rcs - change RCS file attributes
rcs [options] file...
Create and initialize a new RCS file, but do not deposit
any revision. If the RCS file has no path prefix, try to
place it first into the subdirectory current directory. If
the RCS file already exists, print an error message.
Append the login names appearing in the comma-separated
list logins to the access list of the RCS file. Append
the access list of oldfile to the access list of the RCS
file. Erase the login names appearing in the comma-separated
list logins from the access list of the RCS file. If
logins is omitted, erase the entire access list. Set the
default branch to rev. If rev is omitted, the default
branch is reset to the (dynamically) highest branch on the
trunk. sets the comment leader to string. The comment
leader is printed before every log message line generated
by the keyword $Log$ during checkout (see co(1)). This is
useful for programming languages without multi-line comments.
An initial ci , or an rcs -i without -c, guesses
the comment leader from the suffix of the working file.
Set the default keyword substitution to subst. The effect
of keyword substitution is described in co(1). Giving an
explicit -k option to co, rcsdiff, and rcsmerge overrides
this default. Beware rcs -kv, because -kv is incompatible
with co -l. Use rcs -kkv to restore the normal default
keyword substitution. Lock the revision with number rev.
If a branch is given, lock the latest revision on that
branch. If rev is omitted, lock the latest revision on the
default branch. Locking prevents overlapping changes. A
lock is removed with ci or rcs -u (see below). Unlock the
revision with number rev. If a branch is given, unlock
the latest revision on that branch. If rev is omitted,
remove the latest lock held by the caller. Normally, only
the locker of a revision may unlock it. Somebody else
unlocking a revision breaks the lock. This causes a mail
message to be sent to the original locker. The message
contains a commentary solicited from the breaker. The commentary
is terminated by end-of-file or by a line containing
by itself. Set locking to strict. Strict locking
means that the owner of an RCS file is not exempt from
locking for checkin. This option should be used for files
that are shared. Set locking to non-strict. Non-strict
locking means that the owner of a file need not lock a
revision for checkin. This option should not be used for
files that are shared. Whether default locking is strict
is determined by your system administrator, but it is normally
strict. Replace revision rev's log message with
msg. Associate the symbolic name name with the branch or
revision rev. Delete the symbolic name if both : and rev
are omitted; otherwise, print an error message if name is
already associated with another number. If rev is symbolic,
it is expanded before association. A rev consisting
of a branch number followed by a stands for the current
latest revision in the branch. A : with an empty rev
stands for the current latest revision on the default
branch, normally the trunk. For example, rcs -nname: RCS/*
associates name with the current latest revision of all
the named RCS files; this contrasts with rcs
-nname:$ RCS/* which associates name with the revision
numbers extracted from keyword strings in the corresponding
working files. Act like -n, except override any previous
assignment of name. deletes (outdates) the revisions
given by range. A range consisting of a single revision
number means that revision. A range consisting of a
branch number means the latest revision on that branch. A
range of the form rev1:rev2 means revisions rev1 to rev2
on the same branch, :rev means from the beginning of the
branch containing rev up to and including rev, and rev:
means from revision rev to the end of the branch containing
rev. None of the outdated revisions may have branches
or locks. Run quietly; do not print diagnostics. Run
interactively, even if the standard input is not a terminal.
Set the state attribute of the revision rev to
state. If rev is a branch number, assume the latest revision
on that branch. If rev is omitted, assume the latest
revision on the default branch. Any identifier is acceptable
for state. A useful set of states is Exp (for experimental),
Stab (for stable), and Rel (for released). By
default, ci(1) sets the state of a revision to Exp. Write
descriptive text from the contents of the named file into
the RCS file, deleting the existing text. The file pathname
may not begin with -. If file is omitted, obtain the
text from standard input, terminated by end-of-file or by
a line containing by itself. Prompt for the text if interaction
is possible; see -I. With -i, descriptive text is
obtained even if -t is not given. Write descriptive text
from the string into the RCS file, deleting the existing
text. Emulate RCS version n. See co(1) for details. Use
suffixes to characterize RCS files. See ci(1) for details.
rcs creates new RCS files or changes attributes of existing
ones. An RCS file contains multiple revisions of text,
an access list, a change log, descriptive text, and some
control attributes. For rcs to work, the caller's login
name must be on the access list, except if the access list
is empty, the caller is the owner of the file or the superuser,
or the -i option is present.
Pathnames matching an RCS suffix denote RCS files; all
others denote working files. Names are paired as explained
in ci(1). Revision numbers use the syntax described in
The -brev option generates an RCS file that cannot be
parsed by RCS version 3 or earlier.
The -ksubst options (except -kkv) generate an RCS file
that cannot be parsed by RCS version 4 or earlier.
Use rcs -Vn to make an RCS file acceptable to RCS version
n by discarding information that would confuse version n.
RCS version 5.5 and earlier does not support the -x
option, and requires a ,v suffix on an RCS pathname.
The separator for revision ranges in the -o option used to
be - instead of :, but this leads to confusion when symbolic
names contain -. For backwards compatibility rcs -o
still supports the old - separator, but it warns about
this obsolete use.
Symbolic names need not refer to existing revisions or
branches. For example, the -o option does not remove symbolic
names for the outdated revisions; you must use -n to
remove the names.
rcs accesses files much as ci(1) does, except that it uses
the effective user for all accesses, it does not write the
working file or its directory, and it does not even read
the working file unless a revision number of $ is specified.
options prepended to the argument list, separated by
spaces. See ci(1) for details.
The RCS pathname and the revisions outdated are written to
the diagnostic output. The exit status is zero if and only
if all operations were successful.
Author: Walter F. Tichy.
Revision Number: 220.127.116.11; Release Date: 1993/10/07.
Copyright (C) 1982, 1988, 1989 by Walter F. Tichy.
Copyright (C) 1990, 1991 by Paul Eggert.
co(1), ci(1), ident(1), rcsdiff(1), rcsintro(1),
rcsmerge(1), rlog(1), rcsfile(5)
Walter F. Tichy, RCS--A System for Version Control, Software--Practice
& Experience 15, 7 (July 1985), 637-654.
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