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CVS with a Novell repository (academic environement)?

From: Christopher Fuhrman
Subject: CVS with a Novell repository (academic environement)?
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2004 11:08:31 -0400


At our university we'd like to integrate CVS with Eclipse for all of our
software engineering students (they would like it, too!). However, at this
time, the file servers are all Novell. This seems to be pretty limiting in
terms of the technology, but I wonder if there's not another solution
without proposing another file server system.

Two things make CVS a challenge in an academic environment:

1) Having an administrator create projects each time a student team requests
it is an administrative nightmare, especially with 700+ students. CVS was
never designed for this kind of environment (that I know of).

2) Last-minute check-ins tend to kill the CVS server just before an
assignment deadline. A deadline is the same for, say groups of 40+

I thought of a couple of possible scenarios. One is to run CVS on a Windows
machine, that has a Novell store mounted for the repository. I'm not sure if
there is a way to have pserver authentication info be used to try to access
a Novell folder (say, on a mounted drive).

I briefly looked at CVSNT and saw that it's not supported for Eclipse,
according to's wiki page for Eclipse. A quick try (despite the
warning) caused CVSNT to crash as Eclipse was attempting to verify the
location of my space. Furthermore, CVSNT wouldn't let me define a space that
was on a mounted network drive with Novell.

Does anyone know if this strategy could work with standard CVS and Cygwin?

Another scenario is to use a Linux server with standard CVS, which mounts
(somehow) the Novell stores as repositories. We already have a solution to
share authentication info on our Linux machines, but I'm not sure Novell
stores can be mounted reliably on Linux, or if their file access schemes are

The advantage of these schemes is that we could have several of these
machines cheaply. The redundancy would alleviate some of the problems caused
by last-minute check-in storms, provided students used the different
servers. However, I realize that there's still a bottleneck at the Novell
server back-end. At least some of the load would be offset.

In either scenario, my idea to resolve space-administration problem would be
that the users themselves would manage their CVS space via Novell. This
requires defining a separate space for a CVS root containing base projects
for all students. Then the users could create sub-folders as needed under
their own space, allowing access through ACLs per standard Novell.

To summarize, could a CVS server (either on Windows or Linux) follow this



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