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Version Management with CVS - the CVS manual
by Per Cederqvist et al.
Paperback (6"x9"), 216 pages, 8 figures
ISBN 0954161718
RRP £19.95 ($29.95)

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A.6.1 admin options

Some of these options have questionable usefulness for CVS but exist for historical purposes. Some even make it impossible to use CVS until you undo the effect!

-Aoldfile
Might not work together with CVS. Append the access list of oldfile to the access list of the RCS file.
-alogins
Might not work together with CVS. Append the login names appearing in the comma-separated list logins to the access list of the RCS file.
-b[rev]
Set the default branch to rev. In CVS, you normally do not manipulate default branches; sticky tags (see section 4.9 Sticky tags) are a better way to decide which branch you want to work on. There is one reason to run cvs admin -b: to revert to the vendor's version when using vendor branches (see section 13.3 Reverting to the latest vendor release). There can be no space between ‘-b’ and its argument.
-cstring
Sets the comment leader to string. The comment leader is not used by current versions of CVS or RCS 5.7. Therefore, you can almost surely not worry about it. See section 12 Keyword substitution.
-e[logins]
Might not work together with CVS. Erase the login names appearing in the comma-separated list logins from the access list of the RCS file. If logins is omitted, erase the entire access list. There can be no space between ‘-e’ and its argument.
-I
Run interactively, even if the standard input is not a terminal. This option does not work with the client/server CVS and is likely to disappear in a future release of CVS.
-i
Useless with CVS. This creates and initializes a new RCS file, without depositing a revision. With CVS, add files with the cvs add command (see section 7.1 Adding files to a directory).
-ksubst
Set the default keyword substitution to subst. See section 12 Keyword substitution. Giving an explicit ‘-k’ option to cvs update, cvs export, or cvs checkout overrides this default.
-l[rev]
Lock the revision with number rev. If a branch is given, lock the latest revision on that branch. If rev is omitted, lock the latest revision on the default branch. There can be no space between ‘-l’ and its argument. This can be used in conjunction with the ‘rcslock.pl’ script in the ‘contrib’ directory of the CVS source distribution to provide reserved checkouts (where only one user can be editing a given file at a time). See the comments in that file for details (and see the ‘README’ file in that directory for disclaimers about the unsupported nature of contrib). According to comments in that file, locking must set to strict (which is the default).
-L
Set locking to strict. Strict locking means that the owner of an RCS file is not exempt from locking for checkin. For use with CVS, strict locking must be set; see the discussion under the ‘-l’ option above.
-mrev:msg
Replace the log message of revision rev with msg.
-Nname[:[rev]]
Act like ‘-n’, except override any previous assignment of name. For use with magic branches, see section 5.5 Magic branch numbers.
-nname[:[rev]]
Associate the symbolic name name with the branch or revision rev. It is normally better to use ‘cvs tag’ or ‘cvs rtag’ instead. Delete the symbolic name if both ‘:’ and rev are omitted; otherwise, print an error message if name is already associated with another number. If rev is symbolic, it is expanded before association. A rev consisting of a branch number followed by a ‘.’ stands for the current latest revision in the branch. A ‘:’ with an empty rev stands for the current latest revision on the default branch, normally the trunk. For example, ‘cvs admin -nname:’ associates name with the current latest revision of all the RCS files; this contrasts with ‘cvs admin -nname:$’ which associates name with the revision numbers extracted from keyword strings in the corresponding working files.
-orange
Deletes (outdates) the revisions given by range. Note that this command can be quite dangerous unless you know exactly what you are doing (for example see the warnings below about how the rev1:rev2 syntax is confusing). If you are short on disc this option might help you. But think twice before using it--there is no way short of restoring the latest backup to undo this command! If you delete different revisions than you planned, either due to carelessness or (heaven forbid) a CVS bug, there is no opportunity to correct the error before the revisions are deleted. It probably would be a good idea to experiment on a copy of the repository first. Specify range in one of the following ways:
rev1::rev2
Collapse all revisions between rev1 and rev2, so that CVS only stores the differences associated with going from rev1 to rev2, not intermediate steps. For example, after ‘-o 1.3::1.5’ one can retrieve revision 1.3, revision 1.5, or the differences to get from 1.3 to 1.5, but not the revision 1.4, or the differences between 1.3 and 1.4. Other examples: ‘-o 1.3::1.4’ and ‘-o 1.3::1.3’ have no effect, because there are no intermediate revisions to remove.
::rev
