Provided by: rcs_5.10.1-1_amd64 bug


       ci - check in RCS revisions


       ci [options] file ...


       ci stores new revisions into RCS files.  Each file name matching an RCS suffix is taken to
       be an RCS file.  All others are assumed to be working files containing new revisions.   ci
       deposits  the  contents  of  each working file into the corresponding RCS file.  If only a
       working file is given, ci tries to find the corresponding RCS file in an RCS  subdirectory
       and then in the working file's directory.  For more details, see FILE NAMING below.

       For  ci  to work, the caller's login must be on the access list, except if the access list
       is empty or the caller is the superuser or the  owner  of  the  file.   To  append  a  new
       revision  to  an  existing  branch,  the tip revision on that branch must be locked by the
       caller.  Otherwise, only a new branch can be created.  This restriction  is  not  enforced
       for  the  owner  of  the  file if non-strict locking is used (see rcs(1)).  A lock held by
       someone else can be broken with the rcs command.

       Unless the -f option is given, ci checks whether the revision to be deposited differs from
       the preceding one.  If not, instead of creating a new revision ci reverts to the preceding
       one.  To revert, ordinary ci removes the working file and any lock; ci -l keeps and  ci -u
       removes any lock, and then they both generate a new working file much as if co -l or co -u
       had been applied to the preceding revision.  When reverting, any -n and -s  options  apply
       to the preceding revision.

       For  each  revision  deposited,  ci  prompts  for  a  log message.  The log message should
       summarize the change and must be terminated by end-of-file or by a  line  containing  . by
       itself.   If  several  files  are  checked  in  ci  asks whether to reuse the previous log
       message.  If the standard input is not a terminal, ci suppresses the prompt and  uses  the
       same log message for all files.  See also -m.

       If  the  RCS  file  does not exist, ci creates it and deposits the contents of the working
       file as the initial revision (default number: 1.1).  The access  list  is  initialized  to
       empty.  Instead of the log message, ci requests descriptive text (see -t below).

       The  number  rev  of the deposited revision can be given by any of the options -f, -i, -I,
       -j, -k, -l, -M, -q, -r, or -u.  rev can be symbolic, numeric, or mixed.  Symbolic names in
       rev must already be defined; see the -n and -N options for assigning names during checkin.
       If rev is $, ci determines the revision number from keyword values in the working file.

       If rev begins with a period, then the default branch (normally the trunk) is prepended  to
       it.   If  rev  is  a  branch number followed by a period, then the latest revision on that
       branch is used.

       If rev is a revision number, it must be higher than the latest one on the branch to  which
       rev belongs, or must start a new branch.

       If  rev  is  a  branch rather than a revision number, the new revision is appended to that
       branch.  The level number is obtained by incrementing the  tip  revision  number  of  that
       branch.   If  rev indicates a non-existing branch, that branch is created with the initial
       revision numbered rev.1.

       If rev is omitted, ci tries to derive the new revision number from the caller's last lock.
       If  the  caller  has  locked the tip revision of a branch, the new revision is appended to
       that branch.  The new revision number is obtained by incrementing the tip revision number.
       If  the  caller  locked  a  non-tip  revision, a new branch is started at that revision by
       incrementing the highest branch number at that revision.  The default initial  branch  and
       level numbers are 1.

       If  rev is omitted and the caller has no lock, but owns the file and locking is not set to
       strict, then the revision is appended to the default branch (normally the trunk;  see  the
       -b option of rcs(1)).

       Exception: On the trunk, revisions can be appended to the end, but not inserted.


       -rrev  Check in revision rev.

       -r     The bare -r option (without any revision) has an unusual meaning in ci.  With other
              RCS commands, a bare -r option specifies the most recent revision  on  the  default
              branch,  but  with  ci,  a  bare  -r  option  reestablishes the default behavior of
              releasing a lock and removing the working file, and is used to override any default
              -l or -u options established by shell aliases or scripts.

              works  like  -r, except it performs an additional co -l for the deposited revision.
              Thus, the deposited revision is immediately checked out again and locked.  This  is
              useful  for  saving  a revision although one wants to continue editing it after the

              works like -l, except that the deposited revision is not  locked.   This  lets  one
              read the working file immediately after checkin.

