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2.3 Invoking co

rcs co [options] file …
(or “co” instead of “rcs co”)

The co command retrieves a revision from the RCS file, writing a new working file. This operation is also known as “checkout”.


Force overwrite of working file.


See Misc common options.


Write to stdout instead of the working file.


Normal checkout.


Like -r, but also lock.


Like -l, but unlock.


Reset working file mtime (relevant for -l, -u).

Multiple flags in -{fIlMpqru} may be given, except for -r, -l, -u, which are mutually exclusive. See Revision options.


See Substitution mode option.


See Date option. Select latest before or on date.


Merge using joins, a list of rev:rev pairs. NB: This option is obsolete (see rcsmerge).


See Misc common options. Select matching state.


Enable "self-same" mode. In this mode, the owner of a lock is unimportant, just that it exists. Effectively, this prevents you from checking out the same revision twice.

$ whoami

$ co -l -f z
RCS/z,v  -->  z
revision 1.1 (locked)

$ co -S -l -f z
RCS/z,v  -->  z
co: RCS/z,v: Revision 1.1 is already locked by ttn.

Preserve the modification time on the RCS file even if it changes because a lock is added or removed.


Select matching login who.


See Misc common options.

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