Lesson 2. Setup Git, Bash, and Conda on Your Computer

Setup earth analytics environment

In this lesson, you will learn how to install Git, Git Bash (a version of command line Bash) and the Miniconda Python distribution on your computer.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Install Bash and Git.
  • Install the Miniconda Python distribution.
  • Open a terminal and test that Bash, Git, and Conda are ready for use on your computer.

What You Need

Before you start this lesson, be sure that you have a computer with internet access.

Information below is adapted from materials developed by Data Carpentry and the Conda documentation.

Why Install Miniconda vs Anaconda

In the previous lesson, you learned that Git is a widely used tool for version control that allows you to track and manage changes to your files. Git Bash is used by Windows users to access both Git and Bash in one easy-to-install terminal.

You also learned that the conda package manager allows you to install Python packages on your computer as well as create and manage multiple Python environments, each containing different packages.

Although the conda package manager can be installed using either the Miniconda Python distribution or the Anaconda Python distribution, there are key differences between the two distributions:

AnacondaMiniconda
Installs a long, pre-configured list of Python packages (many of which may not be used)Only installs a basic Python environment
Installs Anaconda Navigator, Spyder, and many other tools that may not be neededOnly installs the conda package manager
Installation can take up a lot time and space on your computerInstallation is quick and minimal

To limit the time and space needed for installation (and to minimize potential conflicts between packages), you will use the Miniconda Python distribution to get started with only packages that you need to complete the Python lessons on this website. You can always add more Python packages as you need them!

If you already have Anaconda installed on your computer, you can still install Miniconda on your computer (see additional details in the Setup Miniconda section below). Installing Miniconda will help you avoid dependency issues or conflicts when setting up the earth-analytics-python conda environment that you need for the Python lessons on this website.

Bash Setup

Install Bash for Windows

Download the Git for Windows installer.

Run the installer by double-clicking on the downloaded file and by following the steps bellow:

  1. Click on “Run”.
  2. Click on “Next”.
  3. Click on “Next”.
  4. Click on “Next”.
  5. Click on “Next”.
  6. Click on “Next”.
  7. Leave the selection on “Git from the command line and also from 3rd party software” and click on “Next”. NOTE: If you forgot to do this, the programs that you need for the workshop will not work properly. If this happens, rerun the installer and select the appropriate option.
  8. Click on “Next”.
  9. Leave the selection on “Checkout Windows-style, commit Unix-style line endings” and click on “Next”.
  10. Select the second option for Use Windows’ default console window and click on “Next”.
  11. Click on “Next”.
  12. Click on “Install”.
  13. When the install is complete, click on “Finish”.

This installation will provide you with both Git and Bash within the Git Bash program.

Install Bash for Mac OS X

The default shell in all versions of Mac OS X is Bash, so no need to install anything. You access Bash from the Terminal (found in /Applications/Utilities). You may want to keep Terminal in your dock for this workshop.

Install Bash for Linux

The default shell is usually Bash but if your machine is set up differently you can run it by opening the Terminal and typing: bash. There is no need to install anything.

Git Setup

Git is a version control system that lets you track who made changes to what and when, and it has options for easily updating a shared or public version of your code on GitHub.

You will need a supported web browser (current versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or Internet Explorer version 9 or above).

Git installation instructions borrowed and modified from Software Carpentry.

Git for Windows

Git was installed on your computer as part of your Bash install.

Git on Mac OS X

Video Tutorial

Install Git on Macs by downloading and running the most recent installer for “mavericks” if you are using OS X 10.9 and higher -or- if using an earlier OS X, choose the most recent “snow leopard” installer, from this list.

After installing Git, there will not be anything in your /Applications folder, as Git is a command line program.

Data Tip: If you are running Mac OSX El Capitan, you might encounter errors when trying to use Git. Make sure you update XCODE. Read more - a Stack Overflow Issue.

Git on Linux

If Git is not already available on your machine, you can try to install it via your distro’s package manager. For Debian/Ubuntu, run sudo apt-get install git and for Fedora run sudo yum install git.

Setup Miniconda

You will use the Miniconda Python 3.x distribution to follow the Python lessons on this website.

In lesson 4 of this module, you will set up a custom conda environment with the Python packages that you need to complete lessons on this website.

Even if you already have Anaconda for Python 2.x or 3.x setup, you will still need to set-up Miniconda. You can install Miniconda following the instructions listed below, even if you already have a full Anaconda installation. (Note for Windows Users: if you already have Anaconda 3.7, you will be asked to confirm that you want to make the Miniconda installation the default conda on your computer when you follow step 6 of the Miniconda installation. If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact your course instructor.)

Windows

IMPORTANT: if you already have a Python installation on your Windows computer, the settings below will replace it with Miniconda Python 3.7 as the default Python. If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact your course instructor.

Download the Miniconda installer for Windows. Be sure to download the Python 3.7 version!

Run the installer by double-clicking on the downloaded file and follow the steps below.

  1. Click “Run”.
  2. Click on “Next”.
  3. Click on “I agree”.
  4. Leave the selection on “Just me” and click on “Next”.
  5. Click on “Next”.
  6. Select the first option for “Add Anaconda to my PATH environment variable” and also leave the selection on “Register Anaconda as my default Python 3.7”. Click on “Install”.
    • Note that even though the installation is for Miniconda, the installer uses the word Anaconda in these options.
    • You will also see a message in red text that selecting “Add Anaconda to my PATH environment variable” is not recommended; continue with this selection to make using conda easier in Git Bash. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your instructor.
  7. When the install is complete, Click on “Next”.
  8. Click on “Finish”.

Mac

  1. Download the installer: Miniconda installer for Mac. Be sure to download the Python 3.x version!

  2. In your Terminal window, run: bash Miniconda3-latest-MacOSX-x86_64.sh.

  3. Follow the prompts on the installer screens.

  4. If you are unsure about any setting, accept the defaults. You can change them later.

  5. To make sure that the changes take effect, close and then re-open your Terminal window.

Linux

  1. Download the installer: Miniconda installer for Linux. Be sure to download the Python 3.x version!

  2. In your Terminal window, run: bash Miniconda3-latest-Linux-x86_64.sh.

  3. Follow the prompts on the installer screens.

  4. If you are unsure about any setting, accept the defaults. You can change them later.

  5. To make sure that the changes take effect, close and then re-open your Terminal window.

Test your set-up of Bash, Git and Miniconda

Windows

  1. Search for and open the Git Bash program. In this Terminal window, type bash and hit enter. If you do not get a message back, then Bash is available for use.

  2. Next, type git and hit enter. If you see a list of commands that you can execute, then Git has been installed correctly.

  3. Next, type conda and hit enter. Again, if you see a list of commands that you can execute, then Miniconda Python has been installed correctly.

  4. Close the Terminal by typing exit.

Mac

  1. Search for and open the Terminal program (found in /Applications/Utilities). In this Terminal window, type bash and hit enter. If you do not get a message back, then Bash is available for use.

  2. Next, type git and hit enter. If you see a list of commands that you can execute, then Git has been installed correctly.

  3. Next, type conda and hit enter. Again, if you see a list of commands that you can execute, then Miniconda Python has been installed correctly.

  4. Close the Terminal by typing exit.

Linux

  1. Search for and open the Terminal program. In this Terminal window, type bash and hit enter. If you do not get a message back, then Bash is available for use.

  2. Next, type git and hit enter. If you see a list of commands that you can execute, then Git has been installed correctly.

  3. Next, type conda and hit enter. Again, if you see a list of commands that you can execute, then Miniconda Python has been installed correctly.

  4. Close the Terminal by typing exit.

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