RCS(1) General Commands Manual RCS(1)
rcs - change RCS file attributes
rcs [ options ] file ...
Rcs creates new RCS files or changes attributes of existing ones. An RCS file contains multiple revisions of text, an access list, a
change log, descriptive text, and some control attributes. For rcs to work, the caller's login name must be on the access list, except if
the access list is empty, the caller is the owner of the file or the superuser, or the -i option is present.
Files ending in `,v' are RCS files, all others are working files. If a working file is given, rcs tries to find the corresponding RCS file
first in directory ./RCS and then in the current directory, as explained in co (1).
-i creates and initializes a new RCS file, but does not deposit any revision. If the RCS file has no path prefix, rcs tries to
place it first into the subdirectory ./RCS, and then into the current directory. If the RCS file already exists, an error mes-
sage is printed.
-alogins appends the login names appearing in the comma-separated list logins to the access list of the RCS file.
-Aoldfile appends the access list of oldfile to the access list of the RCS file.
-e[logins] erases the login names appearing in the comma-separated list logins from the access list of the RCS file. If logins is omitted,
the entire access list is erased.
-cstring sets the comment leader to string. The comment leader is printed before every log message line generated by the keyword $Log$
during checkout (see co). This is useful for programming languages without multi-line comments. During rcs -i or initial ci, the
comment leader is guessed from the suffix of the working file.
-l[rev] locks the revision with number rev. If a branch is given, the latest revision on that branch is locked. If rev is omitted, the
latest revision on the trunk is locked. Locking prevents overlapping changes. A lock is removed with ci or rcs -u (see below).
-u[rev] unlocks the revision with number rev. If a branch is given, the latest revision on that branch is unlocked. If rev is omitted,
the latest lock held by the caller is removed. Normally, only the locker of a revision may unlock it. Somebody else unlocking
a revision breaks the lock. This causes a mail message to be sent to the original locker. The message contains a commentary
solicited from the breaker. The commentary is terminated with a line containing a single `.' or control-D.
-L sets locking to strict. Strict locking means that the owner of an RCS file is not exempt from locking for checkin. This option
should be used for files that are shared.
-U sets locking to non-strict. Non-strict locking means that the owner of a file need not lock a revision for checkin. This option
should NOT be used for files that are shared. The default (-L or -U) is determined by your system administrator.
associates the symbolic name name with the branch or revision rev. Rcs prints an error message if name is already associated
with another number. If rev is omitted, the symbolic name is deleted.
same as -n, except that it overrides a previous assignment of name.
-orange deletes ("outdates") the revisions given by range. A range consisting of a single revision number means that revision. A range
consisting of a branch number means the latest revision on that branch. A range of the form rev1-rev2 means revisions rev1 to
rev2 on the same branch, -rev means from the beginning of the branch containing rev up to and including rev, and rev- means from
revision rev to the end of the branch containing rev. None of the outdated revisions may have branches or locks.
-q quiet mode; diagnostics are not printed.
sets the state attribute of the revision rev to state. If rev is omitted, the latest revision on the trunk is assumed; If rev
is a branch number, the latest revision on that branch is assumed. Any identifier is acceptable for state. A useful set of
states is Exp (for experimental), Stab (for stable), and Rel (for released). By default, ci sets the state of a revision to
writes descriptive text into the RCS file (deletes the existing text). If txtfile is omitted, rcs prompts the user for text
supplied from the std. input, terminated with a line containing a single `.' or control-D. Otherwise, the descriptive text is
copied from the file txtfile. If the -i option is present, descriptive text is requested even if -t is not given. The prompt
is suppressed if the std. input is not a terminal.
The RCS file name and the revisions outdated are written to the diagnostic output. The exit status always refers to the last RCS file
operated upon, and is 0 if the operation was successful, 1 otherwise.
The caller of the command must have read/write permission for the directory containing the RCS file and read permission for the RCS file
itself. Rcs creates a semaphore file in the same directory as the RCS file to prevent simultaneous update. For changes, rcs always cre-
ates a new file. On successful completion, rcs deletes the old one and renames the new one. This strategy makes links to RCS files use-
Author: Walter F. Tichy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 47907.
Revision Number: 3.1 ; Release Date: 83/04/04 .
Copyright (C) 1982 by Walter F. Tichy.
co (1), ci (1), ident(1), rcsdiff (1), rcsintro (1), rcsmerge (1), rlog (1), rcsfile (5), sccstorcs (8).
Walter F. Tichy, "Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Revision Control System," in Proceedings of the 6th International Conference
on Software Engineering, IEEE, Tokyo, Sept. 1982.
Purdue University 6/29/83 RCS(1)