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23.8 Version Control

Version control systems are packages that can record multiple versions of a source file, usually storing the unchanged parts of the file just once. Version control systems also record history information such as the creation time of each version, who created it, and a description of what was changed in that version.

The Emacs version control interface is called VC. Its commands work with different version control systems—currently, it supports CVS, GNU Arch, RCS, Meta-CVS, Subversion, and SCCS. Of these, the GNU project distributes CVS, GNU Arch, and RCS; we recommend that you use either CVS or GNU Arch for your projects, and RCS for individual files. We also have free software to replace SCCS, known as CSSC; if you are using SCCS and don't want to make the incompatible change to RCS or CVS, you can switch to CSSC.

VC is enabled by default in Emacs. To disable it, set the customizable variable vc-handled-backends to nil (see section Customizing VC).

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