MirBSD manpage: ci(1)

CI(1)               UNIX Programmer's Manual                CI(1)


     ci - check in RCS revisions


     ci [options] file ...


     ci stores new revisions into RCS files. Each pathname match-
     ing an RCS suffix is taken to be an RCS file. All others are
     assumed to be working files containing new revisions. ci
     deposits the contents of each working file into the
     corresponding RCS file. If only a working file is given, ci
     tries to find the corresponding RCS file in an RCS subdirec-
     tory and then in the working file's directory. For more
     details, see FILE NAMING below.

     For ci to work, the caller's login must be on the access
     list, except if the access list is empty or the caller is
     the superuser or the owner of the file. To append a new
     revision to an existing branch, the tip revision on that
     branch must be locked by the caller.  Otherwise, only a new
     branch can be created.  This restriction is not enforced for
     the owner of the file if non-strict locking is used (see
     rcs(1)). A lock held by someone else can be broken with the
     rcs command.

     Unless the -f option is given, ci checks whether the revi-
     sion to be deposited differs from the preceding one. If not,
     instead of creating a new revision ci reverts to the preced-
     ing one. To revert, ordinary ci removes the working file and
     any lock; ci -l keeps and ci -u removes any lock, and then
     they both generate a new working file much as if co -l or
     co -u had been applied to the preceding revision. When
     reverting, any -n and -s options apply to the preceding

     For each revision deposited, ci prompts for a log message.
     The log message should summarize the change and must be ter-
     minated by end-of-file or by a line containing . by itself.
     If several files are checked in ci asks whether to reuse the
     previous log message. If the standard input is not a termi-
     nal, ci suppresses the prompt and uses the same log message
     for all files. See also -m.

     If the RCS file does not exist, ci creates it and deposits
     the contents of the working file as the initial revision
     (default number: 1.1). The access list is initialized to
     empty. Instead of the log message, ci requests descriptive
     text (see -t below).

     The number rev of the deposited revision can be given by any
     of the options -f, -i, -I, -j, -k, -l, -M, -q, -r, or -u.

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     rev can be symbolic, numeric, or mixed. Symbolic names in
     rev must already be defined; see the -n and -N options for
     assigning names during checkin. If rev is $, ci determines
     the revision number from keyword values in the working file.

     If rev begins with a period, then the default branch (nor-
     mally the trunk) is prepended to it. If rev is a branch
     number followed by a period, then the latest revision on
     that branch is used.

     If rev is a revision number, it must be higher than the
     latest one on the branch to which rev belongs, or must start
     a new branch.

     If rev is a branch rather than a revision number, the new
     revision is appended to that branch.  The level number is
     obtained by incrementing the tip revision number of that
     branch. If rev indicates a non-existing branch, that branch
     is created with the initial revision numbered rev.1.

     If rev is omitted, ci tries to derive the new revision
     number from the caller's last lock.  If the caller has
     locked the tip revision of a branch, the new revision is
     appended to that branch. The new revision number is obtained
     by incrementing the tip revision number. If the caller
     locked a non-tip revision, a new branch is started at that
     revision by incrementing the highest branch number at that
     revision. The default initial branch and level numbers are

     If rev is omitted and the caller has no lock, but owns the
     file and locking is not set to strict, then the revision is
     appended to the default branch (normally the trunk; see the
     -b option of rcs(1)).

     Exception: On the trunk, revisions can be appended to the
     end, but not inserted.


          Check in revision rev.

     -r   The bare -r option (without any revision) has an
          unusual meaning in ci. With other RCS commands, a bare
          -r option specifies the most recent revision on the
          default branch, but with ci, a bare -r option reestab-
          lishes the default behavior of releasing a lock and
          removing the working file, and is used to override any
          default -l or -u options established by shell aliases
          or scripts.


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          works like -r, except it performs an additional co -l
          for the deposited revision.  Thus, the deposited revi-
          sion is immediately checked out again and locked. This
          is useful for saving a revision although one wants to
          continue editing it after the checkin.

          works like -l, except that the deposited revision is
          not locked. This lets one read the working file immedi-
          ately after checkin.

