I have finished all conversions of the repositories that I’m going to test. The first interesting metric is of course the repository size. This is interesting because Bazaar claims on its homepage that “Bazaar’s default storage format is highly efficient, better than its main competitors in most cases”. They include benchmarks which should show that they are more efficient than specifically Git and Mercurial.
As I mentioned before, this benchmark is bogus because it does not include project history. While Bazaar acknowledges this, they still mention space efficiency as one of their prime benefits. They also mention that their benchmarks are done on real use cases, not arbitrary processes.
At the same time, Mercurial states it has an “Extremely high-performance delta-compressed storage scheme”. Git mentions “It also uses an extremely efficient packed format for long-term revision storage that currently tops any other open source version control system.”
For all repositories, only a single branch was converted. For all repositories except Samba, this meant the development branch. As Samba has multiple development branches, I chose the v3-3-test branch.
I made use of the fast-export/import interface where possible. This means that all conversion were done using fast-export, except Git to Mercurial, for which I used “hg convert”, and Bazaar to Mercurial. This last one was a bit tricky, as Mercurial has no Bazaar importer. I therefore converted the Git repository of the same repo to Mercurial.
After conversion, I ran a pack command for the repositories that support this. For Git, this meant a “git repack -adf —window=250”, for Bazaar it meant a “bzr pack”, and removing the obsolete packs.
Tests were done using Git v126.96.36.199, Bzr v1.5, Hg v1.0
So then, using actual, real world data, which system has the best storage efficiency? Below is the table of all projects.
As can be seen from the table, Git really is the most efficient in storing the data. Next up is Mercurial, which also does a nice job. Bazaar is the least efficient by far, taking on average 2.8 times the space of an equivalent Git repository.