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The config File

The config file allows you to configure certain global behavioral parameters. It follows a very strict format


with no extra spaces allowed. For example, here is a possible config file:


(An absent entry would be equivalent to no.)

The SystemAuth parameter governs whether CVS should look in the system passwd file if it fails to find a given username in the CVSROOT/passwd file. CVS distributions are shipped with this set to no to be conservative about your system's security.

TopLevelAdmin tells CVS whether to make a sibling CVS/ directory when it checks out a working copy. This CVS/ directory would not be inside the working copy, but rather next to it. It might be convenient to turn this on if you tend (and your repository's users tend) to check out many different projects from the same repository. Otherwise, you should leave it off, as it can be disconcerting to see an extra CVS/ directory appear where you don't expect it.

PreservePermissions governs whether to preserve file permissions and similar metadata in the revision history. This is a somewhat obscure feature that probably isn't worth describing in detail. See the node Special Files in the Cederqvist if you're interested (node is Texinfo-speak for a particular location within an Info document. To go to a node while reading Info, just type g followed by the name of the node, from anywhere inside the document).

LockDir is also a rarely used feature. In special circumstances, you may want to tell CVS to create its lockfiles somewhere other than directly in the project subdirectories, in order to avoid permission problems. These lockfiles keep CVS from tripping over itself when multiple operations are performed on the same repository directory simultaneously. Generally, you never need to worry about them, but sometimes users may have trouble updating or checking out from a repository directory because they're unable to create a lockfile (even on read-only operations, CVS needs to create a lockfile to avoid situations where it could end up reading while another invocation of CVS is writing). The usual fix for this is to change repository permissions, but when that's not feasible, the LockDir parameter can come in handy.

There are no other parameters at this time, but future versions of CVS may add new ones; you should always check the Cederqvist or the distribution config file itself for updates.

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