              The  -l,  bare -r, and -u options are mutually exclusive and silently override each
              other.  For example, ci -u -r is equivalent to ci -r because bare -r overrides -u.

              forces a deposit; the new revision is deposited even it is not different  from  the
              preceding one.

              searches  the  working  file  for  keyword values to determine its revision number,
              creation date, state, and author (see co(1)),  and  assigns  these  values  to  the
              deposited  revision,  rather  than  computing  them  locally.   It also generates a
              default login message noting the login of the caller and the actual  checkin  date.
              This  option  is  useful  for  software  distribution.   A revision that is sent to
              several sites should be checked in with the -k option at these  sites  to  preserve
              the original number, date, author, and state.  The extracted keyword values and the
              default log message can be overridden with the options -d,  -m,  -s,  -w,  and  any
              option that carries a revision number.

              quiet  mode;  diagnostic  output  is not printed.  A revision that is not different
              from the preceding one is not deposited, unless -f is given.

              initial checkin; report an error if the RCS file already exists.  This avoids  race
              conditions in certain applications.

              just  checkin  and  do  not  initialize;  report  an error if the RCS file does not
              already exist.

              interactive mode; the user is prompted and questioned even if the standard input is
              not a terminal.

              uses  date  for the checkin date and time.  The date is specified in free format as
              explained in co(1).  This is useful for lying about the checkin date, and for -k if
              no  date  is  available.   If  date  is  empty,  the  working  file's  time of last
              modification is used.

              Set the modification time on any new working file to be the date of  the  retrieved
              revision.  For example, ci -d -M -u f does not alter f's modification time, even if
              f's contents change due to keyword substitution.  Use this option with care; it can
              confuse make(1).

              uses  the  string  msg  as the log message for all revisions checked in.  If msg is
              omitted, it defaults to "*** empty log message ***".  By convention,  log  messages
              that  start  with  #  are  comments and are ignored by programs like GNU Emacs's vc
              package.  Also, log messages that start with {clumpname} (followed by white  space)
              are  meant  to  be  clumped  together if possible, even if they are associated with
              different files; the {clumpname} label is  used  only  for  clumping,  and  is  not
              considered to be part of the log message itself.

       -nname assigns the symbolic name name to the number of the checked-in revision.  ci prints
              an error message if name is already assigned to another number.

       -Nname same as -n, except that it overrides a previous assignment of name.

              sets the state of the checked-in revision to the  identifier  state.   The  default
              state is Exp.

       -tfile writes  descriptive  text  from  the  contents of the named file into the RCS file,
              deleting the existing text.  The file cannot begin with -.

              Write descriptive text from the string into the RCS  file,  deleting  the  existing

              The  -t option, in both its forms, has effect only during an initial checkin; it is
              silently ignored otherwise.

              During the initial checkin, if -t is not given, ci obtains the text  from  standard
              input,  terminated by end-of-file or by a line containing . by itself.  The user is
              prompted for the text if interaction is possible; see -I.

              For backward compatibility with older versions of RCS, a bare -t option is ignored.

       -T     Set the RCS file's modification time to the  new  revision's  time  if  the  former
              precedes  the  latter  and  there  is  a  new  revision;  preserve  the  RCS file's
              modification time otherwise.  If you have locked a revision, ci usually updates the
              RCS file's modification time to the current time, because the lock is stored in the
              RCS file and removing the lock requires changing the RCS file.  This can create  an
              RCS  file newer than the working file in one of two ways: first, ci -M can create a
              working file with a date before the current time; second,  when  reverting  to  the
              previous revision the RCS file can change while the working file remains unchanged.
              These two cases can cause excessive recompilation caused by a make(1) dependency of
              the  working  file  on  the RCS file.  The -T option inhibits this recompilation by
              lying about the RCS file's date.  Use  this  option  with  care;  it  can  suppress
              recompilation even when a checkin of one working file should affect another working
              file associated with the same RCS file.  For example, suppose the RCS  file's  time
              is  01:00,  the  (changed)  working  file's  time  is 02:00, some other copy of the
              working file has a time of 03:00, and the current time  is  04:00.   Then  ci -d -T
              sets  the  RCS file's time to 02:00 instead of the usual 04:00; this causes make(1)
              to think (incorrectly) that the other copy is newer than the RCS file.

              uses login for the author field of the deposited revision.  Useful for lying  about
              the author, and for -k if no author is available.

       -V     Print RCS's version number.

       -Vn    Emulate RCS version n.  See co(1) for details.

              specifies  the  suffixes  for  RCS  files.  A nonempty suffix matches any file name
              ending in the suffix.  An empty suffix matches any file name of the  form  RCS/frag
              or  frag1/RCS/frag2.   The -x option can specify a list of suffixes separated by /.
              For example, -x,v/ specifies two suffixes: ,v and the empty suffix.  If two or more
              suffixes  are  specified, they are tried in order when looking for an RCS file; the
              first one that works is used for that file.  If no RCS file is  found  but  an  RCS
              file  can  be  created,  the  suffixes  are tried in order to determine the new RCS
              file's name.  The default for suffixes is installation-dependent;  normally  it  is
              ,v/  for  hosts like Unix that permit commas in file names, and is empty (i.e. just
              the empty suffix) for other hosts.

