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RE: Cannot check in file after branch...?

From: Jim.Hyslop
Subject: RE: Cannot check in file after branch...?
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 17:29:22 -0400

Flossie wrote:
> Hi, I'm a bit of a CVS newbie, and have been trying all sorts 
> of things.
> I have CVS installed on linux, and my client is TortoiseCVS 
> running on 
> windows XP.
> As a test I had a modified local file (i.e in my 'sandbox'). I then 
> created a new CVS branch, and chose to ignore any modified files 
> currently 'checked out' (not usually something I'd like to 
> see happen, 
> but is likely to in the real world).
> After this, I found I couldn't commit the file - messages are:
> cvs commit: sticky tag `1.4' for file `test1.txt' is not a branch
> cvs [commit aborted]: correct above errors first!
> Error, CVS operation failed
As the error message says, your file was checked out with a sticky tag: a
revision tag, or a date, or a specific revision number (1.4 in this case).
CVS cannot check in files that are checked out using a sticky tag.

> I can't figure out how to get the file back into CVS. As far as I'm 
> concerned, the file should happily be able to be updated in the main 
> code tree (i.e ignoring the new branch), afterall this is 
> where it was 
> checked out from.
You must have issued the command 'cvs update[or checkout] -r1.4' in order
for it to have that sticky tag.

> How do I do this?
You need to clear the sticky tag. If you want it on the branch, then update
using a symbolic branch tag. If you want it on the head, then update using


cvs update -r branch_tag
cvs update -A

Jim Hyslop
Senior Software Designer
Leitch Technology International Inc. (
Columnist, C/C++ Users Journal (

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