Take git. Linus developed the thing for the kernel. git supported *large* source repositories quite well, right from the start. All the others were "OK it works for ten files and ten revisions, I'm done with the basics. 10000 files and 1000 revisions? Oops, need to take our lunch break now, hopefully it'll be done when I get back."
I'm pretty sure Mercurial was developed for working with the kernel sources.
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