Remote access computing

Revision Control Systems

Copyright 2011 by Stephen Vermeulen
Last updated: 2011 Mar 10

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General Information

CVS and Centralized Traditional Systems

Mercurial and Distributed Systems

The Mercurial revision control system is a distributed revision control system that is light weight, fast, easy to install and runs on many platforms. While it might not be as fast as GIT on Linux it appears to be faster than GIT on Windows (and is much easier to install on Windows). Despite it being designed for distributed use it is very useful as a basic revision control system for a single person. Placing an existing directory tree of files under revision control is as simple as issuing an hg init dirname (to identify the directory of interest and set up the mercurial tracking sub-directory) followed by a few hg add filename commands to identify the files that should be tracked. Then do an hg commit -m "some comment" to save the state of the files in the repository. You can then use hg clone to create new working copies of the directory for development or change tests, and use hg push or hg pull along with hg merge to move changes between the various working copies. If you have a USB drive that you carry working copies of files on you can readily use mercurial to keep these in sync with the master copies on your C: drive (and mercurial will merge changes for you, allowing you to make changes to the files on the USB drive or on your C: drive and sync the changes both ways).

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