          The -l, bare -r, and -u options are mutually exclusive
          and silently override each other. For example, ci -u -r
          is equivalent to ci -r because bare -r overrides -u.

          forces a deposit; the new revision is deposited even it
          is not different from the preceding one.

          searches the working file for keyword values to deter-
          mine its revision number, creation date, state, and
          author (see co(1)), and assigns these values to the
          deposited revision, rather than computing them locally.
          It also generates a default login message noting the
          login of the caller and the actual checkin date. This
          option is useful for software distribution.  A revision
          that is sent to several sites should be checked in with
          the -k option at these sites to preserve the original
          number, date, author, and state. The extracted keyword
          values and the default log message can be overridden
          with the options -d, -m, -s, -w, and any option that
          carries a revision number.

          quiet mode; diagnostic output is not printed. A revi-
          sion that is not different from the preceding one is
          not deposited, unless -f is given.

          initial checkin; report an error if the RCS file
          already exists. This avoids race conditions in certain

          just checkin and do not initialize; report an error if
          the RCS file does not already exist.

          interactive mode; the user is prompted and questioned
          even if the standard input is not a terminal.

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          uses date for the checkin date and time. The date is
          specified in free format as explained in co(1). This is
          useful for lying about the checkin date, and for -k if
          no date is available. If date is empty, the working
          file's time of last modification is used.

          Set the modification time on any new working file to be
          the date of the retrieved revision. For example,
          ci -d -M -u f does not alter f's modification time,
          even if f's contents change due to keyword substitu-
          tion. Use this option with care; it can confuse

          uses the string msg as the log message for all revi-
          sions checked in. By convention, log messages that
          start with # are comments and are ignored by programs
          like GNU Emacs's vc package. Also, log messages that
          start with {clumpname} (followed by white space) are
          meant to be clumped together if possible, even if they
          are associated with different files; the {clumpname}
          label is used only for clumping, and is not considered
          to be part of the log message itself.

          assigns the symbolic name name to the number of the
          checked-in revision. ci prints an error message if name
          is already assigned to another number.

          same as -n, except that it overrides a previous assign-
          ment of name.

          sets the state of the checked-in revision to the iden-
          tifier state. The default state is Exp.

          writes descriptive text from the contents of the named
          file into the RCS file, deleting the existing text. The
          file cannot begin with -.

          Write descriptive text from the string into the RCS
          file, deleting the existing text.

          The -t option, in both its forms, has effect only dur-
          ing an initial checkin; it is silently ignored other-

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          During the initial checkin, if -t is not given, ci
          obtains the text from standard input, terminated by
          end-of-file or by a line containing . by itself. The
          user is prompted for the text if interaction is possi-
          ble; see -I.

          For backward compatibility with older versions of RCS,
          a bare -t option is ignored.

     -T   Set the RCS file's modification time to the new
          revision's time if the former precedes the latter and
          there is a new revision; preserve the RCS file's modif-
          ication time otherwise. If you have locked a revision,
          ci usually updates the RCS file's modification time to
          the current time, because the lock is stored in the RCS
          file and removing the lock requires changing the RCS
          file. This can create an RCS file newer than the work-
          ing file in one of two ways: first, ci -M can create a
          working file with a date before the current time;
          second, when reverting to the previous revision the RCS
          file can change while the working file remains
          unchanged. These two cases can cause excessive recompi-
          lation caused by a make(1) dependency of the working
          file on the RCS file. The -T option inhibits this
          recompilation by lying about the RCS file's date. Use
          this option with care; it can suppress recompilation
          even when a checkin of one working file should affect
          another working file associated with the same RCS file.
          For example, suppose the RCS file's time is 01:00, the
          (changed) working file's time is 02:00, some other copy
          of the working file has a time of 03:00, and the
          current time is 04:00. Then ci -d -T sets the RCS
          file's time to 02:00 instead of the usual 04:00; this
          causes make(1) to think (incorrectly) that the other
          copy is newer than the RCS file.

          uses login for the author field of the deposited revi-
          sion. Useful for lying about the author, and for -k if
          no author is available.

     -V   Print RCS's version number.

