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. Git is easy to learn and has a tiny footprint with lightning fast performance. It outclasses SCM tools like Subversion, CVS, Perforce, and ClearCase with features like cheap local branching, convenient staging areas, and multiple workflows.
What’s New on Git 2.33.0?
Git 2.33 Release Notes ====================== Updates since Git 2.32 ---------------------- UI, Workflows & Features * "git send-email" learned the "--sendmail-cmd" command line option and the "sendemail.sendmailCmd" configuration variable, which is a more sensible approach than the current way of repurposing the "smtp-server" that is meant to name the server to instead name the command to talk to the server. * The userdiff pattern for C# learned the token "record". * "git rev-list" learns to omit the "commit <object-name>" header lines from the output with the `--no-commit-header` option. * "git worktree add --lock" learned to record why the worktree is locked with a custom message. Performance, Internal Implementation, Development Support etc. * The code to handle the "--format" option in "for-each-ref" and friends made too many string comparisons on %(atom)s used in the format string, which has been corrected by converting them into enum when the format string is parsed. * Use the hashfile API in the codepath that writes the index file to reduce code duplication. * Repeated rename detections in a sequence of mergy operations have been optimized out for the 'ort' merge strategy. * Preliminary clean-up of tests before the main reftable changes hits the codebase. * The backend for "diff -G/-S" has been updated to use pcre2 engine when available. * Use ".DELETE_ON_ERROR" pseudo target to simplify our Makefile. * Code cleanup around struct_type_init() functions. * "git send-email" optimization. * GitHub Actions / CI update. (merge 0dc787a9f2 js/ci-windows-update later to maint). * Object accesses in repositories with many alternate object store have been optimized. * "git log" has been optimized not to waste cycles to load ref decoration data that may not be needed. * Many "printf"-like helper functions we have have been annotated with __attribute__() to catch placeholder/parameter mismatches. * Tests that cover protocol bits have been updated and helpers used there have been consolidated. * The CI gained a new job to run "make sparse" check. * "git status" codepath learned to work with sparsely populated index without hydrating it fully. * A guideline for gender neutral documentation has been added. * Documentation on "git diff -l<n>" and diff.renameLimit have been updated, and the defaults for these limits have been raised. * The completion support used to offer alternate spelling of options that exist only for compatibility, which has been corrected. * "TEST_OUTPUT_DIRECTORY=there make test" failed to work, which has been corrected. * "git bundle" gained more test coverage. * "git read-tree" had a codepath where blobs are fetched one-by-one from the promisor remote, which has been corrected to fetch in bulk. * Rewrite of "git submodule" in C continues. * "git checkout" and "git commit" learn to work without unnecessarily expanding sparse indexes. Fixes since v2.32 ----------------- * We historically rejected a very short string as an author name while accepting a patch e-mail, which has been loosened. (merge 72ee47ceeb ef/mailinfo-short-name later to maint). * The parallel checkout codepath did not initialize object ID field used to talk to the worker processes in a futureproof way. * Rewrite code that triggers undefined behaviour warning. (merge aafa5df0df jn/size-t-casted-to-off-t-fix later to maint). * The description of "fast-forward" in the glossary has been updated. (merge e22f2daed0 ry/clarify-fast-forward-in-glossary later to maint). * Recent "git clone" left a temporary directory behind when the transport layer returned an failure. (merge 6aacb7d861 jk/clone-clean-upon-transport-error later to maint). * "git fetch" over protocol v2 left its side of the socket open after it finished speaking, which unnecessarily wasted the resource on the other side. (merge ae1a7eefff jk/fetch-pack-v2-half-close-early later to maint). * The command line completion (in contrib/) learned that "git diff" takes the "--anchored" option. (merge d1e7c2cac9 tb/complete-diff-anchored later to maint). * "git-svn" tests assumed that "locale -a", which is used to pick an available UTF-8 locale, is available everywhere. A knob has been introduced to allow testers to specify a suitable locale to use. (merge 482c962de4 dd/svn-test-wo-locale-a later to maint). * Update "git subtree" to work better on Windows. (merge 77f37de39f js/subtree-on-windows-fix later to maint). * Remove multimail from contrib/ (merge f74d11471f js/no-more-multimail later to maint). * Make the codebase MSAN clean. (merge 4dbc55e87d ah/uninitialized-reads-fix later to maint). * Work around inefficient glob substitution in older versions of bash by rewriting parts of a test. (merge eb87c6f559 jx/t6020-with-older-bash later to maint). * Avoid duplicated work while building reachability bitmaps. (merge aa9ad6fee5 jk/bitmap-tree-optim later to maint). * We broke "GIT_SKIP_TESTS=t?000" to skip certain tests in recent update, which