It is perfectly reasonable to consider the tip of git.git’s master stable.
The tip of 'master' is meant to be more stable than any tagged releases, and the users are encouraged to follow it.
Before a new feature is ever merged into master, it is reviewed on the mailing list and “cooked” (often for several weeks) in the pu and next branches that the developers regularly test and use.
Git’s version numbers work like this:
o----- major release: 1.7
/ o---- feature release: 1.7.3
/ / o--- maintenance release: 126.96.36.199
/ / /
Major releases often contain incompatible changes. Feature releases introduce new features. Maintenance releases contain bugfixes.
master is almost literally a merge of the latest maintenance release and the current accumulated features for the next feature release.
The output of
git --version is based on the output of git describe on the commit that was used to build the binary (see GIT-VERSION-GEN).
The output from git describe adds extra information to better “nail down” the specific version when you are based on a commit that is not explicitly tagged.
o------------- most recent reachable tag: 188.8.131.52
/ o--- 'g' + abbreviated object name of built commit: 6f10c
o---------- number of commits in built commit "on top" of tag: 164