Bitbucket for Newbies: Mastering Basic Commands and Collaborating on Code

As a newbie to Bitbucket, navigating the platform and using its basic commands can be overwhelming. However, with some guidance, you can quickly become proficient in using Bitbucket. In this post, we will review some of the basic commands and features of Bitbucket that you need to know as a newbie.

What is Bitbucket?

Bitbucket is a web-based hosting service for version control repositories that use either Mercurial or Git. Bitbucket provides a user-friendly interface that allows teams to collaborate on projects, manage code, and track changes made to code. With Bitbucket, you can create and manage repositories, collaborate with team members, and review code changes.

Are You Familiar with GitHub?

If you’re familiar with GitHub, you may wonder how it differs from Bitbucket. GitHub is the largest code hosting platform in the world and is widely used by open-source developers. It offers unlimited public repositories for free, while private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub also provides many features, such as integrated issue tracking, wikis, and project management tools.

On the other hand, Bitbucket is a more flexible platform popular among small teams and businesses. It offers free private repositories for small teams and a paid subscription for larger teams. Bitbucket also integrates with other Atlassian tools, such as Jira and Confluence.

Ultimately, the choice between GitHub and Bitbucket depends on your specific needs and preferences. However, both platforms offer robust features and can be used for collaboration and version control of your code.

Understanding Terminology in Bitbucket

As a newbie to Bitbucket, it’s essential to understand some of the terminology used in the platform.

Here are some common terms you may encounter:

  • Git: Git is a version control system allowing you to manage your code and collaborate. Git is required to interact with Bitbucket repositories and clone, push, and pull changes to and from repositories.
  • Repository: A repository is a place where your code is stored. In Bitbucket, you can create repositories to store your code and collaborate with team members.
  • Cloning: Cloning a repository means creating a copy of the repository on your local machine. Cloning allows you to work on the code locally and make changes without affecting the original code.
  • Origin: The origin is the remote repository where your code is stored. When you clone a repository, you create a copy of the origin on your local machine.
  • Pull: Pulling changes from a repository means downloading the latest changes from the remote repository and merging them with your local code. Pulling changes ensures that you’re working with the most up-to-date code version.
  • Push: Pushing changes to a repository means uploading your changes to the remote repository so that others can see and review your changes.
  • Branch: A branch is a version of the code that diverges from the main codebase. Branches are used to develop new features or fix bugs without affecting the main codebase.
  • Version Control: Version control is a system that allows you to manage changes made to your code over time. With version control, you can track changes, collaborate with others, and revert to previous versions of your code if needed.

Understanding these common terms allows you to navigate Bitbucket and communicate with your team members easily.

Required Software

To use Bitbucket on your local machine, you must install Git, a version control system allowing you to manage your code and collaborate with others. Git is required to interact with Bitbucket repositories and clone, push, and pull changes to and from repositories.

To install Git on your local machine, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Git website at
  2. Click on the “Download for [your operating system]” button
  3. Follow the installation prompts to install Git on your local machine

Once Git is installed, you can use it to interact with repositories in Bitbucket using the basic commands outlined in this post.

Basic Commands for Bitbucket

Creating a Repository

To create a repository in Bitbucket, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Bitbucket account
  2. Click on the “Create Repository” button on the dashboard
  3. Enter a name for your repository, and choose whether it will be public or private
  4. Choose the programming language that your repository will be written in
  5. Click on the “Create Repository” button

Cloning a Repository

To clone a repository in Bitbucket, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the repository that you want to clone
  2. Click on the “Clone” button
  3. Copy the clone URL provided
  4. Open your command prompt or terminal and navigate to the directory where you want to clone the repository
  5. Run the command “git clone” followed by the clone URL

Adding Files to a Repository

To add files to a repository in Bitbucket, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the directory where your files are stored
  2. Run the command “git add .” to add all files in the directory or “git add [filename]” to add a specific file
  3. Run the command “git commit -m [commit message]” to commit your changes

Pushing Changes to a Repository

To push changes to a repository in Bitbucket, follow these steps:

  1. Run the command “git push origin [branch name]” to push your changes to the repository
  2. If you have made changes to an existing branch, you can use the command “git push” to push changes to that branch

Pulling Changes from a Repository

To pull changes from a repository in Bitbucket, follow these steps:

  1. Run the command “git pull” to pull the latest changes from the repository

Creating a New Feature Branch

One of the key benefits of using Bitbucket is the ability to create new branches for features or bug fixes and then merge those changes back into the main branch.

