Using CVS

CVS (Concurrent Versions System) is an open-source tool used for managing versions of files. You can put any types of files under CVS control, but this chapter concentrates on source and other text files.

Version control is the ability to track changes in a file over time. Each time a file is changed, the date, the name of the user who changed the file, and a description are all recorded. This lets you track when the file changed, who changed it, and why. CVS can also help coordinate changes made to a single file by many users.

Using CVS for controlling versions of source files lets you mark which changes should be part of a software release and which shouldn't. This means you can release a project while continuing to work on future features. It is this concurrency that makes using CVS for software version control so popular.

We'll start off with the basics of using CVS, from the initial setup to manipulating your source files. We'll also cover more advanced CVS concepts, such as concurrent development and remote access.

For more information about CVS, including the full CVS User's Guide, see