4 Git Version Control Alternatives

version control system
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In recent years, Git has become the defacto standard for code management, especially among open source developers. Developed by Linus Trovalds himself, the maker of Linux, it has found a lot of following among Linux kernal developers. Recently BOSS Index ranked it among the top 5 most popular open source projects of 2017. So what other alternatives exist for Git?

Here is a list of some of the Git alternatives that are extremely popular among developers. Incidentally, most of them are open source like Git, except for the one from Microsoft of course.

Concurrent Versioning System (CVS)

CVS is one of the grand daddy’s of version control systems. Developed in mid 1980s originally for Unix based systems. It was originally released as a free software but is now available as open source software and free to use for all major platforms including Microsoft Windows.

However, there have been no major releases/updates for nearly a decade.

A comprehensive description of the CVS along with download links can be found here.

Subversion (SVN)

SVN is one of the most popular version control systems out there after Git. It has been around since 2000 and is part of Apache Software Foundation as an open source project. It is fully compatible with CVS and is generally considered as the successor to CVS.

Internet is full of fiery debates glorifying the benefits of SVN over Git. And vice versa. But what matters more is what works for your own software project rather than what is more popular. It is probably one of the most popular alternative to Git out there.

Apache Software Foundation maintains the software and new releases are made available on a regular basis. It can be downloaded from here.

Mercurial SCM

Released in 2005, as free open source software for all major platforms, it has seen a lot of traction among application developers seeking scalability and high performance in a distributed environment.

Thousands of projects that have a huge base and complexity like OpenJDK, NetBeans, Mozilla and Nginx are using it. The commands are quite similar to Git and is definitely used heavily by high performance projects as an alternative to Git.

It can be downloaded from the official site here.

Team Foundation Server (TFS)

A product by Microsoft, it is one of the few popular version control software that requires a paid license to use. Part of the Visual Studio suite, it is tightly integrated with their offerings. However, it plays nicely with Eclipse and Git servers as well.

Since 2013, Microsoft made a decision to make TFS fully compatible with Git. This makes it easier for TFS users to work with Git without any hassles. Though transfer of code to Git is still a hassle but moving the whole repository from Git to TFS is a breeze.

Working nicely with Git has made TFS a viable alternative to Git for Windows developers.

It can be downloaded from Microsoft site here.


So if you know of another Git alternative that is popular. Please feel free to add your own choices and preference in our comments section.

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Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

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