Is there a program for doing version tracking on your local computer, without using SVN/subversion or something on a remote server and without setting up a server on my computer?


I've always felt dumb for not "getting" Subversion. You can use it locally, but I never understood it well -- this is obviously a failing of mine, not Subversion's.

However, if you find yourself in the same boat, I recommend Git. I just set it up over the weekend for myself, and using GitX as the GUI (and with some Google help) I was able to get it working, committing, and change tracking pretty quickly. It's definitely not what I'm used to in the version control world (I come originally from Source Safe, and now Team Foundation Server, in my day job), but it's effective and a neat system.


You can use subversion locally. Create a repository, then use file:///path/to/repo as the URL for your repository; no server required.

  • 1
    Aw. You too use /file/to/repo on your machine ;) – Loïc Wolff Oct 19 '09 at 21:45
  • @dex - Heh. Comes from answering a lot of tech support questions in #trac ;) – retracile Oct 19 '09 at 21:48

The best solution for your question is Git. Once git is installed, enter the directory you want to control the versions and type:

git init
git add .
git commit -m "First commit"

Now you local version control is created. Everytime you alter your files and want to commit the changes, do:

git add .
git commit -a -m "message for your change"

To see your history, use gitx

  • git add . adds all files and is only necessary on an initial commit to (a non-empty) repository. git commit -a -m "message" will suffice if no new files have been added. – Bernard Oct 20 '09 at 0:58
  • And of course, git add $file adds a file to be commited. – Bernard Oct 20 '09 at 0:58

You can use Time Machine.

However, when you say

"without setting up a server on my computer"

It is not as bad as you make it sound with SVN, using file://

Just create you repository, checkout with svn co file:///path/to/repo and your done. There's no server running on the background.


Use a distributed version control system then.

You may choose between several of them (all of them are available on most platforms):


You can run a Subversion repository out of the box (with no server setting up) using Cornerstone.

It even has a 14 day free trial, so you can see if it meets your needs.

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