Trunk vs. HEAD in Version Control Systems

This aim of this note is to provide the shortest and simplest explanation of the concepts of trunk and HEAD in a Version Control System like CVS and Subversion (SVN.)

Like in botany, trunk is a tree’s central superstructure. All branches come out of the trunk:

Main development is performed in the trunk. Releases are branched for bug fixes and maintenance releases.

In the next diagram, the tip of the arrows for trunk and a branches are HEADs. Each branch and trunk have a HEAD.

That’s it!

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