What is Git?


Git is an open source version control system. Git is developed and maintained by the creator of the Linux kernel. Git stores complete files each time the user commits his changes, making recovery and version-diffing reliable, responsive, and simple. This is in contrast to other version control systems which store complete versions as "Deltas" or descriptions of the changes between versions of a file. If a file has not changed between commits then Git simply links to the last changed version.

Git was developed following a dispute with the author of the BitKeeper version control system used in the development of the Linux kernel. Since no other open-source version control system existed which matched BitKeeper's performance it was decided to design a new system from the ground up. The first stable Git release was announced less than nine months from the first line of code having been written. After Git's initial jump to maturity, there have been no need for additional features and few bugs to fix. Therefore, Git has remained in the 1.x branch for over six years and there are no plans for a Git 2.0 release.

As a side-effect of being written by an OS kernel developer, Git functions much like a file system. Additionally, Git enjoys many low-level optimizations in regard to network performance. This makes Git an ideal open-source inplementation of off-site home-directory versioning and backup, similar to Apple's Time Machine. However, no intuitive GUI or file manager integration exists for Git so command-line control of versioning and backup restoration is still necessary.

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