NAME [Toc] [Back]
rcs - change RCS file attributes
SYNOPSIS [Toc] [Back]
rcs [options] file ...
DESCRIPTION [Toc] [Back]
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 user's login name must be on the access list, except if the access
list is empty, if the user is the owner of the file or the superuser,
or if the -i option is present.
The user of the command must have read/write permission for the
directory containing the RCS file and read permission for the RCS file
itself. rcs creates a semaphore file in the same directory as the RCS
file to prevent simultaneous update. For changes, rcs always creates
a new file. On successful completion, rcs deletes the old one and
renames the new one. This strategy makes links to RCS files useless.
Files ending in ,v are RCS files; all others are working files. If a
working file is given, rcs tries to find the corresponding RCS file
first in directory ./RCS, then in the current directory, as explained
Options [Toc] [Back]
rcs recognizes the following options:
-alogins Appends the login names appearing in the commaseparated
list logins to the access list of the
-Aoldfile Appends the access list of oldfile to the access
list of the RCS file.
-c "string" Sets the comment leader to string. The comment
leader is printed before every log message line
generated by the keyword $Log$ during check out
(see co(1)). This is useful for programming
languages without multi-line comments. During rcs
-i or initial ci, the comment leader is guessed
from the suffix of the working file. Note, a
comment leader is inserted at the beginning of
each line of log information. The comment leader
is determined by the suffix used with the file
name, as in foo.c, or foo.sh, or foo.p. Note you
can specify a different comment leader through the
"rcs" command. The following table shows the
comment leader associated with each file name
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SUFFIX FILES Comment Character
c c '*'
C C Header '*'
sh shell '#'
s Assembly '#'
p pascal '*'
r ratfor '#'
e efl '#'
l lex '*'
y yacc '*'
yr yacc-rarfor '*'
ye yacc-efl '*'
ml mocklisp ';'
mac macro ';'
f fortran 'c'
ms ms-macros '\'
me me-macros '\'
"" empty suffix '#'
nil unknown suffix '""'
Erases the login names appearing in the comma-separated list
logins from the access list of the RCS file. If logins is
omitted, the entire access list is erased.
-i Creates and initializes a new RCS file, but does not deposit
any revision. If the RCS file has no path prefix, rcs tries
to place it first into the subdirectory ./RCS, then into the
current directory. If the RCS file already exists, an error
message is printed.
Locks the revision with number rev. If a branch is given,
the latest revision on that branch is locked. If rev is
omitted, the latest revision on the trunk is locked.
Locking prevents overlapping changes. A lock is removed
with ci or rcs -u (see below).
-L Sets locking to strict. Strict locking means that the owner
of an RCS file is not exempt from locking for check in.
This option should be used for files that are shared.
Associates the symbolic name name with the branch or
revision rev. rcs prints an error message if name is
already associated with another number. If rev is omitted,
the symbolic name is associated with the latest revision on
the trunk. If :rev is omitted, the symbolic name is
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Same as -n, except that it overrides a previous assignment
Deletes ("obsoletes") 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 head
of the branch containing rev. None of the outdated
revisions can have branches or locks.
-q Quiet mode; diagnostics are not printed.
Sets the state attribute of the revision rev to state. If
rev is omitted, the latest revision on the trunk is assumed.
If rev is a branch number, the latest revision on that
branch is assumed. 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 sets the
state of a revision to Exp.
Writes descriptive text into the RCS file (deletes the
existing text). If txtfile is omitted, rcs prompts the user
for text supplied from the standard input, terminated with a
line containing a single . or Ctrl-D. Otherwise, the
descriptive text is copied from the file txtfile. If the -i
option is present, descriptive text is requested even if -t
is not given. The prompt is suppressed if the standard
input is not a terminal.
Unlocks the revision with number rev. If a branch is given,
the latest revision on that branch is unlocked. If rev is
omitted, the latest lock held by the user is removed.
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 with a line
containing a single . or Control-D.
-U Sets locking to non-strict. Non-strict locking means that
the owner of a file need not lock a revision for check in.
This option should not be used for files that are shared.
The default (-L or -U) is determined by the system
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Access Control Lists (ACLs) [Toc] [Back]
Do not add optional ACL entries to an RCS file, because they are
deleted when the file is updated. The resulting access modes for the
new file might not be as desired.
DIAGNOSTICS [Toc] [Back]
The RCS filename and the revisions outdated are written to the
diagnostic output. The exit status always refers to the last RCS file
operated upon, and is 0 if the operation was successful; 1 if
EXAMPLES [Toc] [Back]
Add the names jane, mary, dave, and jeff to the access list of RCS
rcs -ajane,mary,dave,jeff vision
Set the comment leader to tab* for file vision:
rcs -c'tab*' vision
Associate the symbolic name sso/6_0 with revision 38.1 of file vision:
rcs -Nsso/6_0:38.1 vision
Lock revision 38.1 of file vision,v so that only the locker is
permitted to check in (see ci(1)) the next revision of the file. This
command prevents two or more people from simultaneously revising the
same file and inadvertently overwriting each other's work.
rcs -l38.1 vision,v
WARNINGS [Toc] [Back]
All rcs command options are available to anyone whose name appears in
the file access list, including those to add and delete names in the
access list, change strict locking, etc. If these options must be
restricted, other security methods should be employed. Also see
previous note regarding Access Control Lists.
AUTHOR [Toc] [Back]
rcs was developed by Walter F. Tichy.
SEE ALSO [Toc] [Back]
co(1), ci(1), rcsdiff(1), rcsmerge(1), rlog(1), rcsfile(4), acl(5),
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