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A.4 Global options

The available `cvs_options' (that are given to the left of `cvs_command') are:

--allow-root=rootdir

May be invoked multiple times to specify one legal CVSROOT directory with each invocation. Also causes CVS to preparse the configuration file for each specified root, which can be useful when configuring write proxies, See Setting up the server for password authentication & Distributing load across several CVS servers.

-a

Authenticate all communication between the client and the server. Only has an effect on the CVS client. As of this writing, this is only implemented when using a GSSAPI connection (see section Direct connection with GSSAPI). Authentication prevents certain sorts of attacks involving hijacking the active TCP connection. Enabling authentication does not enable encryption.

-b bindir

In CVS 1.9.18 and older, this specified that RCS programs are in the bindir directory. Current versions of CVS do not run RCS programs; for compatibility this option is accepted, but it does nothing.

-T tempdir

Use tempdir as the directory where temporary files are located.

The CVS client and server store temporary files in a temporary directory. The path to this temporary directory is set via, in order of precedence:

Temporary directories should always be specified as an absolute pathname. When running a CVS client, `-T' affects only the local process; specifying `-T' for the client has no effect on the server and vice versa.

-d cvs_root_directory

Use cvs_root_directory as the root directory pathname of the repository. Overrides the setting of the $CVSROOT environment variable. See section The Repository.

-e editor

Use editor to enter revision log information. Overrides the setting of the $CVSEDITOR and $EDITOR environment variables. For more information, see Committing your changes.

-f

Do not read the `~/.cvsrc' file. This option is most often used because of the non-orthogonality of the CVS option set. For example, the `cvs log' option `-N' (turn off display of tag names) does not have a corresponding option to turn the display on. So if you have `-N' in the `~/.cvsrc' entry for `log', you may need to use `-f' to show the tag names.

-H
--help

Display usage information about the specified `cvs_command' (but do not actually execute the command). If you don't specify a command name, `cvs -H' displays overall help for CVS, including a list of other help options.

-R

Turns on read-only repository mode. This allows one to check out from a read-only repository, such as within an anoncvs server, or from a CD-ROM repository.

Same effect as if the CVSREADONLYFS environment variable is set. Using `-R' can also considerably speed up checkouts over NFS.

-n

Do not change any files. Attempt to execute the `cvs_command', but only to issue reports; do not remove, update, or merge any existing files, or create any new files.

Note that CVS will not necessarily produce exactly the same output as without `-n'. In some cases the output will be the same, but in other cases CVS will skip some of the processing that would have been required to produce the exact same output.

-Q

Cause the command to be really quiet; the command will only generate output for serious problems.

-q

Cause the command to be somewhat quiet; informational messages, such as reports of recursion through subdirectories, are suppressed.

-r

Make new working files read-only. Same effect as if the $CVSREAD environment variable is set (see section All environment variables which affect CVS). The default is to make working files writable, unless watches are on (see section Mechanisms to track who is editing files).

-s variable=value

Set a user variable (see section Expansions in administrative files).

-t

Trace program execution; display messages showing the steps of CVS activity. Particularly useful with `-n' to explore the potential impact of an unfamiliar command.

--timeout waitfor

Time out network connections when no data is accepted by or received from the peer for the amount of time specified in waitfor. `d', `h', `m', and `s' (days, hours, minutes, and seconds, respectively) are acceptable units when found at the end of waitfor (for example, `1d', `3h', and `40s' are all acceptable values for waitfor). If no units are supplied, seconds are assumed. A value of zero for waitfor means to wait on the network indefinitely (or until the connection is determined to be broken by other means, but this isn't always detectable on some systems). waitfor defaults to zero.

It is recommended that CVS clients do not set this value to less than 31 seconds for read operations or to a value much less than 40 seconds for commits since CVS servers can pause legitimately for just over 30 seconds while waiting to obtain a lock and can pause for an additional amount of time dependent on server load and the size of a commit when the user is attempting a commit. It is recommended that servers do not set waitfor to values under one hour since most CVS clients hold the connection to the server open while the user is constructing their log message.

