cvs(5) File Formats Manual cvs(5)
cvs - Concurrent Versions System support files
This documentation may no longer be up to date. Please consult the Cederqvist (CVS Manual) as specified in cvs(1).
cvs is a system for providing source control to hierarchical collections of source directories. Commands and procedures for using cvs are
described in cvs(1).
cvs manages source repositories, the directories containing master copies of the revision-controlled files, by copying particular revisions
of the files to (and modifications back from) developers' private working directories. In terms of file structure, each individual source
repository is an immediate subdirectory of $CVSROOT.
The files described here are supporting files; they do not have to exist for cvs to operate, but they allow you to make cvs operation more
You can use the `modules' file to define symbolic names for collections of source maintained with cvs. If there is no `modules' file, de-
velopers must specify complete path names (absolute, or relative to $CVSROOT) for the files they wish to manage with cvs commands.
You can use the `commitinfo' file to define programs to execute whenever `cvs commit' is about to execute. These programs are used for
``pre-commit'' checking to verify that the modified, added, and removed files are really ready to be committed. Some uses for this check
might be to turn off a portion (or all) of the source repository from a particular person or group. Or, perhaps, to verify that the
changed files conform to the site's standards for coding practice.
You can use the `cvswrappers' file to record cvs wrapper commands to be used when checking files into and out of the repository. Wrappers
allow the file or directory to be processed on the way in and out of CVS. The intended uses are many, one possible use would be to refor-
mat a C file before the file is checked in, so all of the code in the repository looks the same.
You can use the `loginfo' file to define programs to execute after any commit, which writes a log entry for changes in the repository.
These logging programs might be used to append the log message to a file. Or send the log message through electronic mail to a group of
developers. Or, perhaps, post the log message to a particular newsgroup.
You can use the `taginfo' file to define programs to execute after any tagorrtag operation. These programs might be used to append a mes-
sage to a file listing the new tag name and the programmer who created it, or send mail to a group of developers, or, perhaps, post a mes-
sage to a particular newsgroup.
You can use the `rcsinfo' file to define forms for log messages.
You can use the `editinfo' file to define a program to execute for editing/validating `cvs commit' log entries. This is most useful when
used with a `rcsinfo' forms specification, as it can verify that the proper fields of the form have been filled in by the user committing
You can use the `cvsignore' file to specify the default list of files to ignore during update.
You can use the `history' file to record the cvs commands that affect the repository. The creation of this file enables history logging.
The `modules' file records your definitions of names for collections of source code. cvs will use these definitions if you use cvs
to check in a file with the right format to `$CVSROOT/CVSROOT/modules,v'.
The `modules' file may contain blank lines and comments (lines beginning with `#') as well as module definitions. Long lines can be
continued on the next line by specifying a backslash (``'') as the last character on the line.
A module definition is a single line of the `modules' file, in either of two formats. In both cases, mname represents the symbolic
module name, and the remainder of the line is its definition.
mname -a aliases...
This represents the simplest way of defining a module mname. The `-a' flags the definition as a simple alias: cvs will treat any
use of mname (as a command argument) as if the list of names aliases had been specified instead. aliases may contain either other
module names or paths. When you use paths in aliases, `cvs checkout' creates all intermediate directories in the working directory,
just as if the path had been specified explicitly in the cvs arguments.
mname [ options ] dir [ files... ] [ &module... ]
In the simplest case, this form of module definition reduces to `mname dir'. This defines all the files in directory dir as module
mname. dir is a relative path (from $CVSROOT) to a directory of source in one of the source repositories. In this case, on check-
out, a single directory called mname is created as a working directory; no intermediate directory levels are used by default, even
if dir was a path involving several directory levels.
By explicitly specifying files in the module definition after dir, you can select particular files from directory dir. The sample
definition for modules is an example of a module defined with a single file from a particular directory. Here is another example:
m4test unsupported/gnu/m4 foreach.m4 forloop.m4
With this definition, executing `cvs checkout m4test' will create a single working directory `m4test' containing the two files list-
ed, which both come from a common directory several levels deep in the cvs source repository.
A module definition can refer to other modules by including `&module' in its definition. checkout creates a subdirectory for each
such module, in your working directory.
New in cvs 1.3; avoid this feature if sharing module definitions with older versions of cvs.
Finally, you can use one or more of the following options in module definitions:
`-d name', to name the working directory something other than the module name.
