Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.
In software development, Git is a distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) system with an emphasis on speed.
Git is easy to learn and has a tiny footprint with lightning fast performance and outclasses SCM tools like Subversion, CVS, Perforce, and ClearCase with features: cheap local branching, convenient staging areas, and multiple workflows.
Every Git working directory is a full-fledged repository with complete history and full version tracking capabilities, not dependent on network access or a central server. Design characteristics:
• Strong support for non-linear development: Git supports rapid branching and merging, and includes specific tools for visualizing and navigating a non-linear development history. A core assumption in Git is that a change will be merged more often than it is written, as it is passed around various reviewers. Branches in git are very lightweight: A branch in git is only a reference to a single commit. With its parental commits, the full branch structure can be constructed.
• Distributed development: Like Darcs, BitKeeper, Mercurial, SVK, Bazaar and Monotone, Git gives each developer a local copy of the entire development history, and changes are copied from one such repository to another. These changes are imported as additional development branches, and can be merged in the same way as a locally developed branch.
• Compatibility with existing systems/protocols: Repositories can be published via HTTP, FTP, rsync, or a Git protocol over either a plain socket, ssh or HTTP. Git also has a CVS server emulation, which enables the use of existing CVS clients and IDE plugins to access Git repositories. Subversion and svk repositories can be used directly with git-svn.
• Efficient handling of large projects: Torvalds has described Git as being very fast and scalable, and performance tests done by Mozilla showed it was an order of magnitude faster than some version-control systems, and fetching version history from a locally stored repository can be one hundred times faster than fetching it from the remote server.
• Cryptographic authentication of history: The Git history is stored in such a way that the ID of a particular version (a commit in Git terms) depends upon the complete development history leading up to that commit. Once it is published, it is not possible to change the old versions without it being noticed. The structure is similar to a hash tree, but with additional data at the nodes as well as the leaves. (Mercurial and Monotone also have this property.)
• Toolkit-based design: Git was designed as a set of programs written in C, and a number of shell scripts that provide wrappers around those programs. Although most of those scripts have since been rewritten in C for speed and portability, the design remains, and it is easy to chain the components together.
- Pluggable merge strategies: As part of its toolkit design, Git has a well-defined model of an incomplete merge, and it has multiple algorithms for completing it, culminating in telling the user that it is unable to complete the merge automatically and that manual editing is required.
• Garbage accumulates unless collected: Aborting operations or backing out changes will leave useless dangling objects in the database. These are generally a small fraction of the continuously growing history of wanted objects. Git will automatically perform garbage collection when enough loose objects have been created in the repository. Garbage collection can be called explicitly using git gc --prune.
• Periodic explicit object packing: Git stores each newly created object as a separate file. Although individually compressed, this takes a great deal of space and is inefficient. This is solved by the use of packs that store a large number of objects in a single file (or network byte stream) called packfile, delta-compressed among themselves. Packs are compressed using the heuristic that files with the same name are probably similar, but do not depend on it for correctness. A corresponding index file is created for each packfile, telling the offset of each object in the packfile. Newly created objects (newly added history) are still stored singly, and periodic repacking is required to maintain space efficiency. The process of packing the repository can be very computationally expensive. By allowing objects to exist in the repository in a loose, but quickly generated format, git allows the expensive pack operation to be deferred until later when time does not matter (e.g. the end of the work day). Git does periodic repacking automatically but manual repacking is also possible with the git gc command. For data integrity, both packfile and its index have SHA-1 checksum inside, and also the file name of packfile contains a SHA-1 checksum. To check integrity, run the git fsck command.
Contents related to 'Git'
Team Foundation Server (TFS): Team Foundation Server (TFS) is a Microsoft product which provides source code management, reporting, requirements management, project management, automated builds, lab management, testing and release management capabilities.
Subversion (SVN): Apache Subversion (SVN) is a software versioning and revision control system distributed as free software under the Apache License.