Collapse revisions between the beginning of the branch containing rev and rev itself. The branchpoint and rev are left intact. For example, ‘-o ::1.3.2.6’ deletes revision 1.3.2.1, revision 1.3.2.5, and everything in between, but leaves 1.3 and 1.3.2.6 intact.
rev::
Collapse revisions between rev and the end of the branch containing rev. Revision rev is left intact but the head revision is deleted.
rev
Delete the revision rev. For example, ‘-o 1.3’ is equivalent to ‘-o 1.2::1.4’.
rev1:rev2
Delete the revisions from rev1 to rev2, inclusive, on the same branch. One will not be able to retrieve rev1 or rev2 or any of the revisions in between. For example, the command ‘cvs admin -oR_1_01:R_1_02 .’ is rarely useful. It means to delete revisions up to, and including, the tag R_1_02. But beware! If there are files that have not changed between R_1_02 and R_1_03 the file will have the same numerical revision number assigned to the tags R_1_02 and R_1_03. So not only will it be impossible to retrieve R_1_02; R_1_03 will also have to be restored from backups! In most cases you want to specify rev1::rev2 instead.
:rev
Delete revisions from the beginning of the branch containing rev up to and including rev.
rev:
Delete revisions from revision rev, including rev itself, to the end of the branch containing rev.
None of the revisions to be deleted may have branches or locks. If any of the revisions to be deleted have symbolic names, and one specifies one of the ‘::’ syntaxes, then CVS will give an error and not delete any revisions. If you really want to delete both the symbolic names and the revisions, first delete the symbolic names with cvs tag -d, then run cvs admin -o. If one specifies the non-‘::’ syntaxes, then CVS will delete the revisions but leave the symbolic names pointing to nonexistent revisions. This behavior is preserved for compatibility with previous versions of CVS, but because it isn't very useful, in the future it may change to be like the ‘::’ case. Due to the way CVS handles branches rev cannot be specified symbolically if it is a branch. See section 5.5 Magic branch numbers, for an explanation. Make sure that no-one has checked out a copy of the revision you outdate. Strange things will happen if he starts to edit it and tries to check it back in. For this reason, this option is not a good way to take back a bogus commit; commit a new revision undoing the bogus change instead (see section 5.8 Merging differences between any two revisions).
-q
Run quietly; do not print diagnostics.
-sstate[:rev]
Useful with CVS. Set the state attribute of the revision rev to state. If rev is a branch number, assume the latest revision on that branch. If rev is omitted, assume the latest revision on the default branch. Any identifier is acceptable for state. A useful set of states is ‘Exp’ (for experimental), ‘Stab’ (for stable), and ‘Rel’ (for released). By default, the state of a new revision is set to ‘Exp’ when it is created. The state is visible in the output from cvs log (see section A.14 log--Print out log information for files), and in the ‘$Log$’ and ‘$State$’ keywords (see section 12 Keyword substitution). Note that CVS uses the dead state for its own purposes (see section 16.5 The attic); to take a file to or from the dead state use commands like cvs remove and cvs add (see section 7 Adding, removing, and renaming files and directories), not cvs admin -s.
-t[file]
Useful with CVS. Write descriptive text from the contents of the named file into the RCS file, deleting the existing text. The file pathname may not begin with ‘-’. The descriptive text can be seen in the output from ‘cvs log’ (see section A.14 log--Print out log information for files). There can be no space between ‘-t’ and its argument. If file is omitted, obtain the text from standard input, terminated by end-of-file or by a line containing ‘.’ by itself. Prompt for the text if interaction is possible; see ‘-I’.
-t-string
Similar to ‘-tfile. Write descriptive text from the string into the RCS file, deleting the existing text. There can be no space between ‘-t’ and its argument.
-U
Set locking to non-strict. Non-strict locking means that the owner of a file need not lock a revision for checkin. For use with CVS, strict locking must be set; see the discussion under the ‘-l’ option above.
-u[rev]
See the option ‘-l’ above, for a discussion of using this option with CVS. Unlock the revision with number rev. If a branch is given, unlock the latest revision on that branch. If rev is omitted, remove the latest lock held by the caller. Normally, only the locker of a revision may unlock it; somebody else unlocking a revision breaks the lock. This causes the original locker to be sent a commit notification (see section 10.6.2 Telling CVS to notify you). There can be no space between ‘-u’ and its argument.
-Vn
In previous versions of CVS, this option meant to write an RCS file which would be acceptable to RCS version n, but it is now obsolete and specifying it will produce an error.
-xsuffixes
In previous versions of CVS, this was documented as a way of specifying the names of the RCS files. However, CVS has always required that the RCS files used by CVS end in ‘,v’, so this option has never done anything useful.
ISBN 0954161718Version Management with CVS - the CVS manualSee the print edition