GitHub Fundamentals – Watch, Star, Fork


Knowing about Git hosting services, knowing how to use them, contributing in them has become a necessity for modern day developers. Before diving deep into harder stuff, let’s learn about the 3 fundamental buttons that will be one of the first things you will see in a GitHub page.


When you watch a repository, you get notifications for any new pull requests and issues that are created, including those not mentioning you. If you are “Not Watching” you will only be notified if you are contributing or @mentioned. There are more detailed settings for “notification settings” on GitLab compared to GitHub.


Starring a repository allows you to keep track of projects that you find interesting, even if you aren’t associated with the project.

When you star a repository, you’re actually performing two distinct actions:

  • Creating a bookmark for easier access
  • Showing appreciation to the repository maintainer for their work


When you fork a repository, you create a copy of that repository for yourself. By forking:

  • You can use someone else’s repository as a starting point for your projects
  • You can fork a repository for bug fixing (fork the repo, fix the code, submit pull request)
  • You can fork a repository for proposing changes

If bug fixing or proposing changes is why you fork a repository, then make sure to sync your fork with the upstream repository. For this, you will need to install Git and use command line.

Hope this helps.
Good Luck,