May 27, 2016

How to Clone a Repository in IntelliJ

Want to fiddle around with any code that I have created on GitHub, such as RESTful Testing Using Stripe at

This is a walkthrough on how to clone a repository through IntelliJ, an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that I use for work.

What is GitHub, from How-to Geek:

"To understand GitHub, you must first have an understanding of Git. Git is an open-source version control system that was started by Linus Trovalds – the same person who created Linux. Git is similar to other version control systems – Subversion, CVS, and Mercurial to name a few.

"So, Git is a 'version control system,' what’s that mean? When developers are creating something (an application, for example), they are making constant changes to the code and releasing new versions, up to and after the first official (non-beta) release.

"Version control systems keep these revisions straight, and store the modifications in a central repository. This allows developers to easily collaborate, as they can download a new version of the software, make changes, and upload the newest revision. Every developer can see these new changes, download them, and contribute.

"Similarly, people who have nothing to do with the development of a project can still download the files and use them. Most Linux users should be familiar with this process, as using Git, Subversion, or some other similar method is pretty common for downloading needed files, especially in preparation for compiling a program from source code (a rather common practice for Linux geeks).

"In case you are wondering why Git is the preferred version control system of most developers, it has multiple advantages over the other systems available, including a more efficient way to store file changes and ensuring file integrity. If you’re interested in knowing the details, check out this page to read a thorough explanation on how Git works.

"We’ve established that Git is a version control system, similar but better than the many alternatives available. So, what makes GitHub so special? Git is a command-line tool, but the center around which all things involving Git revolve – effectively, the Hub, is, where developers can store their projects and network with likeminded people".
- [ MORE ]

Why clone a repository?

When you create a repository on GitHub, it exists as a remote repository. You can clone your repository to create a local copy on your computer and sync between the two locations.

This procedure assumes you have already created a repository on GitHub, or have an existing repository owned by someone else you'd like to contribute to. - GitHub

Step One: Get IntelliJ:

IntelliJ can be downloaded for free at ... The free Community Edition is absolutely wonderful! I do like the integrated database functionality in IntelliJ Enterprise Edition which I use at work.

Step Two: Start IntelliJ 

You should see the Home screen of IntelliJ

Step Three: Checkout Version Control

On the Home Screen, select "Check out from Version Control" and log into your GitHub account or sign up if you do not have one.

... Note: You can also checkout anything you want to experiment with on GitHub, CVS, Git, Mecurical, or Subversion.

Step Four: Clone Repository

Enter into the Clone Repository Window the following details, plus the Git Repository URL. Go to and press the "Clone or Download" button to get the URL.

  • Git Repository URL:
  • Parent Directory: Select where you want to place it on your local computer, such as in your home directory. I like placing projects at C:\Users\tmaher\code\ on my Windows 10 machine at home.
  • The Directory: Name where you are installing the code: RESTful_Testing_Using_Stripe

Once you press [ CLONE ] the code in the project will automatically open.

  • Want to know what is happening when cloning a Git repository? See Git-SCM.
  • Too much detail? See GitHub help.

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Sr. QA Engineer,

// QA Engineer since Aug. 1996
// Automation developer for [ 1 ] year and still counting!
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