New in cvs 1.3; avoid this feature if sharing module definitions with older versions of cvs.
`-i prog' allows you to specify a program prog to run whenever files in a module are committed. prog runs with a single argument,
the full pathname of the affected directory in a source repository. The `commitinfo', `loginfo', and `editinfo' files provide oth-
er ways to call a program on commit.
`-o prog' allows you to specify a program prog to run whenever files in a module are checked out. prog runs with a single argument,
the module name.
`-e prog' allows you to specify a program prog to run whenever files in a module are exported. prog runs with a single argument,
the module name.
`-t prog' allows you to specify a program prog to run whenever files in a module are tagged. prog runs with two arguments: the
module name and the symbolic tag specified to rtag.
`-u prog' allows you to specify a program prog to run whenever `cvs update' is executed from the top-level directory of the checked-
out module. prog runs with a single argument, the full path to the source repository for this module.
commitinfo, loginfo, rcsinfo, editinfo
These files all specify programs to call at different points in the `cvs commit' process. They have a common structure. Each line
is a pair of fields: a regular expression, separated by whitespace from a filename or command-line template. Whenever one of the
regular expression matches a directory name in the repository, the rest of the line is used. If the line begins with a # character,
the entire line is considered a comment and is ignored. Whitespace between the fields is also ignored.
For `loginfo', the rest of the line is a command-line template to execute. The templates can include not only a program name, but
whatever list of arguments you wish. If you write `%s' somewhere on the argument list, cvs supplies, at that point, the list of
files affected by the commit. The first entry in the list is the relative path within the source repository where the change is be-
ing made. The remaining arguments list the files that are being modified, added, or removed by this commit invocation.
For `taginfo', the rest of the line is a command-line template to execute. The arguments passed to the command are, in order, the
tagname , operation (i.e. add for `tag', mov for `tag -F', and del for `tag -d`), repository , and any remaining are pairs of file-
name revision . A non-zero exit of the filter program will cause the tag to be aborted.
For `commitinfo', the rest of the line is a command-line template to execute. The template can include not only a program name, but
whatever list of arguments you wish. The full path to the current source repository is appended to the template, followed by the
file names of any files involved in the commit (added, removed, and modified files).
For `rcsinfo', the rest of the line is the full path to a file that should be loaded into the log message template.
For `editinfo', the rest of the line is a command-line template to execute. The template can include not only a program name, but
whatever list of arguments you wish. The full path to the current log message template file is appended to the template.
You can use one of two special strings instead of a regular expression: `ALL' specifies a command line template that must always be
executed, and `DEFAULT' specifies a command line template to use if no regular expression is a match.
The `commitinfo' file contains commands to execute before any other commit activity, to allow you to check any conditions that must
be satisfied before commit can proceed. The rest of the commit will execute only if all selected commands from this file exit with
exit status 0.
The `rcsinfo' file allows you to specify log templates for the commit logging session; you can use this to provide a form to edit
when filling out the commit log. The field after the regular expression, in this file, contains filenames (of files containing the
logging forms) rather than command templates.
The `editinfo' file allows you to execute a script before the commit starts, but after the log information is recorded. These "ed-
it" scripts can verify information recorded in the log file. If the edit script exits with a non-zero exit status, the commit is
The `loginfo' file contains commands to execute at the end of a commit. The text specified as a commit log message is piped through
the command; typical uses include sending mail, filing an article in a newsgroup, or appending to a central file.
The default list of files (or sh(1) file name patterns) to ignore during `cvs update'. At startup time, cvs loads the compiled in
default list of file name patterns (see cvs(1)). Then the per-repository list included in $CVSROOT/CVSROOT/cvsignore is loaded, if
it exists. Then the per-user list is loaded from `$HOME/.cvsignore'. Finally, as cvs traverses through your directories, it will
load any per-directory `.cvsignore' files whenever it finds one. These per-directory files are only valid for exactly the directory
that contains them, not for any sub-directories.
Create this file in $CVSROOT/CVSROOT to enable history logging (see the description of `cvs history').
Copyright (C) 1992 Cygnus Support, Brian Berliner, and Jeff Polk
Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this manual provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are
preserved on all copies.
Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of this manual under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided that the
entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a permission notice identical to this one.
Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this manual into another language, under the above conditions for modified
versions, except that this permission notice may be included in translations approved by the Free Software Foundation instead of in the
12 February 1992 cvs(5)