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Using the RCS source code control system

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RCS (for Revision Control System) is a group of commands you can use to track revisions to a text file; see `What does a source code control system do?'.

Here is the production cycle for RCS:

  1. Create an initial version of your file. If you want your file to contain the current version number, see `Adding ID keywords in an RCS file'.
  2. Create an RCS directory, if you haven't done so already. Then check in your initial version using the ci command. See `Bringing a file under RCS control'.
  3. Retrieve a "locked" version of the file, writeable and checked out to you. See `Locking a file under RCS control'.
  4. Make the next round of changes in the file.
  5. Check in the new revision using the ci command.
  6. Check out a read-only version with the latest version number.
  7. When you need to make more changes, go back to step 3.

You can also get a history of changes to an RCS file.

If you are working with a large directory subtree, see `Using RCS to control large file trees'.

Next: Bringing a file under RCS control
See also: What does a source code control system do?
Previous: Choosing a source code control system
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John Shipman,
Last updated: 1995/12/06 21:16:34 UT
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