( Introduction

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 1 Introduction
 CVS is a version control system (with some additional configuration
 management functionality).  It maintains a central "repository" which
 stores files (often source code), including past versions, information
 about who modified them and when, and so on.  People who wish to look
 at or modify those files, known as "developers", use CVS to "check out"
 a "working directory" from the repository, to "check in" new versions
 of files to the repository, and other operations such as viewing the
 modification history of a file.  If developers are connected to the
 repository by a network, particularly a slow or flaky one, the most
 efficient way to use the network is with the CVS-specific protocol
 described in this document.
    Developers, using the machine on which they store their working
 directory, run the CVS "client" program.  To perform operations which
 cannot be done locally, it connects to the CVS "server" program, which
 maintains the repository.  For more information on how to connect see
  Connection and Authentication.
    This document describes the CVS protocol.  Unfortunately, it does not
 yet completely document one aspect of the protocol--the detailed
 operation of each CVS command and option--and one must look at the CVS
 user documentation, `cvs.texinfo', for that information.  The protocol
 is non-proprietary (anyone who wants to is encouraged to implement it)
 and an implementation, known as CVS, is available under the GNU Public
 License.  The CVS distribution, containing this implementation,
 `cvs.texinfo', and a copy (possibly more or less up to date than what
 you are reading now) of this document, `cvsclient.texi', can be found
 at the usual GNU FTP sites, with a filename such as
    This is version 1.12.12 of the protocol specification.  This version
 number is intended only to aid in distinguishing different versions of
 this specification.  Although the specification is currently maintained
 in conjunction with the CVS implementation, and carries the same
 version number, it also intends to document what is involved with
 interoperating with other implementations (such as other versions of
 CVS); see  Requirements.  This version number should not be used
 by clients or servers to determine what variant of the protocol to
 speak; they should instead use the `valid-requests' and
 `Valid-responses' mechanism ( Protocol), which is more flexible.
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