The Concurrent Versions System (CVS), also known as the Concurrent Versioning System, is a client-server free software revision control system in the field of software development. Version control system software keeps track of all work and all changes in a set of files, and allows several developers (potentially widely separated in space and time) to collaborate. Dick Grune developed CVS as a series of shell scripts in July 1986. There was a similar system available earlier in the mid-'70s developed by John Humbert.

CVS uses a client-server architecture: a server stores the current version(s) of a project and its history, and clients connect to the server in order to "check out" a complete copy of the project, work on this copy and then later "check in" their changes. Typically, the client and server connect over a LAN or over the Internet, but client and server may both run on the same machine if CVS has the task of keeping track of the version history of a project with only local developers. The server software normally runs on Unix (although at least the CVSNT server also supports various flavors of Microsoft Windows), while CVS clients may run on any major operating-system platform.

CVS is a production quality system in wide use around the world, including many free software projects.

CVS Features

  • It can run scripts which you can supply to log CVS operations or enforce site-specific polices.
  • Client/server CVS enables developers scattered by geography or slow modems to function as a single team. The version history is stored on a single central server and the client machines have a copy of all the files that the developers are working on. Therefore, the network between the client and the server must be up to perform CVS operations (such as checkins or updates) but need not be up to edit or manipulate the current versions of the files. Clients can perform all the same operations which are available locally.
  • In cases where several developers or teams want to each maintain their own version of the files, because of geography and/or policy, CVS's vendor branches can import a version from another team (even if they don't use CVS), and then CVS can merge the changes from the vendor branch with the latest files if that is what is desired.
  • Unreserved checkouts, allowing more than one developer to work on the same files at the same time.

CVS RELATED TOPICS(How to setup CVS locally)

     »  CVS Installation

     »  Checkin process for new project locally using Eclipse in CVS

     »  CVS Branch creation for Project