GNU arch

GNU arch is a software for distributed version control. Version management systems are used and others, to save the changes to the source code of a program and to give developers the opportunity to work one time.

The last release was published on 20 July 2006. The last change in the code repository was held on 15 February 2008.


GNU arch takes a slightly different approach than most other version control. Each revision, that is, change the source code is clearly identifiable. This reunification of itself completely disparate source trees are possible.

GNU arch surgery decentralized, which means that there is no need for a central server with separate user management. Instead, a so-called head- Developers, so a developer in a central position in the project to make a copy of the project via HTTP, FTP, SFTP, or any other protocol that is suitable for file transfer available. Developers who want to work on the project to bring these copies and make their changes, which are sent back to the head- Developer and be entered by him in the official source tree.

To mimic the behavior of a centralized version control system, the Head Developer could provide the co-developers eg Shell access via SSH. These can modify the source code directly then upon successful authentication, write access to the file system.

Other features of GNU arch:

  • Atomic commits: A commit takes place only as a transaction, suggests some of the commits fail be taken back all changes. This guarantees consistent commits.
  • Orientation to changesets: GNU arch manages employer changesets, so changes to multiple files instead of individual files
  • Easy and advanced branching, ie, splitting and later joining source tree parts for simultaneous processing
  • Advanced Merging changesets
  • Cryptographic signatures for authentication
  • File and directory renaming ( a weakness of CVS)
  • Management of symbolic links


The main developer and administrator of GNU arch is Tom Lord. GNU arch is also sometimes called tla, an acronym for Tom Lord 's Arch Lord began with the development of GNU arch as a collection of shell scripts as an alternative to CVS. 2003 arch became a part of the GNU project.


The most common criticism of arch is its shallow learning curve, even for users who already have experience with other version control systems. Archs large number of commands can seem daunting to new users.

The somewhat unusual file naming convention Funky Filenames meeting criticism. Through them, the processing of arch files in shell scripts and porting arch is difficult to other operating systems. Even arch has a reputation, not very good to scale to large source trees.

Alternate Versions

ArX and Bazaar are splits ( forks ) of arch.