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Alternatives to Git

Thursday, November 24th, 2016 by Servage

Version-ControlGit is by far the most popular version control system (VCS) at the moment. As a developer, you are most likely already familiar with it, and it is used at your current or future workplace. But Git is not the only choice when it comes to version control. Let’s see what are some considerable alternatives to it.


Subversion (SVN) is probably the first alternative that comes to your mind. It is similar to Git in many ways, but there are major differences too. For example, SVN is a centralized version control system (VCS) while Git is distributed, which means that every developer has a copy of the repository on their local computers. This is not the case in Subversion, which relies on a single server to handle collaboration.


Perforce is a little different from Git or SVN. It can be used in many ways, including the way how Git works and even using actual Git commands. Instead of repositories, Perforce uses depots, which work in a similar fashion.

Perforce can be used with its own command-line client P4 or various graphical utilities, development environment integrations and plugins. Unlike Git or SVN, Perforce is a commercial product and is thus often found in enterprises. It is marketed for its speed and ability to work with large projects as well as enterprise-level security. Perforce comes with a free trial version and is free for up to five collaborators.

Team Foundation Version Control

Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) is a version control system from Microsoft. It is capable of handling large binary files and uses an advanced permission system where it is possible to restrict access to code on a file-by-file basis. Team Foundation Version Control is also a centralized VCS.

It should be noted that Team Foundation Version Control is different from Team Foundation Server (TFS), although the names are often used interchangeably. TFS is a piece of software that can be used with TFVC to create a centralized version control system. Another choice is to use TFVC locally without any collaboration features.


Mercurial is a free, open-source distributed VCS. Due to its distributed nature a, Mercurial is fast and does not depend on an active Internet connection. Using Mercurial from the command line is very similar to Git: you edit files, add them to the staging area, commit and push. This is one of the reasons why Mercurial is considered easy to learn and use, especially if you have a previous Git background.

Mercurial can be extended with plugins written in Python. They can either change the functionality of existing features or add completely new ones. Like almost every version control system, Mercurial works on all major operating systems.

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Categories: Software & Webapps

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