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The ReleaseTEAM Blog: Here's what you need to know...

History of Git and Git Hosting Solutions

Git is a source control management (SCM) system created in 2005 by Linus Torvalds to manage distributed development of the Linux kernel. Some version control management systems that existed prior to Git were CVS, Subversion, and BitKeeper. BitKeeper was the commercial SCM used by Linux between 2002 and 2005.

Unlike its predecessors, Git is a free and open source solution developed for speed, support for non-linear development, and is fully distributed. Today, Git is used across all major operating systems and is the most popular source control system.

In a distributed version control system, each developer working on a codebase has the complete history of changes locally.  This allows them to work independently of each other, even offline, on branches. Git provides tools and logic for merging each developer’s branches back into the main branch.

Git can be difficult to learn for beginners, but most developers have experience with Git from school, boot camps, or professionally. Codecademy has a free, 10-hour beginner course here.

Let’s meet the top popular enterprise-grade Git repository hosting services:

2007: GitHub
GitHub is a Git repository hosting service that started in 2007. By July 2010, GitHub was hosting one million repositories. By the time Microsoft acquired GitHub in 2018, 25 million developers were contributing to over 85 million GitHub repositories. Today, GitHub is focusing on the Developer experience.

2008: BitBucket
BitBucket initially supported both Git and Mercurial source control. Atlassian acquired BitBucket in 2010. As of June 2020, BitBucket no longer supports Mercurial. As part of Atlassian’s race to the cloud, BitBucket has added Pipelines to its capabilities.

2011: GitLab
GitLab began with its first commit in 2011, but it did not become a full company until 2014. GitLab went public in October 2021. GitLab is now focused on becoming a complete DevOps toolchain.

Which Git should I choose?

Until three years ago, GitHub, GitLab, and BitBucket provided similar Git capabilities. Organizations could select one of these three tools reasonably interchangeably. Since then, these companies have expanded their scope beyond version control and repository hosting. We’ll take a deeper dive into each solution starting next month.

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