BitKeeper is not longer free of charge, at least not like it has been so far in the past. Looks live Larry McVoy, BitKeeper head did not like all the attempt to reverse engineer the software to provide free (as in speech) replacements. In their press release, they announce that they refocus on the commercial version of BitKeeper, but the the open source client is still available.

I personally haven't used that free client, but I suspect it does not allow to do everything the free version was allowing, including sharing your tree. I have used BitKeeper at one of my previous job where we did use the free version to get the kernel source-tree and work on it, but didn't really use it as a repository since the boss didn't want us to commit...

I found BK somewhat hard to use (coming from CVS), and with some issues, like not being able to pull a tree with changes not committed, issues probably related to its design. On the other side I really love the concept of having a revisioned tree locally. And BK revision trees like Subversion, unlike CVS.

I don't know what the kernel developers will come up with as a replacement, but Larry just gave the point to people like Andrea Arcangeli who were always arguing about the use of a non-free tool for Linux development, and tried to propose solutions.

Source: jdub who said to Larry that he was not invited to the party.

Update (2005/04/08): the client is open source, not free software, I changed the text above. James Henstridge has an informative post on the subject.