Difference Between Git and SVN

The version control system is a system that allows an individual to save files on the internet. These files can change as well. The version control system’s importance is that the files that are present in it are available to all individuals. Even the older versions of the files are current on the server and are accessible. 

Git vs SVN

The main difference between Git and SVN is that Git is an open-source distributed version control system. SVN is a central distributed version control system.  This means that Git offers an experience that one finds convenient while editing files on the server.

Git vs SVN

Comparison Between Git and SVN

Parameters of ComparisonGitSVN
BranchingThe branches in Git are easy to edit or delete. This process does not result in conflicts. The branches in the directory are a pain to work on. This difficulty is because this results in three conflicts.
StorageLarge binary files are difficult to store in these systems.Large binary files are easy to store, and they do not take as much place.
User FriendlyGit has a much more complicated interface and functionality. SVN has a more straightforward interface that one can use comfortably in a short period.
SpeedChanges can take place at a faster rate because of the easy branching.Editing a file on SVN can be challenging as it has a more rigid directory.
Saving changesA distributed system will include a local repository in which new files containing changes can be present. A centralized system includes a central server only, and hence changes are seen in the original file directly. 

What is Git? 

Git is an open-source system that works on the principle of distributed version controls. The fact that it is a distributed version control system implies that working with this system is much faster. When one creates changes in a file, it is present in a local repository. This repository is not on the central server. Therefore, two developers can work on a project without creating a change in the original file. After the desired changes are made, a developer can easily merge the new file with the old one. This can be a significant advantage as it allows an individual to possess  a flexible workflow. The fact that there are separate locations that contain regions for the changed files helps implies that one need not be online to create changes. In addition to this, in case the central server does crash, it will not affect the local repositories.

Git does have a few disadvantages as well.  Git cannot store large binary files in its repositories. 

It possesses the command line interface. This means that a developer can type in a single command into the interface as a response to any visual prompts. This feature may require individuals to learn new commands in order to interact with the interface. 

What is SVN?

SVN is also known as Subversion, is an open-source version control system. This system is maintained by a smaller group of individuals. Since it is a centralized system, the servers can store larger binary files.

When a developer who works on files through SVN will be creating changes to the file directly in the original file, this can make it hard for multiple developers to work on one file at different times. In essence, the SVN contains a single central repository only.

In addition to this, the SVN repository sees division into branches. These branches are part of the directory. This directory is rigid. Therefore, making changes in a file is not so seamless. To make this process harder, when a file sees changes, there is a high chance that conflicts will occur in the directory structure. This will inhibit a developer from creating the changes required.

Another disadvantage of having a central repository is that it will require a developer to be online at all times. This requirement implies that changes cannot be created in the file when the developer is offline.

One of the main advantages of this system is that it contains a large database of files that is accessible to the public. It saw its creation in 2004 , oneyear earlier than Git, and was one of its better-known version control systems.

It does have an interface that is easy to use. It also has a subversion tool known as Tortoise SVN. This tool finds use in creating a faster system. 

Main Differences Between Git and SVN

  1. SVN can store larger files in comparison to Git. 
  2. SVN uses centralized version control. This means that there will be a combination of the new files with the original file on the central server. 
  3. Git is faster as it shares its workload through a number of local repositories. SVN is slow as all developers work on the same central server and hence cannot offer a flexible workflow. 
  4. SVN has a more complex branching system. It involves working with a central directory. This is not the case with Git. It is much simpler to induce changes in files in this system. 
  5. Git uses local repositories that merge with the central repository later. Therefore, changes can be made later as well. SVN requires a developer to be online during the time of creating changes in the central repository. 


Although both the systems contain their challenges regarding functionality and convenience, Git seems to be the better option. These attributes can be seen because of their fast and efficient functioning. The fact that developers can work on a project easily on a local repository means that they will not have to depend on a central server’s working. So even if the central server crashes, an individual can continue working on the project. 

The dispersion of branching also allows changes to take place easily and without causing too many problems. The maintenance of Git is being carried out by a larger group of individuals in comparison to SVN. Therefore, it will have a smoother functioning.  


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/5069475/
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=aM7-Oxo3qdQC&oi=fnd&pg=PR3&dq=Git+and+SVN&ots=3augOHQfwb&sig=GgMkvxFvPtn0ShwHiV9CKNbK6FM
  3. http://www.avneeshsarwate.com/static/papers/EarSketch_Collab.pdf
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