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Software Carpentry


The shell is already installed on your computer. To access the shell, open the Terminal application by using the Launchpad or by browsing Applications > Utilities in Finder.

Configuration changes for MacOS

If you are using MacOS 10.15 ("Catalina") or later, you will need to give "Full Disk Access" permissions to the Terminal. If you're using an earlier version of MacOS, you can skip this section.

Instructions for Ventura or Sonoma

  1. Open the System Preferences app
  2. Select Privacy & Security
  3. Select Full Disk Access
  4. Click the toggle next to Terminal to the "on" position. You be asked to enter your password.

Instructions for Catalina, Big Sur, or Monterey

  1. Open the System Preferences app
  2. Select Security and Privacy
  3. Select the Privacy tab
  4. Click the Padlock icon in lower left-hand corner of the window. Enter your user name and password when prompted.
  5. In the left-hand box, scroll down until you find Full Disk Access and select it
  6. If is already listed in the right-hand box, check the box next to it
  7. If isn't listed in the right-hand box, add it:
    1. Click the + icon under the right-hand box
    2. Select the Applications folder. Within Applications, open the Utilities folder and select
    3. Click the Open button
    4. Locate in the right-hand box and check the box next to it
  8. Close System Preferences


  1. Download the Git for Windows installer.
  2. Run the installer. Click "Next" four times (two times if you've previously installed Git). You don't need to change anything in the Information, Location, Components, or Start Menu screens.
  3. For each configuration screen, select the appropriate option and click "Next":
    1. Choosing the default editor used by git: select "Use the Nano editor by default" from the dropdown menu (you will need to scroll up to find it)
    2. Adjusting the name of the initial branch in new repositories: select "Let Git decide"
    3. Adjusting your PATH environment: select "Git from the command line and also from 3rd-party software" (if you don't do this Git Bash will not work properly, requiring you to remove the Git Bash installation, re-run the installer and to select the "Git from the command line and also from 3rd-party software" option.)
    4. Choosing the SSH executable: select "Use bundled OpenSSH"
    5. Choosing HTTPS transport backend: select "Use the native Windows Secure Channel Library"
    6. Configuring the line ending conversion: select "Checkout Windows-style, commit Unix-style line endings"
    7. Configuring the terminal emulator to use with GitBash: select "Use Windows' default console window"
    8. Choose the default behavior of `git pull`: select "Default (fast-forward or merge)"
    9. Choose a credential helper": select "Git Credential Manager"
    10. Configuring extra options": check the box for "Enable file system caching"
  4. Click "Install".
  5. Click on "Finish" or "Next".
  6. If your "HOME" environment variable is not set (or you don't know what this is):
    1. Open command prompt (Open the Start Menu, type cmd in the search box, and press Enter)
    2. Type the following line into the command prompt window exactly as shown:

      setx HOME "%USERPROFILE%"

    3. Press Enter, you should see SUCCESS: Specified value was saved.
    4. Quit command prompt by typing exit and pressing Enter

This will provide you with both Git and Bash in the Git Bash program.


All popular Linux distributions come with the bash shell installed.