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Git vs TortoiseSVN: What are the differences?

Git and TortoiseSVN are both version control systems used for managing changes in computer files. While they serve the same purpose, there are several key differences between the two.

  1. Architecture: Git is a distributed version control system, meaning that each user has a complete copy of the repository. This enables users to work offline and have access to the full history of the project. On the other hand, TortoiseSVN is a centralized version control system, where a central server manages the repository and users have a local working copy.

  2. Branching and Merging: Git has more advanced branching and merging capabilities compared to TortoiseSVN. Git allows for lightweight and efficient branch creation, which makes it easier to work on multiple tasks simultaneously. It also has powerful merging algorithms that can intelligently handle complex merges. TortoiseSVN, while it does support branching and merging, has a more linear approach and its merging capabilities are not as robust as Git's.

  3. Performance: Git is known for its speed and efficiency. It uses a compressed binary format to store files and their history, which results in faster operations and a smaller repository size. TortoiseSVN, on the other hand, uses a centralized approach and can be slower for larger repositories or when dealing with lots of branches and merges.

  4. Workflow: Git follows a flexible and decentralized workflow that allows for more independent and parallel development. Each developer can work on their own branch and easily integrate changes with others. TortoiseSVN, being centralized, requires developers to commit their changes to the main repository frequently and rely on the central server for synchronization.

  5. User Interface: TortoiseSVN provides a graphical user interface (GUI) that integrates with Windows Explorer, making it easy to perform version control operations directly from the file manager. Git, on the other hand, primarily operates through the command line interface (CLI), although there are GUI tools available such as GitKraken and SourceTree.

  6. Client-Server Model: TortoiseSVN relies on a client-server model, where a central server manages the repository and controls access to it. Users need to connect to the server to perform version control operations. Git, on the other hand, can be used even in a peer-to-peer manner, allowing users to clone, work on branches, and make commits locally without the need for a central server.

In summary, Git is a distributed version control system with more advanced features and faster performance, while TortoiseSVN is a centralized system with a user-friendly GUI.

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Pros of Git
Pros of TortoiseSVN
  • 1.4K
    Distributed version control system
  • 1.1K
    Efficient branching and merging
  • 959
  • 845
    Open source
  • 726
    Better than svn
  • 368
    Great command-line application
  • 306
  • 291
  • 232
    Easy to use
  • 222
    Does not require server
  • 27
  • 22
    Small & Fast
  • 18
    Feature based workflow
  • 15
    Staging Area
  • 13
    Most wide-spread VSC
  • 11
    Role-based codelines
  • 11
    Disposable Experimentation
  • 7
    Frictionless Context Switching
  • 6
    Data Assurance
  • 5
  • 4
    Just awesome
  • 3
    Github integration
  • 3
    Easy branching and merging
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
    Possible to lose history and commits
  • 1
    Rebase supported natively; reflog; access to plumbing
  • 1
  • 1
    Team Integration
  • 1
    Fast, scalable, distributed revision control system
  • 1
  • 1
    Flexible, easy, Safe, and fast
  • 1
    CLI is great, but the GUI tools are awesome
  • 1
    It's what you do
  • 0
  • 1
    Easy to use

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Cons of Git
Cons of TortoiseSVN
  • 16
    Hard to learn
  • 11
    Inconsistent command line interface
  • 9
    Easy to lose uncommitted work
  • 7
    Worst documentation ever possibly made
  • 5
    Awful merge handling
  • 3
    Unexistent preventive security flows
  • 3
    Rebase hell
  • 2
    When --force is disabled, cannot rebase
  • 2
    Ironically even die-hard supporters screw up badly
  • 1
    Doesn't scale for big data
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    What is Git?

    Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.

    What is TortoiseSVN?

    It is an Apache™ Subversion (SVN)® client, implemented as a Windows shell extension. It's intuitive and easy to use, since it doesn't require the Subversion command line client to run. And it is free to use, even in a commercial environment.

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    What companies use TortoiseSVN?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Git or TortoiseSVN.
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    Blog Posts

    Mar 24 2021 at 12:57PM


    Mar 4 2020 at 5:14PM


    What are some alternatives to Git and TortoiseSVN?
    GitHub is the best place to share code with friends, co-workers, classmates, and complete strangers. Over three million people use GitHub to build amazing things together.
    SVN (Subversion)
    Subversion exists to be universally recognized and adopted as an open-source, centralized version control system characterized by its reliability as a safe haven for valuable data; the simplicity of its model and usage; and its ability to support the needs of a wide variety of users and projects, from individuals to large-scale enterprise operations.
    Bitbucket gives teams one place to plan projects, collaborate on code, test and deploy, all with free private Git repositories. Teams choose Bitbucket because it has a superior Jira integration, built-in CI/CD, & is free for up to 5 users.
    Visibility, access control, workflow and code management for Git environments. Flexibility of collaborating on the same codebase and code reviews using any combination of Perforce and Git workflows and tools without compromise.
    Mercurial is dedicated to speed and efficiency with a sane user interface. It is written in Python. Mercurial's implementation and data structures are designed to be fast. You can generate diffs between revisions, or jump back in time within seconds.
    See all alternatives