Yesterday, a pretty serious security vulnerability was revealed which affects all versions of git.
You should upgrade to one of the maintenance releases described in the link above, but that’s assuming you can.
A lot of people don’t know how to do that. A lot of people are using the git version that ships with Apple’s OS X or their operating system of choice. I can’t help you if you use Windows or Linux but head over to the Downloads section of the official git website for help.
Now if you use OS X, and if you use git regurlarly like many people who build websites and software, you now may understand why people like me recommend against using the software packages that are bundled with operating systems like OS X:
- The versions are often very old.
- It’s either hard or impossible to upgrade them without the operating system vendor.
- Operating sytem security updates don’t always update these packages, or at least not promptly.
git your own
First step to controlling your development software, install Homebrew. It’s a package manager. It works similarly to the App Store — but on the command line.
So first open the Terminal app.
Space to open Spotlight
and just type
Terminal if you don’t know where it is. You should see
something like this:
Now I’m curious if you already have Homebrew installed. We can be sure
by using the
which command like this:
1 2 which brew /usr/local/bin/brew
If you don’t see
/usr/local/bin/brew displayed when you press
after entering the command, you don’t have Homebrew installed.
So let’s do that.
WARNING: I’m about to tell you to do something dangerous. Downloading and executing an unknown and potentially nefarious script whose source code you’ve never read. You should not do this willy nilly. The only reason I ask you to trust me is that I trust this specific script. It’s written in Ruby. I’ve read it. And I’m mildly confident no one has hacked my blog to replace the link with a nefarious one.
In any case, you can find the source code of the script right here: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install
Paste the following command in your Terminal window and press
1 ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
Once the installation is over, I recommend you run the following command:
1 2 brew doctor Your system is ready to brew.
Homebrew can’t heal itself but it can diagnose anything on your system that may hinder its functioning. Usually that will involve installing a version of Xcode which you can now simply find on the App Store.
brew doctor answers with
Your system is ready to brew., you’re
ready to install git. Just run:
1 brew install git
Once you do, I suggest you quit (
Command + ‘Q’) the Terminal app. I
don’t say this because restarting the app magically makes everything
works right. It’s because we installed a new binary and it may not be
available on the load path immediately. You can check that by running:
1 which -a git
This command looks for all available binaries matching the name
anywhere on your load path (
which git will only tell
you the one which will be used to answer calls to git. The first directory
path in the list will be the one used. If you see
the top, congratulations, you’ve installed your own git. You can check
the version of the git you installed with
It should be higher than
which git yields
/usr/bin/git then the Apple-installed git is still
taking precedence over the one we just installed with Homebrew. That’s
completely normal and okay. It just means we have a wee bit of work left to do.
Let’s talk about your
$PATH. The reason why you’re seeing the Apple-installed
version respond first is because of that loading path. I’ve written a long
piece for A List Apart on this topic if you care to learn more but if you want to get it over with quick, let’s do this:
1 echo $PATH | tr ":" "\n"
This should list all the paths in your load path in order of precedence.
For you, I can bet that
/usr/local/bin is showing up below
All we need to do is prepend the
/usr/local/bin path in the load
First run these commands:
1 2 cd ls -a | grep bash
The first command takes you to your home directory wherever you are. It’s a neat trick to quickly go home without having to type anything else.
The second command lists all directory contents including dotfiles (
and then filters the list of returned files and directories to only show
the ones which have the word
bash inside them.
Mine only outputs:
1 2 .bash_history .bash_profile
If you have a
.bashrc file it’s likely you created it following someone’s
advice on the internet. Check to make sure it doesn’t contain path modifications:
1 cat .bashrc
If you don’t see anything that ressembles
PATH= then you’re fine,
otherwise I recommend you put all your path modifications in the same
place. I put mine in
.bash_profile. If you want to read more about
configuration files, I recommend this and that StackOverflow discussions.
Here’s how to modify your path to prepend the
1 export PATH="/usr/local/bin:$PATH"
Make sure to put that near the top of your
.bash_profile and annotate
it with a note about its purpose so you can understand it when you find it
later. I often leave links to the resources I’ve used, like this blog
post, so I can understand why I modified my configuration later.