[cvsnt] fundamental cvs questions

Glen Starrett grstarrett at cox.net
Tue Feb 10 21:50:35 GMT 2004

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Maneesh Khare wrote:

>I'm very new to CVS, and have a few questions....would really appreciate
>if anyone could take sometime to answer them.  I'm sure this thread will
>help newcomers like me:
>1.	If I understand properly, CVSNT is a service running on SYSTEM,
>and WinCVS, ViewCVS, etc. are frontends.  Then is it mandatory to have
>CVSNT installed on SYSTEM to be able to use WinCVS?
CVSNT has 2 pieces--the client and the server.  WinCVS is a client 
frontend, and includes the client version of CVSNT that it is set up to 
work best with.  ViewCVS is a server side repository front-end, and 
requires the CVSNT server components on that system to run (installed 
separately).  You need to have a client installed to use the client side 
functions (e.g. checkout, etc.).

>2.	I want a setup in which the repository is located in one
>geographical location, and can be accessed via the internet from other
>locations.  Is this possible using a combination of
>CVSNT/WinCVS/ViewCVS, etc?
Yes.  You'll want to research the different protocols to find which one 
would be most appropriate to cover your accessibility / cross-platform / 
security needs.

>3.	Is there a way to ensure that such an access to the central
>repository is safe, i.e. over ssl?  By the way, what the heck is
pserver is a protocol for CVS[NT].  In fact it's the second protocol 
made for it, past local.  It's not considered secure, but works 
everywhere.  There's the sserver protocol that uses SSL, and SSH 
protocol which works excellently from *nix CVSNT servers "out of the 
box" so to say but has some caveats on Win32 systems.

>4.	Are there major issues relating to performance of CVS over the
>internet (or even over a LAN)?
Major? no, not at all.  There is compression available for the protocols 
that help considerably.  I have devs across NA and in India accessing 
the same repository without trouble.  This is in STARK contrast to some 
other solutions (e.g. ClearCase, SourceSafe) that are highly WAN unfriendly.

I suggest you read up on the original CVS for some background info on 
generally how to use CVS, then refer back to the cvsnt wiki for 
differences between CVS and CVSNT.


Glen Starrett

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