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Free Tools: Subversion, TortoiseSVN, VisualSVN

I'm sure that by now, mentioning these three tools is almost redundant, but even if you're working on a single computer on your own, Subversion lets you have as much (or as little) source control as you want. Subversion is ridiculously easy to install and start running.

After installing Subversion on the computer that holds your repository, add TortoiseSVN to give you source control from Windows Explorer on whatever computer(s) you have files you care about. To connect the two, copy the URL for your Subversion installation (it's available from a context menu) and paste it into the dialog box that pops up when you start TortoiseSVN. To integrate with Visual Studio, shut down Visual Studio and install VisualSVN. When you start Visual Studio backup, go to your new VisualSVN menu to connect your project to your repository.

It's all free and takes only a few minutes to download, install, and start saving your work to a central repository that will manage your code and its versions.

That's just the simplest installation. If you don't like VisualSVN, there are several other tools for integrating with Visual Studio. Several of my friends speak highly of AnkhSVN, for instance, which is always free, while VisualSVN is only free under some scenarios.

I work on a single laptop with multiple virtual machines (typically one VM for each client/project). I have the Subversion server running on my host machine, and connect to it from each of my VMs, with a separate Subversion repository for each VM. When I switched over to Subversion I probably spent as much time adding the repository to my laptop's backup plans as I did installing the three packages.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 10/30/2013 at 10:00 AM

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