       -zzone specifies the date output format in keyword substitution, and specifies the default
              time  zone  for date in the -ddate option.  The zone should be empty, a numeric UTC
              offset, or the special string LT for local time.  The default  is  an  empty  zone,
              which  uses  the traditional RCS format of UTC without any time zone indication and
              with slashes separating the parts of the date; otherwise, times are output  in  ISO
              8601  format  with time zone indication.  For example, if local time is January 11,
              1990, 8pm Pacific Standard Time, eight hours west of UTC, then the time  is  output
              as follows:

                     option    time output
                     -z        1990/01/12 04:00:00        (default)
                     -zLT      1990-01-11 20:00:00-08
                     -z+05:30  1990-01-12 09:30:00+05:30

              The -z option does not affect dates stored in RCS files, which are always UTC.


       Pairs  of RCS files and working files can be specified in three ways (see also the example

       1) Both the RCS file and the working file are given.  The RCS file name  is  of  the  form
       frag1/workfileX  and  the working file name is of the form frag2/workfile where frag1/ and
       frag2/ are (possibly different or empty) file names, workfile is a file name, and X is  an
       RCS suffix.  If X is empty, frag1/ must start with RCS/ or must contain /RCS/.

       2)  Only the RCS file is given.  Then the working file is created in the current directory
       and its name is derived from the RCS file name by removing frag1/ and the suffix X.

       3) Only the working file is given.  Then ci considers each RCS suffix X in  turn,  looking
       for  an  RCS  file of the form frag2/RCS/workfileX or (if the former is not found and X is
       nonempty) frag2/workfileX.

       If the RCS file is specified without a file name in 1) and 2), ci looks for the  RCS  file
       first in the directory ./RCS and then in the current directory.

       ci reports an error if an attempt to open an RCS file fails for an unusual reason, even if
       the RCS file's name is just one of several possibilities.  For example, to suppress use of
       RCS  commands  in a directory d, create a regular file named d/RCS so that casual attempts
       to use RCS commands in d fail because d/RCS is not a directory.


       Suppose ,v is an RCS suffix and the current directory contains a subdirectory RCS with  an
       RCS  file  io.c,v.   Then  each  of  the  following  commands check in a copy of io.c into
       RCS/io.c,v as the latest revision, removing io.c.

              ci  io.c;    ci  RCS/io.c,v;   ci  io.c,v;
              ci  io.c  RCS/io.c,v;    ci  io.c  io.c,v;
              ci  RCS/io.c,v  io.c;    ci  io.c,v  io.c;

       Suppose instead that the empty suffix is an RCS suffix and the current directory  contains
       a  subdirectory RCS with an RCS file io.c.  The each of the following commands checks in a
       new revision.

              ci  io.c;    ci  RCS/io.c;
              ci  io.c  RCS/io.c;
              ci  RCS/io.c  io.c;


       An RCS file created by ci inherits the read and execute permissions from the working file.
       If  the RCS file exists already, ci preserves its read and execute permissions.  ci always
       turns off all write permissions of RCS files.


       Temporary files are created in the directory containing the working file, and also in  the
       temporary directory (see TMPDIR under ENVIRONMENT).  A semaphore file or files are created
       in the directory containing the RCS file.  With a nonempty  suffix,  the  semaphore  names
       begin  with  the  first character of the suffix; therefore, do not specify an suffix whose
       first character could be that of a working file name.  With an empty suffix, the semaphore
       names end with _ so working file names should not end in _.

       ci never changes an RCS file or working file.  Normally, ci unlinks the file and creates a
       new one; but instead of breaking a chain of one or more symbolic links to an RCS file,  it
       unlinks  the destination file instead.  Therefore, ci breaks any hard or symbolic links to
       any working file it changes; and hard links to RCS files  are  ineffective,  but  symbolic
       links to RCS files are preserved.

       The effective user must be able to search and write the directory containing the RCS file.
       Normally, the real user must be able to read the RCS and working files and to  search  and
       write  the  directory containing the working file; however, some older hosts cannot easily
       switch between real and effective users, so on these hosts the effective user is used  for
       all  accesses.   The  effective user is the same as the real user unless your copies of ci
       and co have setuid privileges.  As described in the next section, these  privileges  yield
       extra  security  if the effective user owns all RCS files and directories, and if only the
       effective user can write RCS directories.