     -Vn  Emulate RCS version n. See co(1) for details.

          specifies the suffixes for RCS files. A nonempty suffix
          matches any pathname ending in the suffix. An empty
          suffix matches any pathname of the form RCS/path or
          path1/RCS/path2. The -x option can specify a list of
          suffixes separated by /. For example, -x,v/ specifies
          two suffixes: ,v and the empty suffix. If two or more

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          suffixes are specified, they are tried in order when
          looking for an RCS file; the first one that works is
          used for that file. If no RCS file is found but an RCS
          file can be created, the suffixes are tried in order to
          determine the new RCS file's name. The default for suf-
          fixes is installation-dependent; normally it is ,v/ for
          hosts like Unix that permit commas in filenames, and is
          empty (i.e. just the empty suffix) for other hosts.

          specifies the date output format in keyword substitu-
          tion, and specifies the default time zone for date in
          the -ddate option. The zone should be empty, a numeric
          UTC offset, or the special string LT for local time.
          The default is an empty zone, which uses the tradi-
          tional RCS format of UTC without any time zone indica-
          tion and with slashes separating the parts of the date;
          otherwise, times are output in ISO 8601 format with
          time zone indication. For example, if local time is
          January 11, 1990, 8pm Pacific Standard Time, eight
          hours west of UTC, then the time is output as follows:

               option    time output
               -z        1990/01/12 04:00:00        (default)
               -zLT      1990-01-11 20:00:00-08
               -z+05:30  1990-01-12 09:30:00+05:30

          The -z option does not affect dates stored in RCS
          files, which are always UTC.


     Pairs of RCS files and working files can be specified in
     three ways (see also the example section).

     1) Both the RCS file and the working file are given.  The
     RCS pathname is of the form path1/workfileX and the working
     pathname is of the form path2/workfile where path1/ and
     path2/ are (possibly different or empty) paths, workfile is
     a filename, and X is an RCS suffix. If X is empty, path1/
     must start with RCS/ or must contain /RCS/.

     2) Only the RCS file is given.  Then the working file is
     created in the current directory and its name is derived
     from the name of the RCS file by removing path1/ and the
     suffix X.

     3) Only the working file is given. Then ci considers each
     RCS suffix X in turn, looking for an RCS file of the form
     path2/RCS/workfileX or (if the former is not found and X is
     nonempty) path2/workfileX.

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     If the RCS file is specified without a path in 1) and 2), ci
     looks for the RCS file first in the directory ./RCS and then
     in the current directory.

     ci reports an error if an attempt to open an RCS file fails
     for an unusual reason, even if the RCS file's pathname is
     just one of several possibilities. For example, to suppress
     use of RCS commands in a directory d, create a regular file
     named d/RCS so that casual attempts to use RCS commands in d
     fail because d/RCS is not a directory.


     Suppose ,v is an RCS suffix and the current directory con-
     tains a subdirectory RCS with an RCS file io.c,v. Then each
     of the following commands check in a copy of io.c into
     RCS/io.c,v as the latest revision, removing io.c.

          ci  io.c;    ci  RCS/io.c,v;   ci  io.c,v;
          ci  io.c  RCS/io.c,v;    ci  io.c  io.c,v;
          ci  RCS/io.c,v  io.c;    ci  io.c,v  io.c;

     Suppose instead that the empty suffix is an RCS suffix and
     the current directory contains a subdirectory RCS with an
     RCS file io.c. The each of the following commands checks in
     a new revision.

          ci  io.c;    ci  RCS/io.c;
          ci  io.c  RCS/io.c;
          ci  RCS/io.c  io.c;


     An RCS file created by ci inherits the read and execute per-
     missions from the working file.  If the RCS file exists
     already, ci preserves its read and execute permissions. ci
     always turns off all write permissions of RCS files.


     Temporary files are created in the directory containing the
     working file, and also in the temporary directory (see
     TMPDIR under ENVIRONMENT). A semaphore file or files are
     created in the directory containing the RCS file. With a
     nonempty suffix, the semaphore names begin with the first
     character of the suffix; therefore, do not specify an suffix
     whose first character could be that of a working filename.
     With an empty suffix, the semaphore names end with _ so
     working filenames should not end in _.

     ci never changes an RCS or working file. Normally, ci
     unlinks the file and creates a new one; but instead of
     breaking a chain of one or more symbolic links to an RCS
     file, it unlinks the destination file instead. Therefore, ci
     breaks any hard or symbolic links to any working file it

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     changes; and hard links to RCS files are ineffective, but
     symbolic links to RCS files are preserved.

