Revision Control

11 Best Free and Open Source Linux Revision Control Tools

Version control systems play an essential role for developers. First up, they allow developers to safely store successive versions of source code. Besides providing a secure backup of the source code, this type of software lets developers revert back to a stable release if subsequent code changes have unforeseen consequences.

Equally important, revision control tools enable team members to work simultaneously on a project’s code. If you have ever collaborated with other people on a project, you will appreciate the frustration caused by swapping files. Revision control is an excellent way to combat the problem of sharing files between developers without treading on each other’s toes. For open source projects having tens/hundreds of people working on the same code base, revision control software is essential.

Furthermore, version control systems make it possible to create a new branch of the application source code, and work on that branch without affecting the stability of the original version.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 11 high quality free and open source Linux revision control tools. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to collaborate with other people on a project. Here’s our verdict captured in a legendary LinuxLinks-style ratings chart.

Ratings chart for the best free and open source revision control tools

Click the links in the table below to learn more about each tool.

Revision Control Tools
GitUsed in high profile open source projects, most notably the Linux kernel
SubversionGeneral system that can be used to manage any collection of files
MercurialFast, lightweight Source Control Management system
DarcsAn advanced revision control system
BitKeeperDistributed source management system
datDistributed data community for the next generation Web
FossilDistributed version control system
PijulSound and fast distributed version control system
CVSConcurrent Versions System
BreezyDecentralized revision control system supporting Bazaar and Git formats
MonotoneEspecially strong in its support of a diverge/merge workflow

This article has been revamped in line with our recent announcement.

Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

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3 years ago

SVN and Tortoise Git is good, but if you are using Visual Studio, you can use built in Git which is much easier than any other external tool.