CS 31: One Time Setup for Swarthmore GitHub Enterprise

For CS31 lab assignments you will use the Swarthmore GitHub Enterprise to:
  1. Get your starting point git repository for each lab assignment
  2. Use git to keep versions of your in-progress lab solution and to share code changes with your partner.
  3. Use git to submit your lab solutions before the due date

One-time git / GitHub configuration

Before using Swarthmore's GitHub Enterprise, you'll need to complete the following configuration steps once (run from our system):

1. Create an ssh key

SSH (Secure SHell) is a mechanism that allows you to interact with remote machines and issue commands to them. It typically uses a username and password, but in some cases (and this is one of them), you need something else: a cryptographic key.

NOTE: You need to create your ssh key's on the CS system. Log into one of the cs lab machines and follow these steps:

If you already have an ssh key, you can skip this step. If you're not sure, you probably do not already have a key. You can check by issuing the command:

ls -l -a ~/.ssh

If you see files named id_rsa and id_rsa.pub, you already have a key. If those files aren't there, or you're told that you have no such directory named .ssh, you'll need to generate a key.

GitHub has a good comprehensive guide on the subject, but I'll give you the executive summary below:

Run the command ssh-keygen. This will give you the output:

 $ ssh-keygen
 Generating public/private rsa key pair.
 Enter file in which to save the key (/home/[username]/.ssh/id_rsa):

Press enter to confirm the default location of /home/[username]/.ssh/id_rsa. Next, it'll ask you for a passphrase:

 Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
 Enter same passphrase again:

Set a passphrase that you'll remember and then confirm it a second time. After confirming your passphrase, it'll print a key fingerprint and some strange abstract ASCII artwork that you can safely ignore.

2. Log in to Swarthmore's GitHub Enterprise and add your key.

Next, we need to let GitHub know about this key we just created. In your browser load: https://github.swarthmore.edu and log in using your typical Swarthmore account credentials (same account you use for email). It may ask for your name, email address, or other information. Fill that in.

When you're properly logged in, click the small gear icon at the top right of the page to get to your account settings. Choose SSH Keys from the menu on the left. Click the Add SSH key button, and two boxes will appear. Fill in the name with anything you like, this is just to help you remember where you generated the key. I would suggest a name like CS account.

After you've named your account, you need to copy in the entire contents of the id_rsa.pub file that you generated earlier. Make sure you use the file ending in .pub. You can dump the contents of the file by executing:

 cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

Copy the entire output of that file, paste it into the Key box on GitHub, and click Add Key.

3. Git client user configuration settings

Before you starting using the git command on the command line, you need to give it a basic configuration. This will tell git who you are, making it easy for you and your partner to identify who committed code to your shared repository.

Replace the email and name strings with your email address and name. If you have not run these commands, then the very first git commit will fail and tell you to run them.

From the unix command line, run:
git config --global user.email "username@swarthmore.edu"
git config --global user.name  "Your Name"
git config --global push.default simple

Once you have done these steps, you can access your lab git repos