Storing your Django Projects in GitHub

This excercise shows how to store your assignments in a private repository in GitHub, if you have an account that supports a private repository. Please don't put your assignments for this site into a public repository on GitHub.

You can view a video walkthrough of this assignment.

Go to GitHub, create a new private repo called django_projects - do not create a README, .gitignore, or add a license. You can do those things later - but for now we want to make a new fresh and empty repository.

Go to your PythonAnywhere account and start a bash shell.

Create a file

cd ~/django_projects
nano .gitignore

Put these three lines into the file and save it.


Remember that to see all the files in a folder (including those that start with a '.') you need to type ls -la.

Still in your PythnonAnywhere shell in the ~/django_projects folder, run the following commands:

git init
git config --global push.default simple
git add *
git add .gitignore
git status
git config --global ""
git config --global "Your X. Name"
git config --global credential.helper cache   # Optional but convienent
git config --global credential.helper 'cache --timeout=604800'  # Optional but convienent
git commit -m "first commit" 
git remote add origin
git push -u origin master
(enter id and password for git)

Go to

Verify the data has been pushed to the repo and verify that it is private.

If you get tired of typing your github credentials over and over, you can tell the bash shell to cache them for a week using the following commands:

Local and Remote Repositories Out of Sync

Sometimes when you have a repo and are working on files, and start typing things like git commit -a or git push you start getting very strange errors start appearing that imply that you can't do what you are trying to do.

Often this is because you are doing things in your repo two different places (i.e. your laptop and PythonAnywhere) and one or the other copies is out of sync with the copy that you have stored in GitHub.

When your remote repository is "ahead" of your local repository, you will see the following error when you do a git pull:

$ git status
On branch master

    modified:   mysite/

$ git pull
error: cannot pull with rebase: You have unstaged changes.
error: please commit or stash them.

Solving this is pretty simple, the following sequence will work:

git stash
git pull
git stash apply

This undoes your local changes (except for added files whch don't affect the pull) but "stashes" them. Then the pull will work and the git stash apply retrieves your "stashed" changes and re-applies them.

Harder to Fix Problems

If you end up in a situation where git is complaining about a "merge conflict" you can Google around and find a solution. But sometimes that is kind of obtuse and it is easier to grab a fresh copy of your repo and manually re-apply your changes.

If things are really messed up and git is complaining about a lock file, or something else very mysterious, sometimes the quickest way to get going again is to take a step back and then go forward again. This process assumes that you have something in github to go back to.

Here are the steps to restore your django_projects folder. You may lose a few bits in this process but your git folder will work again.

First lets see what changes we have made because we will need to redo the changes.

cd ~/django_projects
git status

Then rename your folder and check out a fresh copy of your repository:

cd ~
mv django_projects broken_version
git clone

Replacing drchuck with your github account.

Now you have a fresh new copy of your github repository. Then go into the saved copy and see which files you want to copy over into the newly checked out copy of your repo:

cd ~/broken_version
git status

Then for each file you want to put back into your freshly checked out repo, do:

cp mysite/mysite/ ../django_projects/mysite/mysite/

You can also use the Linux diff command to see how files differ before making the copy:

diff mysite/mysite/ ../django_projects/mysite/mysite/

Use tab completion to make sure that you are typing folders and files correctly.

If you are dealing with a merge conflict, you may still need to go into the newly checked out folder and edit the files before committing. The git merge process puts little marks in the file to show where the conflicts were found. Just test your code before committing and uploading - any merge lines in the file will be syntax errors in your application that you can fix.

You can change the folder paths from this example depending on what repo you are working with and where in your folder structure you are working.