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A.1 Overall structure of CVS commands

The overall format of all CVS commands is:

cvs [ cvs_options ] cvs_command [ command_options ] [ command_args ]

The name of the CVS program.


Some options that affect all sub-commands of CVS. These are described below.


One of several different sub-commands. Some of the commands have aliases that can be used instead; those aliases are noted in the reference manual for that command. There are only two situations where you may omit ‘cvs_command’: ‘cvs -H’ elicits a list of available commands, and ‘cvs -v’ displays version information on CVS itself.


Options that are specific for the command.


Arguments to the commands.

There is unfortunately some confusion between cvs_options and command_options. When given as a cvs_option, some options only affect some of the commands. When given as a command_option it may have a different meaning, and be accepted by more commands. In other words, do not take the above categorization too seriously. Look at the documentation instead.