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Differences Between Git and SVN

Updated May 29, 2019

SVN and Git are the world’s most popular version control systems used by programmers to store their code, share their code with other programmers, and help them work together more easily. It helps all the members of the software development team to keep track of the changes made to the project.

SVN also formally called the Apache Sub Version is used to store and manage the source code, documentation, and web pages. The SVN setup requires two elements:

  • The SVN server
  • The local files stored on the system.

Git is an open source version control system that is used in large and small-scale projects.

Git vs. SVN Comparison Chart

Basis of comparison



Server Architecture

It has no centralized server and repository. The software is installed in the workstation that works as a client and server.

It has a centralized server and repository. There is a separate server and client.

Storing Binary Files

Storing large binary files slow down the speed of the system.

When binary files are stored, only the local changes are checked out to the local systems. So, the process is faster.


The branding model is very effective as the branches are references to certain commits.  

The branching model is very complicated and time-consuming.

Access Controls

It is assumed that all the people working on the system have the same access permissions.

The read and write access permissions can be specified for the file and directory level.


This is less secure than SVN as it is distributed and the local repository’s history can be changed.

This is more secure as the data is stored in the server.


It tracks the changes in a repository level and the repositories have a limit of 100 GB.

The disk usage space is almost equal as Git and the changes are tracked at the file level.

Easy to learn

The framework is a little difficult to learn.

The framework is simpler to learn.


The Git content is stored in the form of metadata.

The content is stored as files.

Global revision number

There is no such feature for a global revision number.

It has a global revision number that is used for a snapshot of the source code.


The focus here is for revision tracking of the repository at a high speed.

The focus here is to maintain the current and historical version of the source code properly.

What is Git?

Git or GitHub is an open source and distributed version control system. The system is particularly useful when developers are working on large software projects that have many team members. In this type of projects, multiple programmers have to work simultaneously.

A distributed system leads to no or fewer code complications. They can also revert back to the older versions of the source code if the requirements of the project change. The code can be shared easily by downloading or cloning the files on the user’s system.

Advantages of Git

  • For complex projects, the same codebase needs to be shared with other programmers. The branching technique is very effective in this case.
  • It has a vast user base and prolific community support that helps to solve the issues faced by developers.
  • The documentation of the software is very neat and proper. For additional guidance, there are lots of videos, tutorials, and videos online.
  • To determine the version history and storage, Git focuses on the content of the files. This saves time and avoids confusion while renaming files.
  • The Git features enable the developers to release software products and updates more frequently, leading to faster release cycles.

What is SVN?

The Apache Subversion is a revision control system and software versioning system in 2000 by CollabNet Inc. It is a version control system that is centralized. This means that the central server stores the version history. For making any changes, the developer has to download or pull files on their own system. The files are transferred back to the central repository.

The SVN server contains all the source files. The code operations revolve around three important concepts tags, branches, and the trunk.

Advantages of SVN

The advantages of SVN are as follows:

  • As the code kept in the central repository, the important source code files can be protected from external access and misuse.
  • It provides flexibility to the users as every time a new change is made, it is recorded as a new version. The older version can be accessed again if required.
  • Branching is easier in SVN as all the branch files are laid out in front of the programmer, reducing the chances of making mistakes.
  • Working in SVN is faster as the synchronization has to be performed between the working files and the files that reside on the server.
  • Merging files is simple in SVN.


Both the systems Git and SVN are immensely used by developers. Although SVN may be easier to learn, for modern projects many developers are considering Git over SVN. This is because Git is a great tool for DevOps and automation. The community support for SVN is no longer vibrant. But for beginners, the SVN system is chosen over Git due to its simple syntax. When it comes to performance, the SVN client-server architecture is better than large codebases in Git. Hence, the systems need to be chosen based on the criteria of the user and the project requirements.