Installing Git for Windows

Installing Git for Windows isn’t terribly complex but there are a few options that can be confusing. Here is the usual process I perform when installing Git along with some (hopefully helpful) commentary along the way.

  1. Download Git for Windows from
  2. Launch the downloaded setup file.
  3. Review the license for the software. (Next)
    1. It utilizes GPLv2, a well-known and respected open source license.
    2. Note that the GPLv2 applies to the Git software and not to separate software you may create.
  4. Choose a destination to install Git, the default usually works fine: C:\Program Files\Git. (Next)
  5. Select the Git Components you want to install. (Next)
    1. Windows Explorer integration is always nice.
    2. Large File Support is a might as well.
    3. Associate .git* files with the default Windows editor.
    4. Associate .sh files with Git’s Bash.
    5. Check daily for Git for Windows updates.
    6. You can select additional icons, use truetype font if desired.
  6. Leave Start Menu Folder as Git. (Next)
  7. Choose the default editor Git will utilize. (Next)
    1. nano is a nice, minimalistic, command-line text editor.
    2. Recommend against using Vim unless you are already familiar with it.
    3. Recommend Visual Studio Code if you already use it (or have no current preference).
    4. If you are an Atom, Sublime, VSCodium, etc. user use these.
    5. Notepad works.
    6. Do not use Wordpad!
  8. Choose to override the default branch name for new repositories, enter main. (Next)
  9. Use Git from the command line and 3rd-party software. (Next)
    1. You can use Git from Git Bash only if security is extremely important for your projects.
    2. Do not recommend using Git and Unix tools from Command Prompt.
  10. Use the OpenSSL library. (Next)
    1. Could use Windows Secure Channel library, but I prefer to use what most *nix instances will be using to decrease the difference between using Windows and *nix Git.
    2. Reducing differences between Windows and *nix installs can help simplify troubleshooting. Unless there is a significant advantage to using the Windows-specific option I opt for the cross-platform option with all cross-platform software.
  11. Checkout as-is, commit with Unix-style line endings. (Next)
    1. CRLF stands for “carriage-return” and “line feed” respectively.
    2. Windows uses CRLF in it’s text files, *nix systems use LF.
    3. To avoid having line endings swapping back and forth every time someone is using a different OS, standardize on LF.
  12. Use Mintty as the terminal emulator. (Next)
    1. Otherwise one would use Windows’ cmd.exe which is more limited.
  13. Use the Default (fast-forward or merge) unless you have good reason to do otherwise. (Next)
  14. Use the newer Git Credential Manager Core, not Git Credential Manager. (Next)
  15. Enable file system caching, leave symbolic links unchecked unless specific use case requires. (Next)
  16. Do not enable experimental support for pseudo consoles, it isn’t stable. (Next)
  17. The installer will perform the installation.
  18. If desired you can launch Git Bash or view the release notes. (Finish)

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