The RCS commands
RCS - A System for Version Control
by Walter F. Tichy
(the manual supplied with the sources)
Note: these manuals were converted from the original Unix man-pages with the
man2html tool. Although this tool saves a lot of work, the conversion is not
perfect. Effort has been taken to make the html versions of the pages look
as much like the original as is practically possible.
- rcsintro - introduction to RCS commands
- This manual page gets you up to speed with what RCS is all about.
- ci - check in revisions
- Ci stores the contents of a working file into the
corresponding RCS file as a new revision. If the RCS file
doesn't exist, ci creates it. Ci removes the
working file, unless one of the options -u or -l is present.
For each check-in, ci asks for a commentary describing
the changes relative to the previous revision.
Ci assigns the revision number given by the -r
option; if that option is missing, it derives the number
from the lock held by the user; if there is no lock and
locking is not strict, ci increments the number
of the latest revision on the trunk. A side branch can
only be started by explicitly specifying its number with
the -r option during check-in.
Ci also determines whether the revision to be checked
in is different from the previous one, and asks whether to
proceed if it is not. This facility simplifies check-in
operations for large systems, because one need not remember
which files were changed.
The option -k searches the checked in file for
identification markers containing the attributes revision
number, check-in date, author and state, and assigns these
to the new revision rather than computing them. This option
is useful for software distribution: Recipients of distributed
software using RCS should check in updates with the -k
option. This convention guarantees that revision numbers,
check-in dates, etc., are the same at all sites.
- co - check out revisions
- Co retrieves revisions according to revision number,
date, author and state attributes. It either places the
revision into the working file, or prints it on the
standard output. Co always expands the identification
- extract identification markers
- Ident extracts the identification markers expanded
by co from any file and prints them. This include executable
files if the identification markers have been included e.g. as
a string constant.
- three-way file merge
incorporates all changes that lead from
The result ordinarily goes into
See also rcsmerge.
- change RCS file attributes
- Rcs is an administrative operation that changes
access lists, locks, unlocks, breaks locks, toggles the
strict-locking feature, sets state attributes and symbolic
revision numbers, changes the description, and deletes revisions.
A revision can only be deleted if it is not the fork of a side branch.
- clean the working directory
- Rcsclean removes working files that were checked out
but never changed.
- rcsdiff - compare revisions
- Rcsdiff compares two revisions an prints their difference,
using the Unix tool diff. One of the revisions compared
may be already checked out. This command is useful for finding
out about changes.
- rcsfreeze - freeze a configuration
- Rcsfreeze assigns the same symbolic revision number to a given revision in all RCS files. This command is useful for accurately recording a configuration.
On Unix, this command is a shell script. Therefore it is not available on
- rcsmerge - merge revisions
- Rcsmerge merges two revisions, rev1 and rev2,
with respect to a common ancestor. A 3-way file comparison
determines the segments of lines that are (a) the same in all
three revisions, or (b) the same in 2 revisions, or (c) different
in all three. For all segments of type (b) where rev1
is the differing revision, the segment in rev1 replaces
the corresponding segment of rev2. Type (c) indicates
an overlapping change, is flagged as an error, and requires user
intervention to select the correct alternative. Effectively, the
changes in rev1 and the changes in rev2 are merged
together into one file which has all the changes in it.
- rlog - read log messages
- Rlog prints the log messages and other information in an RCS file.
- rcsfile - format of the RCS files
- This is not a command. The manual page describes the format of the files
in which RCS keeps track of the revisions of a file.
For questions, remarks, suggestions, comments etc.
see the contacts page
$Id: commands.html 1.5 2003/11/26 17:36:50 erikgrnh Exp $