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IMPORTANT NOTE: although this page has a "" URL, this is not about gitolite. That's just an artifact of "" being translated to "" and so ALL my git related stuff gets carried over. Gitolite documentation has another /gitolite in the URL, so you can tell. My apologies for this confusion.

Git is a Distributed Version Control System. Most VCSs you know (like CVS, Subversion, Clearcase, Perforce, and VSS) are centralised. A Distributed VCS allows you to make frequent, local, commits to checkpoint your work while you're still perfecting the code -- you cannot do this with a centralised VCS.

These are my notes about git. I started writing them for my own understanding, almost like cheat sheets, but they may be useful for others also.

Looking for gitolite documentation? Click here.

Why git?

Why is git so popular? If you're just curious, but not curious enough to dig in like a developer, maybe this article, which I wrote in 2008, will help.

What is git?

If you want to understand git, we have slideshows.

  • an introduction to version control and the central concepts behind git -- for those who have never used any version control tool.
  • what makes git so powerful -- for those who know something about version control but not git.

git usage

In the "git usage" page you will find various tips and traps, information for command line and GUI users, Windows users, running a git server, plus a quick set of hints for people familiar with traditional VCSs like SVN and CVS.

These links show up several times a day on #git (the git channel on IRC)

Other write-ups

A whole bunch of other articles on git


Git and DVCS terminology

There are also some older articles and write-ups that may still be relevant and useful, but I have not revisited them for a while now. Caveat reader!


  1. Copyright Sitaram Chamarty, This documentation is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.