August 15, 2018

A Git Origin Story

A look at Linux kernel developers' various revision control solutions through the years, Linus Torvalds' decision to use BitKeeper and the controversy that followed, and how Git came to be created.

Originally, Linus Torvalds used no revision control at all. Kernel contributors would post their patches to the Usenet group, and later to the mailing list, and Linus would apply them to his own source tree. Eventually, Linus would put out a new release of the whole tree, with no division between any of the patches. The only way to examine the history of his process was as a giant diff between two full releases. 

This was not because there were no open-source revision control systems available. CVS had been around since the 1980s, and it was still the most popular system around. At its core, it would allow contributors to submit patches to a central repository and examine the history of patches going into that repository....

One of Linus' primary concerns, in fact, was speed. This was something he had never fully articulated before, or at least not in a way that existing projects could grasp. With thousands of kernel developers across the world submitting patches full-tilt, he needed something that could operate at speeds never before imagined. 

Read more at Linux Journal

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