To help you get up to speed quickly using CVS, this chapter explains the most common CVS operations. The commands and examples in this chapter are based on standard situations and cover only the most common options. Future chapters go into more depth on each topic covered in this chapter.
Most of the examples and instructions in this chapter are based on the Unix/Linux command-line CVS client, though I also provide examples using multiplatform clients. Most graphical clients use the CVS command names for their menu options and buttons, so if you're using a graphical client other than one of the ones I provide examples for, you should be able to follow this chapter reasonably easily. Those using Mac OS X can use CVS from the command line, and people using Windows who want to use the command line can use Cygwin (available from http://www.cygwin.com). CVS is available via the Cygwin installer. Graphical clients and clients for operating systems other than Unix/Linux are described in Appendix A.
You may not need to read all of this chapter:
If you're not sure whether CVS is already installed and running, read the first part of "Installing CVS," which tells you how to check. If you're uncertain about having a repository, try searching for the directory CVSROOT. The repository root is the first directory in the repository and is the directory that contains CVSROOT. The repository path is the full pathname of the repository root, along with any remote access information needed; see "Accessing Remote Repositories" later in this chapter. The directories in the repository root, other than CVSROOT, are CVS projects.