pull Requests: Submit changes to the repo for review / acceptance.
Screenshot of the `earthlab/14ers-git` central repository. The GitHub search bar is located at the very top of the page. Notice there are 6 "tabs" below the repo name including: Code, Issues, Pull Request, ...etc. NOTE: Because you are not an administrator for this repo, you will not see the "Settings" tab in your browser. Source: Earth Lab

A bit further down the page, you’ll notice a few other links including commits and branch. We learned how to commit changes in the basic git commands lesson.

A commit is a snapshot of a past state of a repo. The commit history contains all changes that have been made to that repo.

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