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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fossil simple, high-reliability, distributed software configuration management.

Fossil is a distributed version control system, bug tracking system and wiki software server for use in software development created by D. Richard Hipp.

Fossil is a cross-platform server that runs on Linux, Mac and Windows. It is capable of performing distributed version control, bug tracking, wiki services, and blogging. 

The software has a built-in web interface, which reduces project tracking complexity and promotes situational awareness. A user may simply type "fossil ui" from within any check-out and Fossil automatically opens the user's web browser in a page that gives detailed history and status information on that project.

Being distributed, Fossil requires no central server, although collaboration is made easier by using one.

Content is stored using a SQLite database so that transactions are atomic even if interrupted by a power loss or system crash.

Fossil is free software released under a BSD license[3] (previously GPL).

Fossil is used for version control by the SQLite project, which is itself a component of Fossil. SQLite transitioned to using Fossil for version control over CVS in September 2009.

Some examples of other projects using Fossil are:

There are plenty of open-source version control systems available on the internet these days. What makes Fossil worthy of attention?

Why Use Fossil?


  1. Bug Tracking And Wiki - In addition to doing distributed version control like Git and Mercurial, Fossil also supports distributed bug tracking, distributed wiki, and a distributed blog mechanism all in a single integrated package.
  1. Web Interface - Fossil has a built-in and easy-to-use web interface that simplifies project tracking and promotes situational awareness. Simply type "fossil ui" from within any check-out and Fossil automatically opens your web browser in a page that gives detailed graphical history and status information on that project.
This entire website (except the download page) is just a running instance of Fossil. The pages you see here are all wiki or embedded documentation. When you clone Fossil from one of its self-hosting repositories, you get more than just source code - you get this entire website.
  1. Autosync - Fossil supports "autosync" mode which helps to keep projects moving forward by reducing the amount of needless forking and merging often associated with distributed projects.
  1. Self-Contained - Fossil is a single stand-alone executable that contains everything needed to do configuration management. Installation is trivial: simply download a precompiled binary for Linux, Mac, or Windows and put it on your $PATH. Easy-to-compile source code is available for users on other platforms. Fossil sources are also mostly self-contained, requiring only the "zlib" library and the standard C library to build.
  1. Simple Networking - Fossil uses plain old HTTP (with proxy support) for all network communications, meaning that it works fine from behind restrictive firewalls. The protocol is bandwidth efficient to the point that Fossil can be used comfortably over a dial-up internet connection.
  1. CGI Enabled - No server is required to use fossil. But a server does make collaboration easier. Fossil supports three different yet simple server configurations. The most popular is a 2-line CGI script. This is the approach used by the self-hosting fossil repositories.
  1. Robust & Reliable - Fossil stores content using an enduring file format in an SQLite database so that transactions are atomic even if interrupted by a power loss or system crash. Furthermore, automatic self-checks verify that all aspects of the repository are consistent prior to each commit. In over three years of operation, no work has ever been lost after having been committed to a Fossil repository.

 

Links For Fossil Users:



 

Links For Fossil Developer:



 Download.

 Install. 

  • Using A Pre-compiled Binary.

You can skip all of the following by downloading a pre-compiled binary appropriate for your platform and putting that self-contained binary someplace on your $PATH. To uninstall, simply delete the binary. To upgrade from an older release, just overwrite the older binary with the newer one.

  • Executive Summary.

Building and installing is very simple. Three steps:
  1. Download and unpack a source tarball or ZIP.
  2. ./configure; make
  3. Move or copy the resulting "fossil" executable to someplace on your $PATH.

Obtaining The Source Code.


Fossil is self-hosting, so you can obtain a ZIP archive containing a snapshot of the latest version directly from fossil's own fossil repository. Follow these steps:
  1. Point your web browser at http://www.fossil-scm.org/. Click on the "Login" menu button.
  2. Log in as anonymous. The password is shown on screen. The reason for requiring this login is to prevent spiders from walking the entire website, downloading ZIP archives of every historical version, and thereby soaking up all our bandwidth.
  3. Click on the Timeline link at the top of the page.
  4. Select a version of of fossil you want to download. Click on its link. Note that you must successfully log in as "anonymous" in step 1 above in order to see the link to the detailed version information.
  5. Finally, click on one of the "Zip Archive" or "Tarball" links, according to your preference. These link will build a ZIP archive or a gzip-compressed tarball of the complete source code and download it to your browser.

    Compiling.
  1. Unpack the ZIP or tarball you downloaded into that directory then cd into the directory created.
  2. (Optional, unix only) Run ./configure to construct a makefile.
    1. If you do not have the OpenSSL library installed on your system, then add --with-openssl=none to omit the https functionality.
    2. To build a statically linked binary (suitable for use inside a chroot jail) add the --static option.
    3. Other configuration options can be seen by running ./configure --help
  3. Run make to build the "fossil" or "fossil.exe" executable. The details depend on your platform and compiler.
    1. Unix → the configure-generated Makefile should work on all unix and unix-like systems. Simply type "make".
    2. Unix without running "configure" → if you prefer to avoid running configure, you can also use: make -f Makefile.classic. You may want to make minor edits to Makefile.classic to configure the build for your system.
    3. Msys/MinGW → Use the mingw makefile: "make -f win/Makefile.mingw"
    4. VC++ → Use the msc makefile. First change to the "win/" subdirectory ("cd win") then run "nmake /f Makefile.msc".
Note that Fossil requires the "zlib" compression library. This library is available by default on most unix systems, but it will typically have to be installed separately on windows systems. For windows builds, you may need to edit the makefile to tell it exactly where zlib is located on your system.

Installing.
  1. The finished binary is named "fossil" (or "fossil.exe" on windows). Put this binary in a directory that is somewhere on your PATH environment variable. It does not matter where.
  2. (Optional:) To uninstall, just delete the binary.


    Additional Considerations.
  • If the makefiles that come with Fossil do not work for you, or for some other reason you want to know how to build Fossil manually, then refer to the Fossil Build Process document which describes in detail what the makefiles do behind the scenes. 

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