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RCS (Revision Control System) is very useful for small groups wanting to operate on and update common files. It provides a way to "lock" files while changes are made and provides a method to document why changes were made.

For the best explanation see the man page:

man rcsintro

That is the best place to get an overview.

Typical use will be something like:

co -l filename  # check out file from RCS with a lock
# vi/edit filename (make changes)
ci -m"I made this change" filename  # check file back in to RCS to remove lock... provide a message to explain changes
co filename # after you do "ci" it won't be in present directory anymore, check it out without a lock

Failure to remove the lock will result in other members in your group not being able to make changes to it.

For groups wanting to share files, we recommend the directory with the files and RCS directory within have 2770 permissions for the group

Useful tools include rcsdiff (show differences between different versions) and rcslog (describes changes made)

For more information see more of the man pages (listed at the bottom of the above man page under the SEE ALSO section) or many of the hundreds of pages available via Google.

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