I've recently decided to jump into the whole world of revision control to work on some open source projects I have. I looked around (subversion, mercurial, git, etc) and found that Git seemed to make more sense conceptually to me. I've set everything up on my computer (opensuse) and made an account on gitorious (let me know if there is a more simple/better hosting provider).

I understand Git from a conceptual point of view (work locally, commit to a local repo, others can now checkout from you, right?). But where does gitorious come into play? I commit to them as well as committing locally?

Apart from conceptually, I don't quite understand HOW it works when it comes to making a local repository and running git init inside a folder and that HEAD file. Keep in mind I have never used any form of revision control ever before. So even the most basic concepts are foreign to me.

As I post this, I'm also reading up and trying to figure it out myself.

  • Git is really powerfull. Good choice. One of my friend use github as hosting provider, I heard from him, that github is a really good provider. Jun 23, 2011 at 13:22

3 Answers 3


About hosting providers, I don't see any advantages that gitorious has over github while github has issues tracker and (most important) great community.

I'd suggest you to read git tutorial such as gitref.org.

When you run git init git basically creates hidden .git directory where it stores all metadata, configs, history and so on.

Gitorious is place where you publish your code. Distributed version control system is usually 2-tier: your local repo and remote repo. After commiting to local repo you push your code to remote repo and people usually clone (or pull) it from there. Even if you work on the code alone, sites such as gitorious and github may serve you as 'cloud backup' but their main purpose is collaboration between developers.

  • That's what I'm going to be using it for mostly (single user editing). I'll read that tutorial too. Thanks
    – nopcorn
    Jun 23, 2011 at 13:15

Search the Internet for a Blog essay called "The Git Parable". It captures and explains the core ideas of Git's architecture and inner workings in the most comprehensive way.


The Pro Git book has a good introduction that explains how git works and the concepts behind it. A site such as github or gitorious hosts your code and makes it easy to share it or work on it with others.

For comparisons between gitorious and github, look here.

I would recommend using github since almost everyone uses.

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