rcs - change RCS file attributes
rcs options file ...
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 ci(1).
-i 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 ./RCS, and then into the current
directory. If the RCS file already exists, print an error
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
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.
Set the comment leader to string. An initial ci, or an rcs -i
without -c, guesses the comment leader from the suffix of the
This option is obsolescent, since RCS normally uses the preceding
$Log$ line's prefix when inserting log lines during checkout (see
co(1)). However, older versions of RCS use the comment leader
instead of the $Log$ line's prefix, so if you plan to access a
file with both old and new versions of RCS, make sure its comment
leader matches its $Log$ line prefix.
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. If someone else already holds the lock, the
lock is broken as with 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 can 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.
-L 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.
-U 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.
-M Do not send mail when breaking somebody else's lock. This option
is not meant for casual use; it is meant for programs that warn
users by other means, and invoke rcs -u only as a low-level
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
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 can have branches or locks.
-q Run quietly; do not print diagnostics.
-I 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
Write descriptive text from the contents of the named file into
the RCS file, deleting the existing text. The file pathname
cannot 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
Write descriptive text from the string into the RCS file,
deleting the existing text.
-T Preserve the modification time on the RCS file unless a revision
is removed. This option can suppress extensive recompilation
caused by a make(1) dependency of some copy of the working file
on the RCS file. Use this option with care; it can suppress
recompilation even when it is needed, i.e. when a change to the
RCS file would mean a change to keyword strings in the working
-V Print RCS's version number.
-Vn Emulate RCS version n. See co(1) for details.
Use suffixes to characterize RCS files. See ci(1) for details.
Use zone as the default time zone. This option has no effect; it
is present for compatibility with other RCS commands.
At least one explicit option must be given, to ensure compatibility
with future planned extensions to the rcs command.
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.
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.
Manual Page Revision: 1.3; Release Date: 1996/01/31.
Copyright c 1982, 1988, 1989 Walter F. Tichy.
Copyright c 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 Paul Eggert.
rcsintro(1), co(1), ci(1), ident(1), rcsclean(1), rcsdiff(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.
A catastrophe (e.g. a system crash) can cause RCS to leave behind a
semaphore file that causes later invocations of RCS to claim that the
RCS file is in use. To fix this, remove the semaphore file. A
semaphore file's name typically begins with , or ends with _.
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.