Version Control With Dropbox

I’ve mentioned Dropbox before here, but I didn’t mention this neat trick you could do with it…

Anyone in the programming industry will recommend that you use version control software like SVN or Git to save yourself headaches when you make a mistake and need to roll back a file to a previous state. What if you used Dropbox for that? You get 2GB free, and files sync automatically without you having to do anything.

Dropbox has file versioning built in, actually. When you edit or delete files, Dropbox keeps prior versions in case you wish to restore them. With a couple of clicks you can overwrite the current version with an old.

Dropbox revisions

While that’s great for basic applications, you could take things a step further and store a SVN repository in your Dropbox (with a local SVN server powering it). It would work fine for a single user, but it wouldn’t work well with more than one committer.

  • Jon Crim

    Gotta love Dropbox! Just noticed a cool integration the other day when uploading some pictures to Picasa. Right within the Picasa interface if you are viewing an image and right click on it you can upload straight to Dropbox.

    • Matt

      That’s neat. It’s got to help Dropbox move their paid plans too, what with the file size of most photos.

  • Brandon

    Why do you say it wouldn’t work well with more then one committer? It works great for my and my friends, you just share a dropbox folder with eachother.

    • Matt

      But what if you end up editing files at the same time? How does it resolve changes like that? You might end up having to merge the changes by hand in some cases…

  • http://asdf Daniel

    So what if you want to make an exprimental change, that you would do in a git/svn branch.

    Anyway it doesn’t support realtime editing of two people on the same file.