Cloning (i.e. downloading for the first time)

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Previous | Next | Guide to using Git with GEOS-Chem

  1. Introduction to Git
  2. Installing Git
  3. First-time Git setup
  4. Cloning (i.e. downloading for the first time)
  5. Ignoring files
  6. Viewing the revision history
  7. Using Git GUI
  8. Branching
  9. Committing
  10. Tagging
  11. Merging
  12. Receiving updates (aka pulling)
  13. Using patches to share your updates with others
  14. Advanced Git usage
  15. Git and Github tutorials


On this page, we describe how to download (aka "clone") the GEOS-Chem source code with Git.

Cloning the current GEOS-Chem version

The GEOS-Chem source code repository is available for remote download via Git, from our Github repository:

The first time that you will download a new GEOS-Chem version to your disk space, you must use the git clone command. This will create an exact copy of the GEOS-Chem source code (including the complete version control history) to a folder on your disk.

To clone the current version of GEOS-Chem, type:


where LOCAL-CODE_FOLDER is the name of the local directory on your disk into which the GEOS-Chem source code files will be placed. It is up to you to pick LOCAL-CODE_FOLDER.

The GEOS-Chem source code that you downloaded will be a copy of the master branch, which always points to the current stable GEOS-Chem version. (More about Git branches in a couple of chapters.)

If you plan on using GEOS-Chem "Classic", you will also need to clone the GEOS-Chem Unit Tester:

git clone UT

Cloning an older GEOS-Chem version

You can also clone an older GEOS-Chem version by using the -b option with git clone. This will copy the GEOS-Chem source code to your folder, and point the code to the branch or the tag that you specify. (For more information about Git branches and tags, then please see our Viewing the revision history page.

For example, to clone a copy of the GEOS-Chem 12.0.0 code, type:

git clone -b 12.0.0 LOCAL_DIR_NAME 
git checkout 12.0.0

This will download the GEOS-Chem source code and point you to the state of the code corresponding to the GEOS-Chem 12.0.0 release.

Cloning Git-backed software other than GEOS-Chem

You can clone any software package (not just GEOS-Chem!) that has been saved to a Git repository. The only thing different that you have to specify is the path to the remote repository, and optionally, the name of the local folder into which the code will be copied.


 git clone GEOS-Chem-Python-Tutorial
 git clone UT
 git clone gcpy
 git clone /path/to/someone/elses/code TheirCode
 ... etc

Further reading

  1. The git clone command (Official Git documentation)
  2. Git basics: Getting a Git repository (Pro Git book)
  3. Git clone (Atlassian Git tutorial)

Previous | Next | Guide to using Git with GEOS-Chem