Installing Git and GitHub CLI on Mac

Instructions section moved to Installing Git and GitHub CLI on Mac (Prose Fusion wiki).

PK, 2023-09-09

I'm exploring the installation of Git on a fresh Mac. I'm using VirtualBuddy and macOS 12.6.1.

Notes are below, but the result is the easiest path for non-technical people is to install Homebrew, then GitHub CLI, then use GitHub CLI to authenticate to GitHub.

Via Developer Tools

In Terminal, type git --version.

You'll get a popup:

The "git" command requires the command line developer tools. Would you like to install the tools now?

Click "Install", and wait until it's done.

In Terminal, type git --version. You'll get an answer:

git version 2.37.1 (Apple Git-137.1)

(Note, on my machine, the version I normally use is not Apple's, and it is version 2.38.1.)

Via Homebrew and Command Line

Worked great.

Go, copy the command line under the "Install Homebrew" header, paste into Terminal, follow prompts. (Asks for confirmation via RETURN, needs account password a couple of times, prompts you to set up environment for your shell.)

After setup, git --version returns:

git version 2.37.1 (Apple Git-137.1)

(Under the hood, the Homebrew installer uses xcode-select--install or similar to get Command Line Tools installed.)

Via Homebrew .pkg

On running package, the first thing that pops up is a dialog:

Command Line Tools (CLT) are missing You must install the Command Line Tools (CLT) before installing Homebrew by running 'xcode-select - - install' from a Terminal.

I stopped there, and recommend the Command Line install above.

To git clone a repo from GitHub

The green Code button on a repo's home page offers https: or GitHub CLI options. It no longer offers a git: option.

Installing gh

Navigate to On that page, you have a choice:

brew install gh or Download for Mac

The "Download for Mac" option downloads a zip file, with a .bin file and a man page. I do not immediately see instructions on where to put the .bin file. Putting it in the general Applications folder does not set it up to run in Terminal.

The obvious place is /usr/local/bin, and that directory is in the default zsh path; however /usr/local/bin does not yet exist.


I am tempted to think that installing Homebrew and then installing gh with brew install gh, while adding yet another package, may be more straightforward and less error-prone for non-technical users than the "Download for Mac" option.