GIT Distributed Version Control System and How to Configure

Before we start looking into the details of “How to Install Git on Windows” , we will try to understand what exactly GIT Distributed Version Control System is , what are its advantages and then how to install it.

So, let’s start :

What is GIT ?

In simple terms, GIT is a distributed version control system that’s it. I know just putting a formal definition is not enough and is not sufficient to understand GIT Distributed Version Control System,  let’s break this term into 2 parts , Distributed and Version Control System , and we will try to understand both of them.

  • Distributed :  A distributed system means where data instead of storing into a single server (not necessarily) , it will be distributed across multiple nodes.  In other way we can also say Distributed means that it does not have to be a master repository, each contributor has a full copy of the whole repository. So you are working peer to peer rather than client server.
  • Version Control System : Version Control System simply allows you to easily track changes, create new versions, create branches etc. and readily switch between them. It allows you flexibility to switch between versions e.g if you want to move to 2 days back old state of your code , you can easily do this with version control system because each version captures the state of all the files at that particular moment. A Version Control System can keep any type of file under version control and each and every individual file can be tracked.

Advantages of GIT :

Here in this post I am not planning to compare GIT distributed version control system with other version control systems , I can write a new post for that. Below I am going to point out some advantages that you will get if you choose GIT as your Version Control System.

  • As it is a distributed system, you don’t need to have a central repository, the repos can exist with the source directory .
  • In GIT it is very easy to create patch files (difference between 2 commits) that can be applied or mailed.
  • Next advantage I want to explain you with an example .

e.g  : Assume you are a developer and you developed some code at the moment, when you are unable to reach your VCS may be because of internet problem , not in office etc . Now see the advantage of GIT over Subversion.

With Subversion, you have a Problem: The SVN Repository may be in a location you can’t reach that means you cannot commit your code. If you want to make a copy of your code, you have to literally copy/paste it.

With Git, you do not have this problem. Your local copy is a repository, and you can commit to it and get all benefits of source control. When you regain connectivity to the main repository, you can commit against it.

There is a list of benefits of choosing GIT over other Version Control System but it is very difficult for me to compile all those and put here as it doesn’t make any sense because internet is full of resources on GIT and already lot of books also has been written over them.

I don’t want my readers to get bored here by reading all the stuff in the same post , so I have decided I will write one more post that will continue the remaining point i.e How to Install GIT on Windows.



Saurabh Jain

A Developer working on Enterprise applications ,Distributed Systems, Hadoop and BigData.This blog is about my experience working mostly on Java technologies ,NoSQL ,git , maven and Hadoop ecosystem.

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