GitHub is the largest and most advanced development platform in the world, and millions of developers and enterprises use it to build, ship, and manage their software.
GitHub makes it simple to download and inspect the source code of an app. This tutorial will show you how to get a project’s code directly from GitHub’s website.
Table of Contents
Install a Code Viewer
The first thing you’ll need to do before downloading any code is to install a tool capable of reading that code. Free, open source, and simplified code editor Visual Studio Code lets users see and debug code, as well as conduct tasks.
To get started, download and install Visual Studio Code 3. To view files and code that may be downloaded from GitHub, you’ll need to install the GitHub client.
There are a plethora of code editors to choose from. Visual Studio may not be the best choice for altering code that was originally written in another IDE. It’s worth noting that Visual Studio Code can change the code of most GitHub projects, and it will always function if you only want to see it.
Downloading the Most Recent Release of a Project on GitHub
It is possible to get the source code for an open-source piece of software, as an example. Repositories on GitHub store project files and each project has a page dedicated to its repositories. In order to browse or download files, you don’t need a GitHub account.
Use these instructions to download the latest version of the project you’re interested in.
- Go to github.com 1.
- Search for the project by name in GitHub’s search box.
- Navigate to the home page for the repository.
- Find the Releases section and select the latest version. On GitHub’s desktop site, Releases are in the sidebar on the right. Alternatively, you can add /releases to the repository URL. The release at the top will be the most recent.
- Next, find and expand the Assets section.
- Download the.zip file containing the source code if you wish to do so. The tar.gz source code file is recommended for Linux users.
- Extract the source code archive you downloaded in step 6.
- Switch to Visual Code Editor and select File > Open Folder. Navigate and select the folder you extracted in step 7.
- Press the Select Folder button.
- The project will be listed on the left side of Visual Studio Code. The dropdown arrows can be expanded to show all the files in the project.
- A workspace with working code appears when you select a project file from left panel.
The procedures outlined above show you how to access the latest release of a project on GitHub. Is it possible to examine files from a certain branch of the project?
Downloading From a Specific Branch
Multiple branches are possible in a GitHub repository. Each branch has its own name and is made up of a number of different pieces of code. At a specific point in time, you can make modifications to this copy of the code and not risk damaging the original. Changes to code are made in separate branches, which are then merged back into the main working version of the project known as the master branch if requested and authorized.
- Go to the repository home page for the project you’re looking for by typing its name into the search box.
- Find the branch dropdown, and select the branch you want to download. Typically, the Master branch contains the most recent code, but not always.
- Now that you have selected the branch you want, find and select the green Code button, choosing either Download Zip or, if you see the option, Open with Visual Studio. (You may also see an option to Open with GitHub Desktop.)
- Visual Studio Code can be used to extract and see a zip file that has been extracted from the zip file by following steps 7-11 above.
The code from a specific branch of a GitHub project can be seen by following the instructions above. After that, we’ll talk about downloading files from a given commit.
Downloading From a Specific Commit
A commit is made whenever a new piece of code is committed to a repository. Every modification made since the last commit is included in this commit. For troubleshooting issues caused by recent code changes, you may want to download from a specific commit.
- Select the branch you want to work with from the repository’s home page. For the most part, this branch will be the master.
- Find and select the Commits link.
- Choose the commit you want to download by selecting the title of the commit.
- Now you’re on the page for the commit you selected. Next, select the Browse files button.
- Find and select the green Code button, and choose either Download zip or, if it’s available, Open with Visual Studio.
- Zip up the file and open the folder in Visual Studio Code.
You may wish to fork a repository, clone it locally, make modifications, push the changes back to your fork, and then submit a pull request to the project owner requesting them to merge your changes.