Mercurial | Free And Open Source Version Control Tool
Mercurial - Version Control Tool

Mercurial Free Version Control Software

Python Based Self-Hosted Distributed Version Control System

Source code management for projects of any size and type with one of the most popular free and open source cross-platform version control software.

Mercurial is an excellent open source version control tool. It is a distributed version control system like Git. Mercurial is quick, scalable and handles projects of all sizes effectively. Further, it is very simpler than Git that may attracts more developers to use it. Moreover, a wide variety of workflows are supported by Mercurial and you can easily enhance its functionality with extensions.

Mercurial version control is fast and performs most of the actions locally. It allows developers to easily generate diffs between revisions and switch in minutes. Therefore, it is perfectly suitable for large projects such as Nginx, NetBeans, and many more. Mercurial has powerful branching model, developers can easily create and merge branches.

Mercurial is largely written in Python, although some portion was in created C language created due to performance. It is a cross-platform version control software and binary releases are available for all major platforms. Mercurial is also extensible that means that developers can activate existing extensions to enhance functionality. However, it allows to write own extensions as per business requirements.

System Requirements

Mercurial does not has any unique criteria for installation. Please check the installation section.


Mercurial is shipped with powerful features of version control software. Some of the key features are listed below:

  • Distributed architecture
  • Fast
  • Platform independent
  • Extensible
  • Easy to use
  • Open Source
  • High performance and scalability
  • Branching and merging
  • Supports plain text and binary files


Installing on Windows

Download the latest version of TortoiseHg from

Run installer and follow wizard.

Installing on Ubuntu

Run below commands.

$ apt-get install mercurial

Installing on Fedora

Run command to install it on Fedora.

$ dnf install mercurial

Installing on MacOS

Run command to install it on MacOS.

$ brew install mercurial

Installing on MacOS

Run following commands to install it on FreeBSD.

$ cd /usr/ports/devel/mercurial
$ make install


What is Mercurial?

Mercurial is a distributed version control system (DVCS). It is a cross-platform and written in Python. It allows source code management for projects of any size and type.

What is tip in Mercurial?

The most recent changeset added to the repository is the tip. If you’ve recently made a commit, that will be the tip. If you’ve recently pulled something from another repository, the tip of that repository becomes the new tip. To see the repository’s tip, type “hg tip”.

What is the difference between tip and head?

The tip is always a head. If a repository has many heads, only one of them is the tip. Changesets are numbered sequentially within a repository, with the tip having the greatest sequence number.

Is Mercurial open source?

Mercurial is a free and open source version control software like Git. You can download and install on your system.

How can you create a repository in Mercurial?

You can initialize the repository with init command like “hg init”. It will create .hg directory inside respository.


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