GitHub Enterprise Server is a code hosting platform for version control and collaboration. It lets you and others work together on projects from anywhere.
This tutorial teaches you GitHub Enterprise Server essentials like repositories, branches, commits, and pull requests. You'll create your own Hello World repository and learn GitHub Enterprise Server's pull request workflow, a popular way to create and review code.
In this quickstart guide, you will:
- Create and use a repository
- Start and manage a new branch
- Make changes to a file and push them to GitHub Enterprise Server as commits
- Open and merge a pull request
To complete this tutorial, you need a GitHub Enterprise Server account and Internet access. You don't need to know how to code, use the command line, or install Git (the version control software that GitHub Enterprise Server is built on).
A repository is usually used to organize a single project. Repositories can contain folders and files, images, videos, spreadsheets, and data sets -- anything your project needs. Often, repositories include a
README file, a file with information about your project. GitHub Enterprise Server makes it easy to add one at the same time you create your new repository. It also offers other common options such as a license file.
hello-world repository can be a place where you store ideas, resources, or even share and discuss things with others.
In the upper-right corner of any page, use the drop-down menu, and select New repository.
In the Repository name box, enter
In the Description box, write a short description.
Select Add a README file.
Click Create repository.
Branching lets you have different versions of a repository at one time.
By default, your repository has one branch named
main that is considered to be the definitive branch. You can use branches to experiment and make edits before committing them to
When you create a branch off the
main branch, you're making a copy, or snapshot, of
main as it was at that point in time. If someone else made changes to the
main branch while you were working on your branch, you could pull in those updates.
This diagram shows:
- A new branch called
- The journey that
featuretakes before it's merged into
Have you ever saved different versions of a file? Something like:
Branches accomplish similar goals in GitHub Enterprise Server repositories.
Here at GitHub Enterprise Server, our developers, writers, and designers use branches for keeping bug fixes and feature work separate from our
main (production) branch. When a change is ready, they merge their branch into
- Click the Code tab of your
- Click the drop down at the top of the file list that says main.
- Type a branch name,
readme-edits, into the text box.
- Click Create branch: readme-edits from main.
Now you have two branches,
readme-edits. Right now, they look exactly the same. Next you'll add changes to the new branch.
When you created a new branch in the previous step, GitHub Enterprise Server brought you to the code page for your new
readme-edits branch, which is a copy of
You can make and save changes to the files in your repository. On GitHub Enterprise Server, saved changes are called commits. Each commit has an associated commit message, which is a description explaining why a particular change was made. Commit messages capture the history of your changes so that other contributors can understand what you’ve done and why.
Click to edit the file.
In the editor, write a bit about yourself.
In the Commit changes box, write a commit message that describes your changes.
Click Commit changes.
These changes will be made only to the README file on your
readme-edits branch, so now this branch contains content that's different from
Now that you have changes in a branch off of
main, you can open a pull request.
Pull requests are the heart of collaboration on GitHub Enterprise Server. When you open a pull request, you're proposing your changes and requesting that someone review and pull in your contribution and merge them into their branch. Pull requests show diffs, or differences, of the content from both branches. The changes, additions, and subtractions are shown in different colors.
As soon as you make a commit, you can open a pull request and start a discussion, even before the code is finished.
By using GitHub Enterprise Server's
@mention feature in your pull request message, you can ask for feedback from specific people or teams, whether they're down the hall or 10 time zones away.
You can even open pull requests in your own repository and merge them yourself. It's a great way to learn the GitHub Enterprise Server flow before working on larger projects.
Click the Pull requests tab of your
Click New pull request
In the Example Comparisons box, select the branch you made,
readme-edits, to compare with
Look over your changes in the diffs on the Compare page, make sure they're what you want to submit.
Click Create pull request.
Give your pull request a title and write a brief description of your changes. You can include emojis and drag and drop images and gifs.
Click Create pull request.
Your collaborators can now review your edits and make suggestions.
In this final step, you will merge your
readme-edits branch into the
- Click Merge pull request to merge the changes into
- Click Confirm merge.
- Go ahead and delete the branch, since its changes have been incorporated, by clicking Delete branch.
By completing this tutorial, you've learned to create a project and make a pull request on GitHub Enterprise Server.
Here's what you accomplished in this tutorial:
- Created an open source repository
- Started and managed a new branch
- Changed a file and committed those changes to GitHub Enterprise Server
- Opened and merged a pull request
Take a look at your GitHub Enterprise Server profile and you'll see your work reflected on your contribution graph.
For more information about the power of branches and pull requests, see "GitHub flow." For more information about getting started with GitHub Enterprise Server, see the other guides in the getting started quickstart.