Setting up Git is a lot easier on Linux and Mac, and can be tricky on Windows platform, but if you follow the steps in this article, you should not have problems using Git on Windows operating system.
Choosing Git distribution
There are different install packages out there, the best one is msygit , the latest version at the time of writing this article is Git-184.108.40.206-preview20101002.exe. Get the latest revision found there in the moment when you read this article.
Click the exe file which you have downloaded, and the installation wizard should start. Leave the default directory for the installation, and when you get to the "Adjusting your Path environment" setting select “Use Git Bash only”. Choose this setting to avoid any path conflict. The biggest problem when setting up Git on Windows are SSH keys. Git uses ssh keys to access your repositories, and in Windows it can happen that ssh keys are searched on wrong path.
Please note though that by choosing these settings Git will work flawlessly in Git bash and Git ui. Avoid command line shell since it could cause troubles.
In case you use older version of msygit , you could see a step "Choosing the SSH executables", in that case choose "Use OpenSSH", it's easier to use.
Installing SSH keys on Windows
To learn how to setup SSH keys on Windows, read this article. Please note that there are other ways to use SSH keys on Windows (with PuTTY for example), but they could cause you trouble. If you would like to setup authentication with Putty, check out the article here
In case you still have troubles with SSH keys check $HOME path in your Windows operating system. Some other software can change HOME or HOME_PATH environment variable pointing to different location instead of your real home (“Documents and Settings”) directory.
After installing msygit, generating and adding your SSH key to your Beanstalk account, you should be ready to start using Git.
In case you have installed TortoiseGIT
If you ever installed TortoiseGit, it creates a Global Variable to the Plink as your keystore which could cause issues when you try to use Git. No matter how you change your config or uninstall TortoiseGit that global variable persists and until you delete it, you cannot point Git to your regular .ssh directory to find the proper key.
In case you have problems connecting to your Beanstalk repository on Windows 7
One of our users reported that he had problems when generating SSH keys on Windows 7. In case that happens for you, try to generate SSH key on Windows XP if possible.