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6 Recursive behavior

Almost all of the subcommands of CVS work recursively when you specify a directory as an argument. For instance, consider this directory structure:

        |   |
            |      (internal CVS files)
            |    |
            |    +--CVS
            |    |  (internal CVS files)
            |    +--tc.1
                 |  (internal CVS files)

If tc is the current working directory, the following is true:

If no arguments are given to update it will update all files in the current working directory and all its subdirectories. In other words, . is a default argument to update. This is also true for most of the CVS subcommands, not only the update command.

The recursive behavior of the CVS subcommands can be turned off with the ‘-l’ option. Conversely, the ‘-R’ option can be used to force recursion if ‘-l’ is specified in ~/.cvsrc (see ~/.cvsrc).

$ cvs update -l         # Don’t update files in subdirectories