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Open, Clone and init

Whether you are a newborn or a wizened deep-ocean octopod, each user will need to open, clone, or initialize a repo in GitKraken.


The essential setup process includes:

  1. Installing GitKraken
  2. Creating an account and setting up your profile

Once this is complete, you are ready for your oceanic journey!

Projects in GitKraken

There are three ways to start a Git repository when working on a project:

  1. Open - Open a local Git repository already initialized and available locally.
  2. Clone - Clone a remote Git repository already initialized.
  3. Init - Create an empty Git repository or reinitialize an existing one.

Opening an existing project

GitKraken allows you to load your existing repositories and pick up where you left off. It's also useful for visualizing past work done.

If you're coming from a Git project you already have locally, navigate to File Open Repo to get started immediately in GitKraken.

Cloning an existing project

If your project is not on your local machine or you want a new copy, clone the project through File Clone.

This will then prompt you to open the newly copied project in GitKraken.

Initialize a new project

Starting a project in GitKraken is easy through File Init

All you need to do is fill out the fields and select for the magic to begin.


  • New repository path
  • .gitignore template (optional)
  • Automatically creates a .gitignore file in your working copy.

  • License (optional)

  • On init, GitKraken will create a LICENSE file in your repository.
  • Check out the Open Source Initiative or find out more about Choosing a License.


  • A new initialized Git project at the specified repository path by creating a .git folder.
  • The project is opened in GitKraken
  • An "Initial commit" on a master branch containing a blank along with a .gitignore and if applicable.

GitKraken also allows initializing a repository directly to a remote Git hosting provider such as GitHub and Bitbucket.