got fixed. * The side-band demultiplexer that is used to display progress output from the remote end did not clear the line properly when the end of line hits at a packet boundary, which has been corrected. * Some test scripts assumed that readlink(1) was universally installed and available, which is not the case. (merge 7c0afdf23c jk/test-without-readlink-1 later to maint). * Recent update to completion script (in contrib/) broke those who use the __git_complete helper to define completion to their custom command. (merge cea232194d fw/complete-cmd-idx-fix later to maint). * Output from some of our tests were affected by the width of the terminal that they were run in, which has been corrected by exporting a fixed value in the COLUMNS environment. (merge c49a177bec ab/fix-columns-to-80-during-tests later to maint). * On Windows, mergetool has been taught to find kdiff3.exe just like it finds winmerge.exe. (merge 47eb4c6890 ms/mergetools-kdiff3-on-windows later to maint). * When we cannot figure out how wide the terminal is, we use a fallback value of 80 ourselves (which cannot be avoided), but when we run the pager, we export it in COLUMNS, which forces the pager to use the hardcoded value, even when the pager is perfectly capable to figure it out itself. Stop exporting COLUMNS when we fall back on the hardcoded default value for our own use. (merge 9b6e2c8b98 js/stop-exporting-bogus-columns later to maint). * "git cat-file --batch-all-objects"" misbehaved when "--batch" is in use and did not ask for certain object traits. (merge ee02ac6164 zh/cat-file-batch-fix later to maint). * Some code and doc clarification around "git push". * The "union" conflict resultion variant misbehaved when used with binary merge driver. (merge 382b601acd jk/union-merge-binary later to maint). * Prevent "git p4" from failing to submit changes to binary file. (merge 54662d5958 dc/p4-binary-submit-fix later to maint). * "git grep --and -e foo" ought to have been diagnosed as an error but instead segfaulted, which has been corrected. (merge fe7fe62d8d rs/grep-parser-fix later to maint). * The merge code had funny interactions between content based rename detection and directory rename detection. (merge 3585d0ea23 en/merge-dir-rename-corner-case-fix later to maint). * When rebuilding the multi-pack index file reusing an existing one, we used to blindly trust the existing file and ended up carrying corrupted data into the updated file, which has been corrected. (merge f89ecf7988 tb/midx-use-checksum later to maint). * Update the location of system-side configuration file on Windows. (merge e355307692 js/gfw-system-config-loc-fix later to maint). * Code recently added to support common ancestry negotiation during "git push" did not sanity check its arguments carefully enough. (merge eff40457a4 ab/fetch-negotiate-segv-fix later to maint). * Update the documentation not to assume users are of certain gender and adds to guidelines to do so. (merge 46a237f42f ds/gender-neutral-doc later to maint). * "git commit --allow-empty-message" won't abort the operation upon an empty message, but the hint shown in the editor said otherwise. (merge 6f70f00b4f hj/commit-allow-empty-message later to maint). * The code that gives an error message in "git multi-pack-index" when no subcommand is given tried to print a NULL pointer as a strong, which has been corrected. (merge 88617d11f9 tb/reverse-midx later to maint). * CI update. (merge a066a90db6 js/ci-check-whitespace-updates later to maint). * Documentation fix for "git pull --rebase=no". (merge d3236becec fc/pull-no-rebase-merges-theirs-into-ours later to maint). * A race between repacking and using pack bitmaps has been corrected. (merge dc1daacdcc jk/check-pack-valid-before-opening-bitmap later to maint). * The local changes stashed by "git merge --autostash" were lost when the merge failed in certain ways, which has been corrected. * Windows rmdir() equivalent behaves differently from POSIX ones in that when used on a symbolic link that points at a directory, the target directory gets removed, which has been corrected. (merge 3e7d4888e5 tb/mingw-rmdir-symlink-to-directory later to maint). * Other code cleanup, docfix, build fix, etc. (merge bfe35a6165 ah/doc-describe later to maint). (merge f302c1e4aa jc/clarify-revision-range later to maint). (merge 3127ff90ea tl/fix-packfile-uri-doc later to maint). (merge a84216c684 jk/doc-color-pager later to maint). (merge 4e0a64a713 ab/trace2-squelch-gcc-warning later to maint). (merge 225f7fa847 ps/rev-list-object-type-filter later to maint). (merge 5317dfeaed dd/honor-users-tar-in-tests later to maint). (merge ace6d8e3d6 tk/partial-clone-repack-doc later to maint). (merge 7ba68e0cf1 js/trace2-discard-event-docfix later to maint). (merge 8603c419d3 fc/doc-default-to-upstream-config later to maint). (merge 1d72b604ef jk/revision-squelch-gcc-warning later to maint). (merge abcb66c614 ar/typofix later to maint). (merge 9853830787 ah/graph-typofix later to maint). (merge aac578492d ab/config-hooks-path-testfix later to maint). (merge 98c7656a18 ar/more-typofix later to maint). (merge 6fb9195f6c jk/doc-max-pack-size later to maint). (merge 4184cbd635 ar/mailinfo-memcmp-to-skip-prefix later to maint). (merge 91d2347033 ar/doc-libera-chat-in-my-first-contrib