Git Version Control System

Git is a powerful and fast Open Source distributed revision control system. It is probably able to solve most of your organizational problems and makes sharing and merging source code easy. If you are searching for a version control system (VCS) to keep track of your software projects,1) give it a try.

You may have a look at the following talks to estimate if Git would be a useful tool for you:

Google Tech Talk: Linus Torvalds on git (2007-05-03)

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Git – a Talk by Randal Schwartz (2007-10-12)

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Another important point why you may want to learn and use Git is the fact, that it is used by many Open Source projects. If you want to improve and influence your favorite applications through contributing patches, your (feasible) Git or unified diff patch is more likely to get applied. If you provide something else which people are less familiar with or which needs more work to put into a patch, your chances are much lower. This is simply how things work in Open Source development in general.

Installation

Ubuntu

6.06 Dapper and above

Simply install the following package(s):

After installation, Git is available via terminal: git

There are some additional packages, providing special functionality:

  • gitk (main) – simple revision tree visualizer (Tk based). You can start it via gitk.
  • git-gui (universe) – simple GUI (Tk based) for most every day Git task. You can start it via git gui. A look at its man page is helpful.
  • git-doc (main) – offline documentation, accessible via /usr/share/doc/git-doc/index.html
  • git-svn (main) – Tools to use Git locally on your machine (useful if you are forced to work in an Subversion/SVN environment)
  • git-cvs (main) – Tools to use Git locally on your machine (useful if you are forced to work in an CVS environment)
  • tig (universe) – A text-mode interface for Git (ncurses-based repository browser and pager for Git output). You can start it via tig. A look at its man page is helpful.

Usage

Git is too powerful and cool to describe its usage in a short and useful way here. Additionally, there are really good resources about “using Git” out there. Reserve a weekend for diving into the topic and have a look at:

Further Reading

See also

  • OpenSSH – It is common to provide secure write/push access to remote Git repositories by SSH only.

General

Tips

Others

1) Git is useful for “common” files, configurations and documents too. But the common use case is to help software developers managing their projects
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