Create of Fork of Landlab#

Getting the code from Github#

Landlab development takes place in your own fork of the main Landlab repository. A fork is a mirror of the repository and is hosted on your personal GitHub account. You will use this fork for developing new Landlab features. Your changes will migrate to the core repository (for review and merging) by requesting that the main repository “pull” in your changes. This is known as a pull request and is facilitated through the GitHub website.

You will only need to do this once for each project to which you want to contribute. Github has some great documentation on how to create a fork. We outline below the basic steps as applied to Landlab.

Create a Github account#

  1. You can create a GitHub account by going to the GitHub website.

  2. If you haven’t already, Install Git. Note that if you are using a mac with OS lower than 10.7, we have found it difficult to setup git, and you may want to upgrade your OS. Alternatively, you can do this in a more user-friendly fashion by installing the Github graphical user interface for your OS, which comes packaged with git for command line by default, and also lets you perform many git functions (updating your code, pushing changes back to github…) without having to deal with the command line interface.

  3. Configure your account to allow write access. If you choose to install the git GUI, then it will set-up an SSH key for you. If you install on the command line, you might need some help with this, see Generating SSH Keys on GitHub.

  4. If you want to ensure the ssh key is set correctly, go to your home page on github and hit the account settings (wrench and screwdriver button in upper right corner). On this page hit the SSH keys tab on the left. This should show that you have a key for whatever computer you are currently working on. Note that you may have more than one key if you have installed git on more than one computer with the same user account.

Creating your own fork of Landlab#

The following steps will create a fork of the Landlab repository under your GitHub account.

  1. Sign in to your GitHub account.

  2. Go to the Landlab home page on GitHub.

  3. Click the fork button in the upper-right corner of the page.

Once completed, you will be redirected to the home page for your own copy of Landlab (

Cloning your fork to your computer#

You can clone the fork (that lives on the Github website) locally to your computer either using the Github app (the GUI), or directly from the command line using git. If you’ve never used git before, the app is probably the way to go.

Using the GUI/app#

  1. Sign in to github on the GUI.

  2. Hit on your account on the left side of the GUI.

  3. This will show you your fork of Landlab. Hit the clone option next to the fork. This will download the Landlab package to your local computer. If you are on a windows machine, this will put Landlab in the Documents/GitHub folder. If you are on a mac, you are given the option of where to put the downloaded Landlab package.

Alternatively, you can also clone your fork in the GUI directly through the website. Navigate to the page for your fork on the web (UserName/landlab) and hit the “Clone in Desktop” button (monitor-with-downward-arrow) on the top/right hand side of the page. Make sure you have the GUI installed and set up on your machine before you try this for the most pain-free results. Also ensure you clone your fork, not the main development version of Landlab (i.e., the version at, not the version at

Using the command line#

Use the following commands from a terminal of your choice.

$ git clone
$ cd landlab
$ git remote add upstream git://