later to maint). (merge 338abb0f04 ab/cmd-foo-should-return later to maint). (merge 546096a5cb ab/xdiff-bug-cleanup later to maint). (merge b7b793d1e7 ab/progress-cleanup later to maint). (merge d94f9b8e90 ba/object-info later to maint). (merge 52ff891c03 ar/test-code-cleanup later to maint). (merge a0538e5c8b dd/document-log-decorate-default later to maint). (merge ce24797d38 mr/cmake later to maint). (merge 9eb542f2ee ab/pre-auto-gc-hook-test later to maint). (merge 9fffc38583 bk/doc-commit-typofix later to maint). (merge 1cf823d8f0 ks/submodule-cleanup later to maint). (merge ebbf5d2b70 js/config-mak-windows-pcre-fix later to maint). (merge 617480d75b hn/refs-iterator-peel-returns-boolean later to maint). (merge 6a24cc71ed ar/submodule-helper-include-cleanup later to maint). (merge 5632e838f8 rs/khash-alloc-cleanup later to maint). (merge b1d87fbaf1 jk/typofix later to maint). (merge e04170697a ab/gitignore-discovery-doc later to maint). (merge 8232a0ff48 dl/packet-read-response-end-fix later to maint). (merge eb448631fb dl/diff-merge-base later to maint). (merge c510928a25 hn/refs-debug-empty-prefix later to maint). (merge ddcb189d9d tb/bitmap-type-filter-comment-fix later to maint). (merge 878b399734 pb/submodule-recurse-doc later to maint). (merge 734283855f jk/config-env-doc later to maint). (merge 482e1488a9 ab/getcwd-test later to maint). (merge f0b922473e ar/doc-markup-fix later to maint).
Branching and Merging
The Git feature that really makes it stand apart from nearly every other SCM out there is its branching model.
Git allows and encourages you to have multiple local branches that can be entirely independent of each other. The creation, merging, and deletion of those lines of development takes seconds.
This means that you can do things like:
- Frictionless Context Switching. Create a branch to try out an idea, commit a few times, switch back to where you branched from, apply a patch, switch back to where you are experimenting, and merge it in.
- Role-Based Codelines. Have a branch that always contains only what goes to production, another that you merge work into for testing, and several smaller ones for day to day work.
- Feature Based Workflow. Create new branches for each new feature you’re working on so you can seamlessly switch back and forth between them, then delete each branch when that feature gets merged into your main line.
- Disposable Experimentation. Create a branch to experiment in, realize it’s not going to work, and just delete it – abandoning the work—with nobody else ever seeing it (even if you’ve pushed other branches in the meantime).
Small and Fast
Git is fast. With Git, nearly all operations are performed locally, giving it a huge speed advantage on centralized systems that constantly have to communicate with a server somewhere.
Git was built to work on the Linux kernel, meaning that it has had to effectively handle large repositories from day one. Git is written in C, reducing the overhead of runtimes associated with higher-level languages. Speed and performance has been a primary design goal of the Git from the start.
Let’s see how common operations stack up against Subversion, a common centralized version control system that is similar to CVS or Perforce. Smaller is faster.
One of the nicest features of any Distributed SCM, Git included, is that it’s distributed. This means that instead of doing a “checkout” of the current tip of the source code, you do a “clone” of the entire repository.
This means that even if you’re using a centralized workflow, every user essentially has a full backup of the main server. Each of these copies could be pushed up to replace the main server in the event of a crash or corruption. In effect, there is no single point of failure with Git unless there is only a single copy of the repository.
Because of Git’s distributed nature and superb branching system, an almost endless number of workflows can be implemented with relative ease.
A centralized workflow is very common, especially from people transitioning from a centralized system. Git will not allow you to push if someone has pushed since the last time you fetched, so a centralized model where all developers push to the same server works just fine.
The data model that Git uses ensures the cryptographic integrity of every bit of your project. Every file and commit is checksummed and retrieved by its checksum when checked back out. It’s impossible to get anything out of Git other than the exact bits you put in.
Unlike the other systems, Git has something called the “staging area” or “index”. This is an intermediate area where commits can be formatted and reviewed before completing the commit.
One thing that sets Git apart from other tools is that it’s possible to quickly stage some of your files and commit them without committing all of the other modified files in your working directory or having to list them on the command line during the commit.
Free and Open Source
Git is released under the GNU General Public License version 2.0, which is an open source license. The Git project chose to use GPLv2 to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software—to make sure the software is free for all its users.
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