rcs options file ...
rcs creates new RCS files or changes attributes of existing ones. An RCS file contains multiple revisions of text, an access list, a change log, descriptive text, and some control attributes. For rcs to work, the caller's login name must be on the access list, except if the access list is empty, the caller is the owner of the file or the superuser, or the -i option is present.
Filenames matching an RCS suffix denote RCS files; all others denote working files. Names are paired as explained in ci(1). Revision numbers use the syntax described in ci(1).
This option is obsolescent, since RCS normally uses the preceding $Log$ line's prefix when inserting log lines during checkout (see co(1)). However, older versions of RCS use the comment leader instead of the $Log$ line's prefix, so if you plan to access a file with both old and new versions of RCS, make sure its comment leader matches its $Log$ line prefix.
At least one explicit option must be given, to ensure compatibility with future planned extensions to the rcs command.
The -brev option generates an RCS file that cannot be parsed by RCS version 3 or earlier.
The -ksubst options (except -kkv) generate an RCS file that cannot be parsed by RCS version 4 or earlier.
Use rcs -Vn to make an RCS file acceptable to RCS version n by discarding information that would confuse version n.
RCS version 5.5 and earlier does not support the -x option, and requires a ,v suffix on an RCS file name.
rcs accesses files much as ci(1) does, except that it uses the effective user for all accesses, it does not write the working file or its directory, and it does not even read the working file unless a revision number of $ is specified.
The RCS file name and the revisions outdated are written to the diagnostic output. The exit status is zero if and only if all operations were successful.
Author: Walter F. Tichy. Manual Page Revision: 5.9.4; Release Date: 2015-06-21. Copyright © 2010-2015 Thien-Thi Nguyen. Copyright © 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 Paul Eggert. Copyright © 1982, 1988, 1989 Walter F. Tichy.
co(1), ci(1), ident(1), rcsclean(1), rcsdiff(1), rcsmerge(1), rlog(1), rcsfile(5).
Walter F. Tichy, RCS--A System for Version Control, Software--Practice & Experience 15, 7 (July 1985), 637-654.
The full documentation for RCS is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info(1) and RCS programs are properly installed at your site, the command
should give you access to the complete manual. Additionally, the RCS homepage:
has news and links to the latest release, development site, etc.
A catastrophe (e.g. a system crash) can cause RCS to leave behind a semaphore file that causes later invocations of RCS to claim that the RCS file is in use. To fix this, remove the semaphore file. A semaphore file's name typically begins with , or ends with _.
The separator for revision ranges in the -o option used to be - instead of :, but this leads to confusion when symbolic names contain -. For backwards compatibility rcs -o still supports the old - separator, but it warns about this obsolete use.
Symbolic names need not refer to existing revisions or branches. For example, the -o option does not remove symbolic names for the outdated revisions; you must use -n to remove the names.