CompSci 308
Spring 2024
Advanced Software Design and Implementation

GITing Started

This exercise will not be explicitly graded, instead its goal is to ensure that you can participate in the course by verifying you

Download and Install Development Software

You will be using the Long Term Support (LTS) version of Java in this course and we recommend using IntelliJ as your development environment since it has a wide variety of features to help you improve your program's design.


Completing this step is vital so everyone starts with the same software versions to remove a possible variable when debugging large programs across multiple people and OSes.

Configure GIT

Note, we recommend using the command-line when interacting with GIT, at least for the first half of the course, to make sure you have a firm understanding of the foundational principles.

Completing this step is vital so the Teaching Team can identify the code you write during the semester to better give you personalized feedback.

Login to Gitlab

  1. Within a Browser, go to the website:
  2. Press the Shibboleth button to log in using your Duke NetID
  3. After you have successfully been logged in through Duke's standard log in page, you should see your Dashboard
  4. If you have never used this Gitlab site in another CompSci course OR you have a new computer since you last used it, then you will need to generate a new SSH key
  5. Otherwise, you should be able to skip the next section

Generate an RSA SSH Key

  1. Within a Browser, go to the website:
  2. If you have not already generated an SSH key for another class:
    • Within Terminal/Shell, run the command below and accept the default options (details are in the RSA SSH Keys section within "Generating a new SSH key pair")
          ssh-keygen -t rsa -C -b 4096
  3. If you have not already connected your current computer to our Gitlab site (coursework):
    • Within Terminal/Shell, copy the public key using the command corresponding to your OS given in the section Adding an SSH key to your GitLab account
    • Within a Browser, paste the copied public key into the Gitlab text area (Preferences → SSH Keys → Key Text Area)
      giving it the same title: id_rsa, and press Add key

Completing this step is vital since you will not be able to access the course Gitlab server with a password.

Get your Own Copy of a Gitlab Project's Starter Code

  1. Within a Browser, visit the project for this exercise, CompSci308_2024spring/lab_bounce
  2. Press Fork (the button is in the right upper corner) to create a version of the project in your own account with the same name (e.g., NetID/lab_bounce)
    Note, you will use fork only to create your own repository of lab_ or example_ repositories.
    A repository will be provided for you for project_ or portfolio_ repositories (so using fork is not the general practice)
  3. On the new project page that appears, copy the SSH URL (e.g.,
    Note, it is will appear as an option when you press the blue Clone button on the right side of the page

Clone your Copy of the Project onto your Local Machine

  1. Within Terminal, change to a folder you want to hold all your course coding project (WORKSPACE_FOLDER can be any directory you want on your computer as long as there are no spaces anywhere in the path)
  2. Download a local version of the project that is linked to your Gitlab repository
        git clone
  3. That command should create a folder named lab_bounce within your workspace folder that contains configuration information for GIT (e.g., a folder named .git — note that it starts with a period)
        ls -a lab_bounce

Create IntelliJ Project from your Local Copy

  1. Within IntelliJ, open the newly cloned folder using File → Open (or the Open button if the File menu is not available)
  2. Select the folder you just created, lab_bounce, and press Open
  3. Once the project window appears, you will need to a few more steps to get it to run (note, depending on the speed of your machine, it may take a little while to recognize and setup the project, as well as download some files this first time):
    1. Click on the Project label in the leftmost gutter to expand the contents of your project folder
    2. Click to expand the folders src → java → main → bounce to find the Java class Main
    3. Right click on this class to run it by selecting Run Main.main()
  4. Run the program to verify that your Java installation is working
    If there are compilation errors or it does not run, then you may not have installed the latest versions of Java or IntelliJ or the project is not correctly configured.

Completing this step verifies your Java and IntelliJ installations are correct and working together.

Push Changes Made to your Project back up to Gitlab

  1. Within Terminal, your lab_bounce folder should now have the configuration folders for both GIT (e.g., .git) and IntelliJ (e.g., .idea)

        ls -a lab_bounce
  2. Within IntelliJ, the file should already be open in Preview mode. Change it Edit and Preview mode by pressing the middle blue icon in the pane's upper right corner.
  3. Add your name and save the file
    When you do this, you should see the file's name in the Project View's list of files change color to indicate GIT knows it has been changed
  4. Within Terminal, you can verify that GIT also knows that it has been changed by typing
        git status
  5. Add your changed files to those staged for your next commit
        git add
  6. Then note that all the added files should be grouped together into a single commit to the repository, with a message describing the changes contained in this commit
        git commit -m "Included my name in the README"
  7. Push all your commits to the remote repository, e.g., Gitlab, so that others (UTAs, teammates, etc.) can see your changes
        git push -u origin main
  8. Within a browser, refresh the Gitlab page for your repository to see your changed README file

Completing this step verifies you can correctly access the course Gitlab group to submit your work for the semester.