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Git vs GitHub: Useful Comparison of the 2 Version Controls

Git vs GitHub depicted with a scale

Git vs GitHub – what are the differences between these popular file management platforms?

While it is so tempting to believe Git and GitHub are the same company, the reality is that they are not. Indeed, it is possible to use Git without GitHub! Moreover, the two exist for different purposes.

This post will highlight five core differences between Git and GitHub without beating around the bush. So, let’s get straight in!

Difference 1: Git vs GitHub – Primary function

Git is a distributed version control system that records different versions of a file (or set of files). It lets users access, compare, update, and distribute any of the recorded version(s) at any time.

However, GitHub is mainly a hosting platform for hosting Git repositories online. It lets users keep their remote repository private or open for collaborative endeavors.

Difference 2: Git vs GitHub – Operation platform

Users install and operate Git on their local machines. This means that most of Git’s operations are achievable without the internet.

GitHub, however, is a web-based service that operates solely online. This means that you need the internet to do anything on GitHub.

Difference 3: Git vs GitHub – Inventors

Linus Torvalds began the development of Git on the 3rd of April 2005.

In contrast, Chris Wanstrath, P. J. Hyett, Tom Preston-Werner, and Scott Chacon founded GitHub.com on the 8th of February 2008.

Difference 4: Git vs GitHub – Maintainers

On the 26th of July 2005, Linus Torvalds turned over Git’s maintenance to Junio C. Hamano — who has been the chief maintainer since then.

However, Microsoft acquired GitHub on the 26th of October, 2018.

Difference 5: Git vs GitHub – Competitors

Popular alternatives to Git are Mercurial, Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC), Perforce Helix Core, Apache Subversion, and IBM Rational ClearCase.

However, GitHub’s closest competitors are GitLab, Bitbucket, SourceForge, Cloud Source Repositories, and AWS CodeCommit.

In summary

Git and GitHub are two different entities that users use to manage and host files.

In other words, Git serves to control file versions, while GitHub is a platform for hosting Git repositories.

Useful resources

Below are links to other content containing valuable information on Git and GitHub.


Featured Image: Scale by Arek Socha

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