       Users can control access to  RCS  files  by  setting  the  permissions  of  the  directory
       containing  the  files; only users with write access to the directory can use RCS commands
       to change its RCS files.  For example, in hosts that allow a user  to  belong  to  several
       groups, one can make a group's RCS directories writable to that group only.  This approach
       suffices for informal projects, but it means that any group member can arbitrarily  change
       the  group's  RCS  files,  and  can even remove them entirely.  Hence more formal projects
       sometimes distinguish between an RCS administrator, who can change the RCS files at  will,
       and  other project members, who can check in new revisions but cannot otherwise change the
       RCS files.


       To prevent anybody but their RCS administrator from deleting revisions, a set of users can
       employ setuid privileges as follows.

       • Check  that the host supports RCS setuid use.  Consult a trustworthy expert if there are
         any doubts.  It is best if the seteuid system call works as described in  Posix  1003.1a
         Draft  5, because RCS can switch back and forth easily between real and effective users,
         even if the real user is root.  If not, the second best is if  the  setuid  system  call
         supports saved setuid (the {_POSIX_SAVED_IDS} behavior of Posix 1003.1-1990); this fails
         only if the real or effective user is root.  If RCS detects any failure  in  setuid,  it
         quits immediately.

       • Choose  a  user A to serve as RCS administrator for the set of users.  Only A can invoke
         the rcs command on the users' RCS files.  A should not be root or any  other  user  with
         special powers.  Mutually suspicious sets of users should use different administrators.

       • Choose a file name B to be a directory of files to be executed by the users.

       • Have  A  set  up  B  to  contain copies of ci and co that are setuid to A by copying the
         commands from their standard installation directory D as follows:

              mkdir  B
              cp  D/c[io]  B
              chmod  go-w,u+s  B/c[io]

       • Have each user prepend B to their command search path as follows:

              PATH=B:$PATH;  export  PATH  # ordinary shell
              set  path=(B  $path)  # C shell

       • Have A create each RCS directory R with write access only to A as follows:

              mkdir  R
              chmod  go-w  R

       • If you want to let only certain users read the RCS files, put the users into a group  G,
         and have A further protect the RCS directory as follows:

              chgrp  G  R
              chmod  g-w,o-rwx  R

       • Have A copy old RCS files (if any) into R, to ensure that A owns them.

       • An  RCS  file's  access  list  limits  who can check in and lock revisions.  The default
         access list is empty, which grants checkin access to anyone who can read the  RCS  file.
         If  you  want  limit  checkin  access, have A invoke rcs -a on the file; see rcs(1).  In
         particular, rcs -e -aA limits access to just A.

       • Have A initialize any new RCS files with rcs -i before initial checkin,  adding  the  -a
         option if you want to limit checkin access.

       • Give  setuid  privileges only to ci, co, and rcsclean; do not give them to rcs or to any
         other command.

       • Do not use other setuid commands to invoke RCS commands; setuid  is  trickier  than  you


              Options  prepended  to the argument list, separated by spaces.  A backslash escapes
              spaces within an option.  The RCSINIT options are prepended to the  argument  lists
              of most RCS commands.  Useful RCSINIT options include -q, -V, -x, and -z.

              Normally, for speed, commands either memory map or copy into memory the RCS file if
              its size is less than the  memory-limit,  currently  defaulting  to  ``unlimited''.
              Otherwise  (or  if the initially-tried speedy ways fail), the commands fall back to
              using  standard  i/o  routines.   You  can  adjust  the  memory  limit  by  setting
              RCS_MEM_LIMIT  to  a  numeric value lim (measured in kilobytes).  An empty value is
              silently ignored.  As a side effect, specifying RCS_MEM_LIMIT inhibits fall-back to
              slower routines.

       TMPDIR Name  of  the  temporary  directory.  If not set, the environment variables TMP and
              TEMP are inspected instead and the first value found is taken; if none of them  are
              set, a host-dependent default is used, typically /tmp.


       For  each  revision,  ci prints the RCS file, the working file, and the number of both the
       deposited and the preceding revision.  The  exit  status  is  zero  if  and  only  if  all
       operations were successful.


       Author: Walter F. Tichy.
       Manual Page Revision: 5.10.1; Release Date: 2022-02-19.
       Copyright © 2010-2022 Thien-Thi Nguyen.
       Copyright © 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 Paul Eggert.
       Copyright © 1982, 1988, 1989 Walter F. Tichy.


       co(1), emacs(1), ident(1), make(1), rcs(1), rcsclean(1), rcsdiff(1), rcsmerge(1), rlog(1),
       setuid(2), rcsfile(5).

       Walter F. Tichy, RCS--A System for Version Control, Software--Practice & Experience 15,  7
       (July 1985), 637-654.

       The  full documentation for RCS is maintained as a Texinfo manual.  If the info(1) and RCS
       programs are properly installed at your site, the command

              info rcs

       should give you access to the complete manual.  Additionally, the RCS homepage:


       has news and links to the latest release, development site, etc.