     The effective user must be able to search and write the
     directory containing the RCS file. Normally, the real user
     must be able to read the RCS and working files and to search
     and write the directory containing the working file; how-
     ever, some older hosts cannot easily switch between real and
     effective users, so on these hosts the effective user is
     used for all accesses. The effective user is the same as the
     real user unless your copies of ci and co have setuid
     privileges. As described in the next section, these
     privileges yield extra security if the effective user owns
     all RCS files and directories, and if only the effective
     user can write RCS directories.

     Users can control access to RCS files by setting the permis-
     sions of the directory containing the files; only users with
     write access to the directory can use RCS commands to change
     its RCS files. For example, in hosts that allow a user to
     belong to several groups, one can make a group's RCS direc-
     tories writable to that group only. This approach suffices
     for informal projects, but it means that any group member
     can arbitrarily change the group's RCS files, and can even
     remove them entirely. Hence more formal projects sometimes
     distinguish between an RCS administrator, who can change the
     RCS files at will, and other project members, who can check
     in new revisions but cannot otherwise change the RCS files.


     To prevent anybody but their RCS administrator from deleting
     revisions, a set of users can employ setuid privileges as

     + Check that the host supports RCS setuid use. Consult a
       trustworthy expert if there are any doubts. It is best if
       the seteuid system call works as described in Posix
       1003.1a Draft 5, because RCS can switch back and forth
       easily between real and effective users, even if the real
       user is root. If not, the second best is if the setuid
       system call supports saved setuid (the {_POSIX_SAVED_IDS}
       behavior of Posix 1003.1-1990); this fails only if the
       real or effective user is root. If RCS detects any failure
       in setuid, it quits immediately.

     + Choose a user A to serve as RCS administrator for the set
       of users. Only A can invoke the rcs command on the users'
       RCS files. A should not be root or any other user with
       special powers. Mutually suspicious sets of users should
       use different administrators.

     + Choose a pathname B to be a directory of files to be

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       executed by the users.

     + Have A set up B to contain copies of ci and co that are
       setuid to A by copying the commands from their standard
       installation directory D as follows:

          mkdir  B
          cp  D/c[io]  B
          chmod  go-w,u+s  B/c[io]

     + Have each user prepend B to their path as follows:

          PATH=B:$PATH;  export  PATH  # ordinary shell
          set  path=(B  $path)  # C shell

     + Have A create each RCS directory R with write access only
       to A as follows:

          mkdir  R
          chmod  go-w  R

     + If you want to let only certain users read the RCS files,
       put the users into a group G, and have A further protect
       the RCS directory as follows:

          chgrp  G  R
          chmod  g-w,o-rwx  R

     + Have A copy old RCS files (if any) into R, to ensure that
       A owns them.

     + An RCS file's access list limits who can check in and lock
       revisions. The default access list is empty, which grants
       checkin access to anyone who can read the RCS file. If you
       want limit checkin access, have A invoke rcs -a on the
       file; see rcs(1). In particular, rcs -e -aA limits access
       to just A.

     + Have A initialize any new RCS files with rcs -i before
       initial checkin, adding the -a option if you want to limit
       checkin access.

     + Give setuid privileges only to ci, co, and rcsclean; do
       not give them to rcs or to any other command.

     + Do not use other setuid commands to invoke RCS commands;
       setuid is trickier than you think!


          options prepended to the argument list, separated by
          spaces. A backslash escapes spaces within an option.

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          The RCSINIT options are prepended to the argument lists
          of most RCS commands. Useful RCSINIT options include
          -q, -V, -x, and -z.

          Local keyword to substitute. See co(1) for details.

          Name of the temporary directory. If not set, the
          environment variables TMP and TEMP are inspected
          instead and the first value found is taken; if none of
          them are set, a host-dependent default is used, typi-
          cally /tmp.


     For each revision, ci prints the RCS file, the working file,
     and the number of both the deposited and the preceding revi-
     sion. The exit status is zero if and only if all operations
     were successful.


     Author: Walter F. Tichy.
     Manual Page Revision: 5.17; Release Date: 1995/06/16.
     Copyright (C) 1982, 1988, 1989 Walter F. Tichy.
     Copyright (C) 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 Paul


     co(1), emacs(1), ident(1), make(1), rcs(1), rcsclean(1),
     rcsdiff(1), rcsintro(1), rcsmerge(1), rlog(1), setuid(2),
     Walter F. Tichy, RCS--A System for Version Control,
     Software--Practice & Experience 15, 7 (July 1985), 637-654.

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