Concurrent Versions System

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"Concurrent Versions System is a version control system, an important component of Source Configuration Management (SCM). Using it, you can record the history of sources files, and documents. It fills a similar role to the free software RCS, PRCS, and Aegis packages."

This is a quick guide on how to set up the latest CVS server.


Install cvs and xinetd.

Create the cvs group - members of this group will have write access to the repository:

# groupadd cvs

Create the cvs user in the cvs group (-md makes the home directory):

# useradd -md /home/cvsroot -g cvs -p Insecure0 cvs


Initialize your CVS repository (as cvs):

cvs% cvs -d /home/cvsroot init

The permissions on the directory (not the files inside, however) should be 2775 (drwxrwxr-x), but if not, run (as cvs):

cvs% chmod 2775 /home/cvsroot

Add any users that you want to have local access to the repository to the group cvs by using the following two steps. You can add pre-existing users to the cvs group with the command:

# gpasswd -a username cvs

Make a xinetd configuration file:

service cvspserver
        port            = 2401
        socket_type     = stream
        protocol        = tcp
        wait            = no
        user            = root
        passenv         = /home/cvsroot
        server          = /usr/bin/cvs
        server_args     = -f --allow-root=/home/cvsroot pserver

Ensure you have the following line in /etc/services (add it if not):

cvspserver 2401/tcp

Unset the HOME variable

# unset HOME

And restart xinetd.service.


Become cvs ("su cvs") and create a 'passwd' file in ~/CVSROOT. To add entries in the file you can use htpasswd command (present in the apache package) like that:

htpasswd -b filename username password

then edit che file and add che group, should look like this:

# Format is username:password:group


Now create a 'writers' file in ~/CVSROOT, which grants write privileges to the users you created in 'passwd':


Now create a 'readers' file in ~/CVSROOT, which grants read privileges to the users you created in 'passwd':

Note: If a user is present in the readers file cannot have write access too.


You can test out the server using the following commands:

export CVSROOT=:pserver:my_user_name@
cvs login
mkdir ~/sandbox
mkdir ~/sandbox/myproject
cd ~/sandbox/myproject
echo "this is a sample file" > myfile
cvs import -m "description of myproject" myproject v1 r1
cd ..
rm -R myproject
cvs checkout myproject
cd myproject
echo "some changes to the file" >> myfile
cvs commit -m "Explain changes here" myfile