CVS Access

The web site uses CVS to manage its pages. This allows for multiple admins as well as multiple contributors, and contributors need not wait for admins to post their files. To obtain CVS clients or learn more about CVS, visit the CVS page.

Accessing the CVS repository without an account

This will allow you to download the contents of the web site without needing write access. There's not a lot of reason for the general public to need this, but it comes with the system and the instructions are mostly the same as for those with accounts.

To access the repository, you'll need to set the CVSROOT environment variable as in these examples (if you are using a different shell, you'll have to figure it out yourself):

95/NT	set
bash	export
csh	setenv CVSROOT

Once you've done that, you need to tell your local cvs software what password to use. The password is the word anonymous:

bash$ cvs login
(Logging in to
CVS password: anonymous

Note: Windows users may need to make sure the HOME environment variable is set to something meaningful.

After this, you shouldn't have to worry about passwords any more, as it will store your password in $HOME/.cvspass (semi-encoded). In other words, don't type "cvs login" again.

To get the web site files, do this:

bash$ cvs get .

This will populate the CURRENT directory with the files. You probably want to create an empty directory and "cd" to it before running this command.

Once you have a "working copy" of the files, you can obtain any updates by running "cvs update", which will only download the files that have changed. If you want to contribute changes to existing files, just make your changes locally and run "cvs diff" and mail the output to someone who can apply them.

To get just the files of a particular contributor, use a command like this:

bash$ cvs get www/user/dj_delorie

Accessing the CVS repository with an account

This is for people who maintain portions of the web site. The instructions are similar to those above, but you replace the word "anonymous" in CVSROOT with your cvs account name, and the password "anonymous" obviously gets replaced with your cvs account password. After checking out the files with "cvs get", you make your changes and run "cvs commit" to copy the changes back to the web site. Please use a meaningful log message! There's a mailing list where all the log messages and changes are sent, so at least a few words saying why you're changing it would be valuable. To add a new file, use "cvs add filename" then "cvs commit".

To get a cvs account, email DJ. Abuse of these priviledges will result in your account being cancelled. We're still new at this, so these rules may change in the future.

Account names will be of the form firstname_lastname (mine is dj_delorie for example). If you have an existing checked out tree that you got as "anonymous" you will probably have to delete that tree and check it out again with your new account name, as the tree remembers the initial account name and you'll have problems committing files.

Please read The Page Editing Style Guide before creating or committing any content.

Note that CVS traffic is NOT encrypted in any way, so your password will be assigned and you won't be able to change it. This keeps you from using the same password as some other one and possibly causing security problems.

Copyright 2012, all rights reserved unless specified otherwise. is maintained by DJ Delorie