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The 'clone' command downloads an existing Git repository to your local computer.

Open a web browser and go to git-scm.com/download Click the download button. Launch the installer you downloaded. The default options should be fine for most people. Download git-cola The latest stable git-cola release is v3.8 release notes (2020-09-10) Windows: Mac OSX: Source: Git Source Repository Older Releases. Source Releases. A macOS Git installer is maintained and available for download at the Git website, at Figure 7.

You will then have a full-blown, local version of that Git repo and can start working on the project.

Typically, the 'original' repository is located on a remote server, often from a service like GitHub, Bitbucket, or GitLab). That remote repository's URL is then later referred to as the 'origin'.

Important Options


Specifies the URL of the remote repository. Usually, this will point to a remote server, using a protocol like HTTP, HTTPS, SSH, or GIT.


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The name of the folder on your local machine where the repository will be downloaded into. If this option is not specified, Git will simply create a new folder named after the remote repository.


Clones and initializes all contained submodules. If your project contains submodules, using this parameter will make sure that all submodules will both be cloned and initialized once the main project has been cloned. This saves you from having to manually initialize and update the submodules later.

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No need to remember all those commands and parameters: get our popular 'Git Cheat Sheet' - for free!

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Usage Examples

In its simplest (and most common) form, only the repository URL is specified:

This will download the project to a folder named after the Git repository ('git-crash-course' in this case). If you want a different folder name, simply specify it as the last parameter:

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Simple Cloning in Tower

In case you are using the Tower Git client, cloning a project becomes easy as pie. You can connect your GitHub / GitLab / Bitbucket / or other remote accounts with Tower - and from then on simply clone with a single click!

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Learn More

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  • Check out the chapter Starting with an Existing Project in our free online book
  • Find the full command description in the Git documentation
  • More frequently asked questions about Git & version control