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A Git repository contains the history of a collection of files starting from a certain directory.
The process of copying an existing Git repository via the Git tooling is called _cloning.
Please note that this picture fits primarily to Git.
A centralized version control system provides a server software component which stores and manages the different versions of the files.
In a localized version control systems it is the individual computer and in a centralized version control systems it is the server machine.
Both system makes it also harder to work in parallel on different features.
This way a branch defines its own line of descendants in the overall version graph formed by all commits in the repository.
You can create a new branch from an existing one and change the code independently from other branches.