I am working on an open source collaborative project with numerous other people.

Often many people are working on it at once. This creates problems with multiple versions of the same file.

Is there any program (like google drive) that allows lots of people to edit code, and keep everything in one version?

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    As an FYI, I've opened a meta discussion about this post. It is available here
    – Andy
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 16:43
  • Please join the discussion about this question being on- or off-topic on Meta: meta.opensource.stackexchange.com/questions/125/…
    – user114
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 19:16
  • @Tichodroma I would just like to point out that the term "OPEN SOURCE" is directly in the description. Furthermore this is not about free software, keeping all versions of the file up to date is one of the large challenges open source developers have. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 19:39

3 Answers 3


What you're describing is called a Version Control System or revision control system. It essentially stores one canonical copy in a central place, which can be downloaded, edited, and committed back there. If someone else changes it in the time you do, you must review those changes and incorporate them into your code before recommitting.

Some major version control systems are:

  • Git, of which the main proponent is GitHub
  • SVN
  • Mercurial

among many others. You should try more than one out and work out which one is best for your project.


The answer is: version control system

Usual choices are:


Version control systems are one way of allowing multiple people to work on the same files, but they don't support real-time collaborative editing of a single common version.

There are FLOSS editors which support shared editing of documents in a manner similar to Google Drive; I've found that Gobby works quite well for this. It's used extensively during Debian conferences in particular.

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