Ver­sion Con­trol

Glossary term descrip­tion
  • Also known as
  • Version Control System/
  • VCS

Ver­sion Con­trol , also called Ver­sion Con­trol Sys­tem (VCS ), is a sys­tem that records changes to a file or set of files over time.

Ver­sion con­trol sys­tems allow peo­ple to go back to pre­vi­ous revi­sions of indi­vid­ual files. Any two revi­sions can be com­pared to view the changes between them. In this way, ver­sion con­trol keeps a his­tor­i­cally accu­rate and retriev­able log of a files' revi­sions.

While early ver­sion con­trol sys­tems might have been purely local, almost all mod­ern sys­tems use some form of dis­trib­uted stor­age. It may be a mas­ter server (like used by CVS or Sub­ver­sion) or using a mesh of dis­trib­uted servers (like Git or Mer­cu­r­ial).

This allows a team of peo­ple - even in geo­graph­i­cally dis­parate loca­tions - to work together and col­lab­o­rate on a devel­op­ment pro­ject over the Inter­net or pri­vate net­work by merg­ing their changes into the same source repos­i­tory.