Microsoft today introduced that it is almost moved wholesale to the Git version control system. The company says most of its engineers now use the control system for development of Windows operating systems. Because Git was not built for a project this big, Microsoft has debuted the Git Virtual File System, which the company announced already in February.
The creating of the GVFS, Microsoft has a system that is able to deliver the benefits of Git without having to wait hours for commands to run. This is one of the limitations of regular Git. Microsoft’s Windows Git repository is 3.5 million files that are 300GB.
Microsoft has open sourced Git Virtual File System, which is available under the MIT license on GitHub. The company says moving Window engineers to Git took around three months. The switch means Microsoft is replacing the previous Source Depot that housed Windows code.
Some pieces of smaller code will continue to use Team Foundation Server. By creating GVFS, the company can now store most Windows code under one roof. Previously, the company was holding the code in more than 40 Source Depots.
Microsoft reached out to us today and highlighted some of the key points of the migration:
Key updates include:
- GVFS Successfully rolled out to 3,500 Windows engineers (nearly all of Windows engineering moved to Git)
- Made some significant performance improvements and introduced Git proxies
- Updated the GVFS open source projects with the latest code and opened it for contributions
- Provided a signed GVFlt driver to make trying it out easier
- Worked with the community to begin to build support into popular tools – like SourceTree, Tower, Visual Studio, etc.
- Published some articles with more insights into the technical approach we are taking to scale Git and GVFS.
The company says around 3,500 of its total 4,000 Windows engineers are now operating on Git. Not only is Microsoft using GVFS for Windows code, the open source system will also attract other users.
Microsoft says there is already interest from major companies who want to make their code storage more efficient. For example, Google and Facebook have “expressed a lot of interest” in the GVFS.