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Definition

trunk

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A trunk, in the context of software development, is the base code from which a branch is taken to be worked with. Other terms for trunk in this context include baseline, mainline and master.

A branch is essentially a copy of the original – a branch taken from the trunk – so it can be developed while the original code remains stable. The branch is developed and its changes may be merged back into the trunk, depending on the purpose.

In trunk-based development (TBD), all developers commit to a single shared branch for version control. That branch is then known as the trunk and subsequent branches are taken for releases.

In telecommunications, a trunk is a line or link designed to carry multiple signals simultaneously to provide network access between two points. 

This was last updated in September 2016

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