hg init is a fundamental command in Mercurial, a distributed version control system, used to initialize a new repository in a specified directory. Here’s a detailed explanation of hg init:
- Creating a New Repository: The primary purpose of hg init is to create a new Mercurial repository in the directory specified by the user. This directory becomes the root of the repository, where Mercurial stores all version-controlled files and metadata associated with the project.
- Setting Up Version Control: By running hg init, developers signal their intention to start tracking changes to files within the directory. Once initialized, Mercurial begins monitoring the contents of the directory for modifications, additions, and deletions, enabling users to manage the project’s evolution over time.
- Repository Metadata: When a repository is initialized with hg init, Mercurial creates a hidden directory named “.hg” within the specified directory. This directory contains essential metadata and configuration files that Mercurial uses to track changes, manage history, and facilitate collaboration among team members.
- Local Repository: The repository created by hg init is typically referred to as a “local repository” because it resides on the user’s local machine. Unlike centralized version control systems, such as SVN, Mercurial does not require a central server to host the repository. Instead, each user’s local repository maintains a complete history of changes independently.
- Usage: To initialize a new repository, users simply navigate to the desired directory in their terminal or command prompt and execute the hg init command. Mercurial responds with a confirmation message indicating that the repository has been successfully created, and users can begin adding files and committing changes immediately.
- Documentation Reference: The Mercurial documentation provides detailed information about the hg init command, including usage examples, options, and additional considerations for initializing repositories. Developers can consult this documentation for guidance on setting up new repositories and managing their version control workflow effectively.
“hg init” Command Examples
1. Initialize a new repository in the current directory:
# hg init
2. Initialize a new repository in the specified directory:
# hg init [path/to/directory]
In summary, hg init is a straightforward command in Mercurial used to create a new repository in a specified directory, allowing developers to start tracking changes to their project’s files and collaborate with others using the distributed version control capabilities of Mercurial.