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2.2.1 Where files are stored within the repository

The overall structure of the repository is a directory tree corresponding to the directories in the working directory. For example, supposing the repository is in

 
/usr/local/cvsroot

here is a possible directory tree (showing only the directories):

 
/usr
 |
 +--local
 |   |
 |   +--cvsroot
 |   |    |
 |   |    +--CVSROOT
          |      (administrative files)
          |
          +--gnu
          |   |
          |   +--diff
          |   |   (source code to GNU diff)
          |   |
          |   +--rcs
          |   |   (source code to RCS)
          |   |
          |   +--cvs
          |       (source code to CVS)
          |
          +--yoyodyne
              |
              +--tc
              |    |
              |    +--man
              |    |
              |    +--testing
              |
              +--(other Yoyodyne software)

With the directories are history files for each file under version control. The name of the history file is the name of the corresponding file with ‘,v’ appended to the end. Here is what the repository for the ‘yoyodyne/tc’ directory might look like:

 
  $CVSROOT
    |
    +--yoyodyne
    |   |
    |   +--tc
    |   |   |
            +--Makefile,v
            +--backend.c,v
            +--driver.c,v
            +--frontend.c,v
            +--parser.c,v
            +--man
            |    |
            |    +--tc.1,v
            |
            +--testing
                 |
                 +--testpgm.t,v
                 +--test2.t,v

The history files contain, among other things, enough information to recreate any revision of the file, a log of all commit messages and the user-name of the person who committed the revision. The history files are known as RCS files, because the first program to store files in that format was a version control system known as RCS. For a full description of the file format, see the man page rcsfile(5), distributed with RCS, or the file ‘doc/RCSFILES’ in the CVS source distribution. This file format has become very common—many systems other than CVS or RCS can at least import history files in this format.

The RCS files used in CVS differ in a few ways from the standard format. The biggest difference is magic branches; for more information see Magic branch numbers. Also in CVS the valid tag names are a subset of what RCS accepts; for CVS's rules see Tags–Symbolic revisions.


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