Here’s how you can create a new feature branch and merge it back into the main branch using the simplest way:

  1. Create a New Branch: To create a new branch, navigate to the Bitbucket repository and click the “Create branch” button. Give your new branch a descriptive name, such as “feature/new-feature-name”. You can also base your new branch on the main branch or another existing one.
  2. Make Changes to the New Branch: You can change your code once you have created your new branch. First, use your preferred Git client to change your local repository copy.
  3. Commit and Push Changes: When you have made changes to your code, commit them to your local copy of the repository and push them to the new branch in Bitbucket. Use a descriptive commit message to explain the changes you made.
  4. Create a Pull Request: To merge your changes into the main branch, create a pull request in Bitbucket. Specify the new branch as the source and the main branches as the destination branches. Give your pull request a descriptive title and description that explains the changes you made.
  5. Review and Merge Changes: Once you have created a pull request, other team members can review your changes and suggest improvements. When you can merge your changes, click the “Merge” button in the pull request. You can merge your changes directly into the main branch or create a new merge commit.

By following these simple steps, you can create new feature branches and merge changes back into the main branch in Bitbucket.

Tips and Best Practices for Using Bitbucket

Using Bitbucket effectively requires more than just knowing the basic commands and features. Here are some tips and best practices to help you get the most out of the platform:

  • Create Descriptive Commit Messages: When committing changes to your repository, it’s important to write descriptive commit messages that clearly explain your changes. This can help other team members understand your changes and can make it easier to find specific commits later on.
  • Use Meaningful Branch Names: When creating branches, use meaningful names that describe the purpose of the branch. For example, if you’re working on a new feature, you could name the branch “feature/new-feature-name”. This can help you and your team members keep track of different versions of your code.
  • Regularly Merge Changes into the Main Branch: To keep your repository up-to-date and avoid conflicts, it’s important to merge changes regularly into the main branch. This can help you catch errors and conflicts early on and prevent code from diverging too far from the main branch.
  • Review Code Changes: Bitbucket provides features like pull requests and inline commenting to help you review code changes and suggest improvements. Regularly reviewing code changes can catch errors early on and help your team members improve their coding skills.
  • Use Branch Permissions: Bitbucket allows you to set branch permissions that control who can access and modify different branches. By setting up branch permissions, you can ensure that only authorized team members can change your code.

By following these tips and best practices, you can use Bitbucket more effectively and efficiently and collaborate more effectively with your team members.

Security in Bitbucket

Bitbucket provides several security features that help keep your code and data safe. Here are some of the key security features of Bitbucket:

  • Two-Factor Authentication: Bitbucket supports two-factor authentication (2FA), which adds an extra layer of security to your account by requiring a code from a separate device and your password. By enabling 2FA, you can prevent unauthorized access to your account, even if your password is compromised.
  • Access Control: Bitbucket allows you to set up access control for your repositories, which enables you to control who can access and modify your code. You can ensure that only authorized team members can change your code by setting up access control.
  • Secure Communication: Bitbucket uses HTTPS to encrypt all communication between your local machine and the server, which helps protect your code and data from interception or tampering.
  • Security Advisories: Bitbucket provides security advisories that notify you of potential security vulnerabilities in your code or dependencies. By regularly reviewing these advisories and addressing any issues, you can keep your code and data safe from potential attacks.
  • Backup and Recovery: Bitbucket provides backup and recovery features that allow you to recover your code and data during a disaster or data loss. By regularly backing up your repositories, you can ensure that you can recover your code and data if needed.

By leveraging these security features, you can ensure that your code and data are protected and secure and that your team can confidently collaborate.


Bitbucket is a powerful tool for managing code and collaborating with team members. With these basic commands and features, you can quickly become proficient in using Bitbucket as a newbie. Then, as you become more comfortable with Bitbucket, you can explore its advanced features and customize your workflow to suit your needs.

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