9.6. Lock Files
CVS removes its lock files when a CVS process completes properly, but processes that are killed can sometimes leave lock files in place. Chapter 6 explains the process of removing lock files and provides an example of the messages CVS displays when a lock file is present.
If you have to wait for valid lock files frequently, you may need to reduce the length of time a lock file is active in the repository. Locks are based on the directory that is being locked, so if you have frequently accessed project directories with many files or large files, you may benefit from splitting them into smaller directories.
If you are waiting for lock files frequently, you can also check whether your system is being overloaded. You may have network trouble, or large checkouts or commits may be overloading your system memory or swap space. Check the load average on the repository server, and find out what the CPU is doing. If you have insufficient memory, your server will be spending a lot of time swapping. You might also experience delays due to slow hard drive access times.