Git FAQ

Frequently asked questions around Git and Version Control.

Git vs. GitHub: What is the Difference?

Especially after Microsoft's acquisition of GitHub Inc., the terms "GitHub" and "Git" have become ubiquitous. And while they are sometimes used as synonyms, they really are not! In this article, we'll explain what the difference between GitHub and Git is.

Git: A Version Control System

Git is a version control system, originally created by Linus Torvalds (the inventor of the Linux operating system) in 2005. Git itself is Open Source software and not associated or exclusive to a certain company or product (like GitHub). Today, Git is the most popular version control tool and used my millions of software developers around the world.

For a more detailed explanation on what version control is, check out our free video course on Learning Version Control with Git, especially the first episode named "What is Version Control?".

GitHub: A Code Hosting Platform

GitHub is a code hosting provider and a commercial, for-profit company started in 2008 and acquired by Microsoft in 2018. It builds on the Git version control system to store code safely in the cloud and provide easy collaboration among software development teams.

GitHub is the most popular among many different code hosting services that work with Git. Take a look at this overview of the most important code hosting service providers for more information and a comparison.

Git + GitHub Together

Since Git is the most popular version control system these days, many software developers use it in their work. Git itself is used on the local computer of a user to manage and keep track of changes in a project over time.

To collaborate (and also to simply store their code on a server), software teams then need to pick a code hosting platform. GitHub is the most popular among many options; GitLab, Bitbucket, and Azure DevOps are other popular options.

Learn More

If you want to learn more about Git and GitHub, there is a free video series aimed at beginners of Git and version control:

About Us

As the makers of Tower, the best Git client for Mac and Windows, we help over 100,000 users in companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, Twitter, and Ebay get the most out of Git.

Just like with Tower, our mission with this platform is to help people become better professionals.

That's why we provide our guides, videos, and cheat sheets (about version control with Git and lots of other topics) for free.