cvs(5) File Formats Manual cvs(5)
cvs - Concurrent Versions System support files
cvs is a system for providing source control to hierarchical collec-
tions 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 revi-
sions 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 ex-
ist 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, develop-
ers must specify complete path names (absolute, or relative to $CVS-
ROOT) for the files they wish to manage with cvs commands.
You can use the `commitinfo' file to define programs to execute whenev-
er `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 par-
ticular 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 al-
low 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 reformat a C
file before the file is checked in, so all of the code in the reposito-
ry 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
tag or rtag 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 message
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 collec-
tions of source code. cvs will use these definitions if you use
cvs to check in a file with the right format to `$CVSROOT/CVS-
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 sym-
bolic module name, and the remainder of the line is its defini-
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 work-
ing 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 di-
rectory of source in one of the source repositories. In this
case, on checkout, 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
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
m4test unsupported/gnu/m4 foreach.m4 forloop.m4
With this definition, executing `cvs checkout m4test' will cre-
ate a single working directory `m4test' containing the two files
listed, 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
`-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 argu-
ment, the full pathname of the affected directory in a source
repository. The `commitinfo', `loginfo', and `editinfo' files
provide other 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 ar-
gument, 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 argu-
ment, 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 being made. The remaining arguments list the files
that are being modified, added, or removed by this commit invo-
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 filename 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 tem-
plate 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, fol-
lowed 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 ex-
pression: `ALL' specifies a command line template that must al-
ways be executed, and `DEFAULT' specifies a command line tem-
plate 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 regu-
lar expression, in this file, contains filenames (of files con-
taining 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
"edit" scripts can verify information recorded in the log file.
If the edit script exits wth a non-zero exit status, the commit
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 ig-
nore during `cvs update'. At startup time, cvs loads the com-
piled 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 di-
rectories, 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-
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 en-
tire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a permis-
sion notice identical to this one.
Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this manu-
al into another language, under the above conditions for modified ver-
sions, except that this permission notice may be included in transla-
tions approved by the Free Software Foundation instead of in the origi-
12 February 1992 cvs(5)