In An Overview of CVS, you learned enough CVS to use it effectively as a project participant. If you're going to be a project maintainer, however, you'll need to know how to install CVS and administer repositories. In this chapter, we'll throw back the curtain and look in detail at how the repository is structured, and how CVS uses it. You'll learn all the major steps CVS goes through during updates and commits, and how you can modify its behavior. By understanding how CVS works, you'll also be able to trace problems to their causes, and fix them in maintainable ways.
This may sound very involved, but remember that CVS has already proven quite long-lived, and will probably be around for many years to come. Whatever you learn now will be useful for a long time. CVS also tends to become more indispensable the more you use it. If you're going to be that dependent on something (and trust me, you are), it's worth really getting to know it.
With that in mind, let's begin at the beginning: putting CVS on your system.