inside the mind of a linux admin

Source control != File system

If you find yourself wanting or considering checking binary files into your source control system (Git, SVN), you’re doing it wrong.

Source control is optimized for tracking changes to source files. When you have multiple revisions of a source file, the system has stored the original file and the changes between revisions. This is good.

When you check in a binary, you’re just keeping a separate copy of the binary for each revision. There’s not going to be any valid purpose or use case for seeing a bunch of binary garbage in source control. I’ve seen others do this, and I’ve even heard suggestions from colleagues within my own organization to do this. DON’T. It’s called source control for a reason, not binary control.

If you want a file system or a repository for your binaries, provision one. Using your source control system in this manner makes for a very expensive file system. You also don’t want to increase overhead and storage while decreasing performance of your source control system.

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