Start64!Version control is the art of managing changes to information. It has long been a critical tool for programmers, who typically spend their time making small changes to software and then undoing or checking some of those changes the next day. Imagine a team of such developers working concurrently - and perhaps even simultaneously on the very same files! - and you can see why a good system is needed to manage the potential chaos.

TortoiseSVN is a free open-source client for the Subversion version control system. That is, TortoiseSVN manages files and directories over time. Files are stored in a central repository. The repository is much like an ordinary file server, except that it remembers every change ever made to your files and directories. This allows you to recover older versions of your files and examine the history of how and when your data changed, and who changed it. This is why many people think of Subversion and version control systems in general as a sort of “time machine”.

Some version control systems are also software configuration management (SCM) systems. These systems are specifically tailored to manage trees of source code, and have many features that are specific to software development - such as natively understanding programming languages, or supplying tools for building software. Subversion, however, is not one of these systems; it is a general system that can be used to manage any collection of files, including source code.


TortoiseSVN x64 version
Shell integration


TortoiseSVN integrates seamlessly into the Windows shell (i.e. the explorer). This means you can keep working with the tools you're already familiar with. And you do not have to change into a different application each time you need functions of the version control!

And you are not even forced to use the Windows Explorer. TortoiseSVN's context menus work in many other file managers, and in the File/Open dialog which is common to most standard Windows applications. You should, however, bear in mind that TortoiseSVN is intentionally developed as extension for the Windows Explorer. Thus it is possible that in other applications the integration is not as complete and e.g. the icon overlays may not be shown.


TortoiseSVN x64 version


  • Icon overlays
    The status of every versioned file and folder is indicated by small overlay icons. That way you can see right away what the status of your working copy is.
  • Easy access to Subversion commands
    All Subversion commands are available from the explorer context menu. TortoiseSVN adds its own submenu there. Since TortoiseSVN is a Subversion client, we would also like to show you some of the features of Subversion itself:
  • Directory versioning
    CVS only tracks the history of individual files, but Subversion implements a “virtual” versioned filesystem that tracks changes to whole directory trees over time. Files and directories are versioned. As a result, there are real client-side move and copy commands that operate on files and directories.
  • Atomic commits
    A commit either goes into the repository completely, or not at all. This allows developers to construct and commit changes as logical chunks.
  • Versioned metadata
    Each file and directory has an invisible set of “properties” attached. You can invent and store any arbitrary key/value pairs you wish. Properties are versioned over time, just like file contents.
  • Choice of network layers
    Subversion has an abstracted notion of repository access, making it easy for people to implement new network mechanisms. Subversion's “advanced” network server is a module for the Apache web server, which speaks a variant of HTTP called WebDAV/DeltaV. This gives Subversion a big advantage in stability and interoperability, and provides various key features for free: authentication, authorization, wire compression, and repository browsing, for example. A smaller, standalone Subversion server process is also available. This server speaks a custom protocol which can be easily tunneled over ssh.
  • Consistent data handling
    Subversion expresses file differences using a binary differencing algorithm, which works identically on both text (human-readable) and binary (human-unreadable) files. Both types of files are stored equally compressed in the repository, and differences are transmitted in both directions across the network.
  • Efficient branching and tagging
    The cost of branching and tagging need not be proportional to the project size. Subversion creates branches and tags by simply copying the project, using a mechanism similar to a hard-link. Thus these operations take only a very small, constant amount of time, and very little space in the repository.
  • Hackability
    Subversion has no historical baggage; it is implemented as a collection of shared C libraries with well-defined APIs. This makes Subversion extremely maintainable and usable by other applications and languages.


TortoiseSVN x64 version
TortoiseSVN - 64bit software

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