All of our code is stored on our own private Git repositories. For those who don’t know, Git is a VCS, which means it keeps track of every change that is made. Using Git enables us to collaborate on the code and merge all of our changes together cleanly.


There is a difference between Git, GitLab, and GitHub. GitHub and GitLab are online services that offer free and paid Git repositories. We run our own private instance of GitLab. We also have “mirrors” of our code on GitHub, meaning the code is copied directly over from our own repositories, but we do not use GitHub itself for development work.

Our private GitLab instance manages all our Git repositories, and provides a number of additional tools for code review, internal documentation, building, and deployment.

Installing Git

Installing on Ubuntu

On Ubuntu, you can simply install Git like any other package. We’ll install it along with its dependencies and related tools.

sudo apt install git

Installing on Mac

On Mac, Git is automatically installed as part of Command Line Tools for Xcode. If you prefer an alternative means of installation, see Git: Getting Started Installing Git

Installing on Windows

On Windows, you can use the Windows Subsystem for Linux and follow the instructions for Linux.

Otherwise, to install directly on Windows, follow the instructions at Git: Getting Started Installing Git

Configuring Git

Register yourself with Git, so you’ll be credited for commits.


If you only want the given name and/or email for the current repository, omit the --global flag.

Run the following commands, substituting in your own information. Staff should use their company email here; otherwise use the email associated with your GitHub account.

git config --global "Sam Smith"
git config --global

Import Repositories

All of our projects are preconfigured to work on Linux, macOS, and Windows Subsystem for Linux. You only need to pull them down using Git.

Decide on a place to put your repositories. I recommend creating a repos directory in your Home folder. Wherever you want your repositories, create and navigate to the directory in question. On Linux or Mac, run…

mkdir ~/repos
cd ~/repos

This is the directory where you will clone (download) the repositories you want.

Creating an SSH Key

Before you can interact with one of our repositories, you must add an SSH key to your MousePaw Media GitLab account. This will allow you to authenticate, associating any commits or other changes to the repository with your account.

This documentation will walk you through the basics below. For more detailed help, see the GitLab documentation Use SSH keys to communicate with GitLab.

Creating a Keypair (Linux/Mac)

You may want to first check if you already have an SSH key pair created. This would be in the .ssh subdirectory of your home folder. If you have a key pair there, you want to upload the public key, which is normally

If you need to create a new SSH key pair, we can do that now. We start by installing OpenSSH Client, so we can log into other systems with SSH.

On Ubuntu, you can install OpenSSH via…

sudo apt install openssh-client

If you’re on Mac, the necessary software is already installed by default.

Next, we generate a new keypair. Be sure to enter the same email you have associated with your MousePaw Media GitLab account, in place of

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C ''

You’ll see a message that the key pair is being generated. When prompted, press Enter to use the default path for the key.

Finally, enter a password used for unlocking the SSH key. You’ll find the new keypair at ~/.ssh/


Your public key is the part you share. NEVER EVER EVER share your private key (the part ending in .rsa)!

Creating a Keypair (Windows)

If you’re using Windows Subsystem for Linux, follow the instructions above. OpenSSH is installed by default.

Alternatively, you can create an SSH keypair using PuTTYGen or Git Bash. We do not officially support either method, but you can find out more from the links below:

Configuring Git

If your key pair is named id_rsa and, then Git will use it automatically. However, if your key is named anything else, or if you have multiple keys, you will have to tell Git which key to use.

Add the following entry to the .ssh/config file in your home directory:

    IdentityFile ~/.ssh/your_private_key
    IdentitiesOnly yes

Adding Your Public Key to GitLab

Open your public key in a plain text editor, or just output it in your terminal. On Linux, macOS, or Windows Subsystem for Linux, you can do this via…

cat ~/.ssh/

On MousePaw Media’s GitLab, click your profile picture (top of left sidebar) and select Preferences. On the left, select SSH Keys.

Click Add new key, paste the public key in the text entry box labeled Key. If desired, give the key a Title. Ensure Usage type is set to Authentication & Signing.

If desired, set or remove the Expiration date. This is an added security measure, but you will have to remember to add a new key after that date before you can access the repositories again.

Finally, click Add key.

Cloning the Repository

On the MousePaw Media GitLab homepage, click Projects on the left pane. Find the repository you want to clone locally and click on it.

On the repository page, click the blue Clone button, and click the clipboard icon next to the clone URL to copy it.

In your terminal, make sure you’re in the directory where you want to check out your repositories. On Linux, macOS, or Windows Subsystem for Linux, you’d probably do this by running the following:

cd ~/repos

Then, clone the repository with the git clone URL command. For example, to check out the IOSqueak repository with SSH, use…

git clone

-That’s it!* Repeat the Cloning the Repository section as needed to import each repository you need.