List of version-control software

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This is a list of notable software for version control.

Local data model[edit]

In the local-only approach, all developers must use the same file system.

Open source[edit]

  • Revision Control System (RCS) – stores the latest version and backward deltas for fastest access to the trunk tip[1][2] compared to SCCS and an improved user interface,[3] at the cost of slow branch tip access and missing support for included/excluded deltas.
  • Source Code Control System (SCCS) – part of UNIX; based on interleaved deltas, can construct versions as arbitrary sets of revisions. Extracting an arbitrary version takes essentially the same time and is thus more useful in environments that rely heavily on branching and merging with multiple "current" and identical versions.

Client-server model[edit]

In the client-server model, developers use a shared single repository.

Open source[edit]

  • Concurrent Versions System (CVS) – originally built on RCS, licensed under the GPL.
    • CVSNT – cross-platform port of CVS that allows case insensitive file names among other changes
    • OpenCVS – CVS clone under the BSD license, with emphasis put on security and source code correctness
  • Subversion (SVN) – versioning control system inspired by CVS[4]
  • Vesta – build system with a versioning file system and support for distributed repositories


Distributed model[edit]

In the distributed approach, each developer works directly with their own local repository, and changes are shared between repositories as a separate step.

Open source[edit]

  • ArX – written by Walter Landry, started as a fork of GNU arch, but has been completely rewritten
  • Bazaar – written in Python, originally by Martin Pool and sponsored by Canonical; decentralised, and aims to be fast and easy to use; can losslessly import Arch archives. It was replaced by a friendly fork called Breezy.
  • BitKeeper – was used in Linux kernel development (2002 – April 2005) until its license was revoked for breach of contract. It was open-sourced in 2016 in an attempt to broaden its appeal again.
  • Darcs – written in Haskell and originally developed by David Roundy; can keep track of inter-patch dependencies and automatically rearrange and "cherry-pick" them using a "theory of patches"
  • DCVS – decentralized and CVS-based
  • Fossil – written by D. Richard Hipp for SQLite; distributed revision control, wiki, bug-tracking, and forum (all-in-one solution) with console and web interfaces. Single portable executable and single repository file.
  • Git – written in a collection of Perl, C, and various shell scripts, designed by Linus Torvalds based on the needs of the Linux kernel project; decentralized, and aims to be fast, flexible, and robust
  • GNU arch
  • Mercurial – written in Python as an Open Source replacement to BitKeeper; decentralized and aims to be fast, lightweight, portable, and easy to use
  • Monotone – developed by the Monotone Team; decentralized in a peer-to-peer way
  • Pijul ( - Free and open source (GPL 2) distributed version control system based on a theory of patches and written in Rust


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bill Wohler (10 Oct 1992). "Unix — Frequently Asked Questions (7/7)". RCS vs SCCS: How do they compare for performance?. [RCS ...] is much faster in retrieving the latest version
  2. ^ Larry McVoy (11 Dec 2003). "BitKeeper: Why SCCS, rather than RCS?". Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. RCS is optimized for getting the most recent version on the trunk
  3. ^ Bill Wohler (10 Oct 1992). "Unix — Frequently Asked Questions (7/7)". RCS vs SCCS: How do the interfaces compare?. [RCS ...] is more intuitive and consistent
  4. ^ "Changes", SVN, Collab Net, archived from the original on October 25, 2008

External links[edit]