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1 Overview

GNU RCS (Revision Control System) manages multiple revisions of files. RCS can store, retrieve, log, identify, and merge revisions. It is useful for files that are revised frequently, e.g. programs, documentation, graphics, and papers. It can handle text as well as binary files, although functionality is reduced for the latter.

A normal installation includes the commands: ci, co, ident, merge, rcs, rcsclean, rcsdiff, rcsmerge and rlog (see Usage). These are small and fast programs (amenable to scripting) and indeed the distribution also includes the script rcsfreeze showing some of the possibilities.

RCS works with versions stored on a single filesystem or machine, edited by one person at a time. Other version control systems, such as Bazaar (http:///, CVS, Subversion, and Git, support distributed access in various ways. Which is more appropriate depends on the task at hand.