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Subversion (SVN) used to be the preeminent open source version control system, but it is rapidly being replaced by Git. If you are already using SVN, by all means stay with it. It's still an excellent and reliable system, provided you have an SVN server.

However, you should also know that Subversion is on the way out. There are now fewer maintained SVN distributions and hosting solutions, because the world is switching to Git. If you are just getting started, we strongly recommend choosing Git. It is now firmly established as the leading system, with excellent free hosting solutions for your central repository like GitHub and Bitbucket.

About Subversion

Unlike Git, which is peer-to-peer, SVN uses a client-server architecture. There are always two software components: The server software that manages the central master copy of your project, and the client software on the user's computers, which manages the synchronization with the central master copy.

Because of this, working with SVN requires a server configured to run the SVN server software. There are a number of different weays to get this set up, depending on your facilities and requirements. See SVN Components for details.

Changes for SVN users in Help+Manual 9

Use the latest versions of SVN and Tortoise SVN

Help+Manual 9 now integrates with SVN via the standard command line interface, via fully editable scripts. This eliminates the need to have the runtime components provided by client packages like Tortoise SVN and Collabnet. Because of this, you can now always uses the latest SVN server system and install the latest version of Tortoise SVN. You also no longer need to install the additional runtime components from Collabnet, which has closed down its SVN operations.

You now need to get your working copy outside of Help+Manual

It is not currently possible to create local working copies via the command line interface from within Help+Manual. You need to do this outside of Help+Manual. See the guides in this chapter for details.

External conflict editing

Similarly, you now need to set up an external tool for editing conflicts. We recommend the excellent free WinMerge program, which comes with full support for SVN. Here too, see this guide for details.

Status icons are no longer displayed in the TOC

Finally, command line integration with SVN cannot support the status icons that used to be displayed in the Table of Contents within Help+Manual.