What is Git?
From its website, Git is defined as a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.
Version Control System? What does that even mean?
You can see Git as a Dropbox for your programming projects. You have an online backup, where other team members can change stuff. And every change is recorded, so you can go back on time very easily, accessing any previous version.
What is not Git?
A very common mistake I see from new users is the confusion between Git and GitHub. And what’s the difference?
Well, if you have a project under Git, you have access to all those functionalities like the rollback to another version. But if you want to have an online backup, you need to keep your project on an accessible server (like Dropbox website). That way, you can send your work to the server, clean your computer, and still be able to download a copy of your work and continue from where you left.
But setting up a (Git) server can be a lot of work. And some of us don’t have the possibility of taking care of a personal server. Well, GitHub can be seen as a Git server as a service. You register, and you can configure your project to be hosted on GitHub (free and paid plans available of course).
Difference between Git and Github :
Git is a revision control system, a tool to manage your source code history.
GitHub is a hosting service for Git repositories.
So they are not the same thing: Git is the tool, GitHub is the service for projects that use Git.
GitHub has become the most known and used Git Server, but there are also other alternatives:
- Bitbucket developed by Atlassian. Has some differences in the pricing, and good integrations with many other Atlassian products.
- Gitlab is the open source solution for hosting your Git projects. This means you can see the code used to run the GitLab platform, as well as contributing to solve bugs or introduce new features.
- Other newer/smaller solutions are always appearing, just google by yourself if you are interested.