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RE: using cvs to contol system files

From: Miller Dale Contractor HQ AFWA
Subject: RE: using cvs to contol system files
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 17:38:05 -0500

> -----Original Message-----
> From: address@hidden
> Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 2:22 PM
> To: address@hidden
> Subject: using cvs to contol system files
> Has anyone out there used to cvs to version control system files?
> For instance, files in /etc.

We use CVS for controlling our software but for the system files
I find that RCS is generally sufficient.

RCS is simple to use and gives you version control with few commands to

If you have not used it, this is what you could do:

as root
  cd /etc
  mkdir RCS
check in the file and leave it in a checked out state with a lock (-l)
  ci -l filename  

This will prompt you for a remark that you end with a single line containing
a period.

This creates a RCS/filename,v file.

Then each time you want to change it:
as root
  cd /etc
check that no one has changed the file without checking their changes in
  rcsdiff filename    

if there are diffs you should check the file in before making more changes
  ci -l filename

then make your changes and check the file in with a lock (-l)
  ci -l filename

if you want to see the history use
  rlog filename

>From the rlog information you can see differences between revisions
  rcsdiff -r rev -r rev filename

If you need to fall back on a file use
  co -p -r rev filename >filename

Instead of placing all the /etc files into RCS, we ci only the files that we
need to change.

I also use RCS to control what I have in my /home directory such as my

The RCS commands have many options.  O-Reilly's book "UNIX in a nutshell"
has a chapter on RCS.

Dale Miller
Northrop Grumman IT


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