Best free and open source tools for SCM for software developers

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As a software developer, you know that keeping track of your code changes and collaborating with other developers is crucial to the success of any project. That’s where Source Control Management (SCM) tools come into play. But with so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your team. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the best free and open source SCM tools available today! From GIT to Mercurial, read on to discover which tool is perfect for your development needs.

What is SCM?

Source Control Management, or SCM for short, is a vital part of the software development process. It refers to the management of changes made to source code over time. In other words, it’s all about keeping track of who changed what and when.

SCM tools make it easy for developers to collaborate on coding projects without stepping on each other’s toes. With an SCM system in place, team members can work simultaneously on different parts of the same codebase and merge their changes together seamlessly.

A good SCM tool will allow you to keep track of all changes made to your codebase, from minor bug fixes to major feature additions. This can be incredibly helpful when trying to debug issues that arise down the line.

Implementing an effective SCM strategy is crucial for any software development team looking to streamline their workflow and increase productivity. By using one of these free and open source tools we’ll discuss below, your team can stay organized and efficient throughout every stage of development!


GIT is a widely used distributed version control system (DVCS) that helps software developers to manage their source code efficiently. One of the key features of GIT is its ability to handle large projects with multiple contributors and branches. With GIT, developers can easily collaborate on projects without worrying about version conflicts or losing data.

One advantage of using GIT is its speed – it’s known for being incredibly fast when it comes to committing changes, creating branches, and merging code. This makes it ideal for both small and large-scale development projects.

Another benefit of using GIT is its flexibility. It supports a wide range of workflows, including centralized, decentralized, and hybrid approaches. This means that developers can choose the workflow that works best for their team’s needs.

Since GIT is an open-source tool maintained by a large community of developers around the world, there are always resources available online if you need help troubleshooting issues or optimizing your workflow.

If you’re working on a software development project with multiple contributors and want an efficient way to manage your source code while minimizing the risk of conflicts or lost data – give GIT a try!


SVN, or Subversion, is a free and open-source version control system that has been widely used by software developers. It was first released in 2000 and has since become one of the most popular SCM tools available.

One of SVN’s biggest advantages is its simplicity. Unlike other version control systems like Git, SVN operates on a centralized model, which means that all files are stored in one central repository. This makes it easier to manage code changes across multiple developers.

Another advantage of SVN is its support for atomic commits. This means that when you commit changes to the repository, either all the changes are accepted or none at all – there’s no middle ground.

In addition to these features, SVN also offers powerful branching and merging capabilities. Developers can easily create new branches from existing code bases and merge them back into the main trunk once they’re ready.

While SVN may not be as flashy as some of its competitors like Git or Mercurial, it remains a reliable choice for teams who value stability and ease-of-use over cutting-edge features.


Mercurial is another free and open-source tool for software configuration management(SCM) that was designed to handle large distributed projects with high performance. It’s a cross-platform tool that works on Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems.

One of the key benefits of using Mercurial is its ease of use as it comes with a straightforward command-line interface and an intuitive GUI-based user interface called TortoiseHg. These interfaces allow developers to manage their source code repositories easily.

Additionally, Mercurial also offers support for various workflows such as branching and merging, which makes team collaboration much more manageable. With its built-in web server feature, teams can access their shared repositories remotely from anywhere in the world.

Furthermore, Mercurial has excellent scalability capabilities due to its decentralized architecture which allows multiple users to work on different parts of the project simultaneously without interfering with each other’s progress.

Mercurial is an excellent choice for developers who are looking for a powerful yet easy-to-use SCM tool that provides robust version control features along with efficient team collaboration capabilities.


Bazaar is an open-source distributed version control system that was developed by Canonical Ltd. It uses a decentralized model where each developer has their own repository, and changes are shared between them through merging. This makes it easier for developers to collaborate on projects, even if they are not physically in the same location.

One of the advantages of Bazaar is that it is very easy to learn and use. The commands are simple and intuitive. This makes it ideal for beginners who may be intimidated by other version control systems like Git or SVN.

Another advantage of Bazaar is its flexibility. It can work with a variety of different workflows, including centralized, decentralized or hybrid models. This means that developers have more options when it comes to managing their codebase.

Bazaar also supports multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. This means that developers can use the tool regardless of which operating system they prefer.

Bazaar is an excellent choice for software developers who value simplicity and flexibility in their version control system. Its ease-of-use and versatility make it a great option for both individuals and teams working on small or large-scale projects alike.


Software developers have a variety of options when it comes to choosing the best free and open source tools for SCM. GIT, SVN, Mercurial, and Bazaar are all popular choices that offer unique features and benefits.

GIT is known for its speed and flexibility while SVN offers stability and easy management of large files. Mercurial has a simple interface with powerful branching capabilities, making it perfect for larger projects. Bazaar is highly adaptable with strong support from its community.

Ultimately, the choice between these SCM tools will depend on your specific needs as a developer or development team. However, by using any one of these free tools you can help streamline your workflow. Moreover, you can also collaborate more effectively on software projects.

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