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:
SystemAuth=yes TopLevelAdmin=no PreservePermissions=no
(An absent entry would be equivalent to
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.