Git Your PCBs Online

Last time, I’ve shown you how to create a local Git repository around your PCB project. That alone provides you with local backups, helping you never lose the changes you make to your files, and always be able to review the history of your project as it developed.

However, an even more significant part of Git’s usefulness is the ability to upload our creations to one of the various online Git repository hosting services, and keep it up to date at all times with a single shell command. I’d like to show you how to upload your project to GitHub and GitLab, in particular!

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Git Intro For Hardware Hackers

Git is a wonderful tool that can multiply your project’s impact, or make your project easier to manage by an order of magnitude. Some of us hackers don’t yet know how to use command-line Git, but a relatable example of why a certain tool would be useful might be a good start. Today, I’d like to give you a Git crash course – showing you why and how to put a KiCad PCB into a Git repository, later to be shared with the world.

KiCad works wonderfully with Git. The schematic and PCB files of KiCad are human-readable, especially when compared to other PCB file formats. KiCad creates different files for different purposes, each of them with a well-defined role, and you can make sense of every file in your project folder. What’s more, you can even modify KiCad files in a text editor! This is exactly the kind of use case that Git fits like a glove.

Not Just For Software Developers

What’s Git about, then? Fundamentally, Git is a tool that helps you keep track of code changes in a project, and share these changes with each other. Intended for Linux kernel development as its first target, this is what it’s been designed for, but it’s flexibility extends far beyond software projects. We hardware hackers can make use of it in a variety of ways – we can store PCB and other design software files, blog articles, project documentation, personal notes, configuration files and whatever else that even vaguely fits the Git modus operandi. Continue reading “Git Intro For Hardware Hackers”