This value is not needed to detect broken TCP connections on most systems, but may still be used to detect and abort on rare error conditions like hung clients or servers which hold their network connections open, a condition undetectable using only the TCP stack.

-v
--version

Display version and copyright information for CVS.

-w

Make new working files read-write. Overrides the setting of the $CVSREAD environment variable. Files are created read-write by default, unless $CVSREAD is set or `-r' is given.

-x

Encrypt all communication between the client and the server. Only has an effect on the CVS client. As of this writing, this is only implemented when using a GSSAPI connection (see section Direct connection with GSSAPI) or a Kerberos connection (see section Direct connection with Kerberos). Enabling encryption implies that message traffic is also authenticated. Encryption support is not available by default; it must be enabled using a special configure option, `--enable-encryption', when you build CVS.

-z level

Request compression level for network traffic. CVS interprets level identically to the gzip program. Valid levels are 1 (high speed, low compression) to 9 (low speed, high compression), or 0 to disable compression (the default). Data sent to the server will be compressed at the requested level and the client will request the server use the same compression level for data returned. The server will use the closest level allowed by the server administrator to compress returned data. This option only has an effect when passed to the CVS client.

-g
--sign
--no-sign

Force OpenPGP signatures on or off. `-g' & `--sign' will cause the commit to abort if the server does not support OpenPGP signatures. Without one of these options, CVS will autonegotiate signing, attempting to sign commits when the server supports it. Overrides the $CVS_SIGN_COMMITS environment variable (see section All environment variables which affect CVS) and the `sign' and `no-sign' method options (see section The connection method).

WARNING: OpenPGP Signed Commits for more on using OpenPGP signatures securely.

--sign-template template

Use template as the command line template to generate OpenPGP signatures. Format strings in this template are substituted before the commit is run:

%M

Substitute in the textmode flag (defaults to `--textmode') when a signature is being generated for a text file.

%@

Substitute in any args set via the `--sign-arg' option or the CVSROOT sign-arg method option.

%s

Substitute the name of the file to generate a signature for.

This template should send the generated signature to its standard output. Overrides the `sign-template' method option and defaults to something like `/usr/bin/gpg --detach-sign --output - %M %@ %s'.

WARNING: OpenPGP Signed Commits for more on using OpenPGP signatures securely.

--textmode

The value passed to both in place of `%M' in both the OpenPGP signature and the OpenPGP verification command line templates. Defaults to `--textmode'.

WARNING: OpenPGP Signed Commits for more on using OpenPGP signatures securely.

--verify
--no-verify

Force OpenPGP signature verification on checkout off, or set the failure mode. With a failure mode of `warn', the user will be warned of invalid signatures but the checkout will be allowed. With a failure mode of `fatal', the checkout will be aborted when the first corrupt file is received. If the server does not support OpenPGP signatures, a failure mode of `fatal' will disallow the entire checkout. Overrides the $CVS_VERIFY_CHECKOUTS environment variable (see section All environment variables which affect CVS) and the `verify' and `no-verify' method options (see section The connection method).

WARNING: OpenPGP Signed Commits for more on using OpenPGP signatures securely.

--verify-template=template

Use template as the command line template to verify OpenPGP signatures. Format strings in this template are substituted before the command is run:

%M

Substitute in the textmode flag (defaults to `--textmode') when a signature is being verified for a text file.

%@

Substitute in any args set via the `--verify-arg' option or the CVSROOT `verify-arg' method option.

%S

Substitute the name of the file containing the signature.

%s

Substitute the name of the signed file.

This template should exit with an exit code of zero if the signature is valid for the signed file and a non-zero exit code otherwise. Overrides the $CVS_VERIFY_TEMPLATE environment variable (see section All environment variables which affect CVS) and the `verify-template' method option (see section The connection method and defaults to something like `/usr/bin/gpg --detach-sign --output - %M %@ %S %s'.

WARNING: OpenPGP Signed Commits for more on using OpenPGP signatures securely.


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