Fossil Home Page

Fossil: Simple, high-reliability, distributed software configuration management

Why Use Fossil?

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There are plenty of open-source version control systems available on the internet these days. What makes Fossil worthy of attention?

  1. Bug Tracking And Wiki - In addition to doing distributed version control like Git and Mercurial, Fossil also supports distributed bug tracking and distributed wiki all in a single integrated package.
  1. Web Interface - Fossil has a built-in and easy-to-use web interface that simplifies project tracking and promotes situational awareness. Simply type "fossil ui" from within any check-out and Fossil automatically opens your web browser in a page that gives detailed history and status information on that project.
  1. Autosync - Fossil supports "autosync" mode which helps to keep projects moving forward by reducing the amount of needless forking and merging often associated distributed projects.
  1. Self-Contained - Fossil is a single stand-alone executable that contains everything needed to do configuration management. Installation is trivial: simply download a precompiled binary for Linux, Mac, or Windows and put it on your $PATH. Easy-to-compile source code is available for users on other platforms. Fossil sources are also mostly self-contained, requiring only the "zlib" library and the standard C library to build.
  1. Simple Networking - Fossil uses plain old HTTP (with proxy support) for all network communications, meaning that it works fine from behind restrictive firewalls. The protocol is bandwidth efficient to the point that Fossil can be used comfortably over a dial-up internet connection.
  1. CGI Enabled - No server is required to use fossil. But a server does make collaboration easier. Fossil supports three different yet simple server configurations. The most popular is a 2-line CGI script. This is the approach used by the self-hosting fossil repositories.
  1. Robust & Reliable - Fossil stores content in an SQLite database so that transactions are atomic even if interrupted by a power loss or system crash. Furthermore, automatic self-checks verify that all aspects of the repository are consistent prior to each commit. In over two years of operation, no work has ever been lost after having been committed to a Fossil repository.

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