A Little Bit of Git History

A Brief History Lesson

In April 2005, Linus Torvalds, began development on Git, following some developer turmoil over the use of a certain proprietary source-control management software (BitKeeper). The father of Linux set off to build a distributed source control system that was both efficient and had built-in protection against corruption.

Linus is quite clever in his naming conventions and his code/projects generally contain injections of his personality. On naming Git, he stated:

I’m an egotistical bastard, and I name all my projects after myself. First ‘Linux’, now ‘git’.
-Linus Torvalds

A longer description of what the name means is unsurprisingly found at the bottom of the README file in the source code.

The name “git” was given by Linus Torvalds when he wrote the very first version. He described the tool as “the stupid content tracker” and the name as (depending on your mood):

  • random three-letter combination that is pronounceable, and not actually used by any common UNIX command. The fact that it is a mispronunciation of “get” may or may not be relevant.
  • stupid. contemptible and despicable. simple. Take your pick from the dictionary of slang.
  • “global information tracker”: you’re in a good mood, and it actually works for you. Angels sing, and a light suddenly fills the room.
  • “goddamn idiotic truckload of sh*t”: when it breaks