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Re: PATCH: Support :ssh: method in CVS/Repository - How common

From: Mark D. Baushke
Subject: Re: PATCH: Support :ssh: method in CVS/Repository - How common
Date: Sat, 01 Apr 2006 09:35:59 -0800

Hash: SHA1

Hi Bryce,

Bryce Nesbitt <address@hidden> writes:

> The IDEA folks did not claim the :ssh method was nongnu-compatible
> compatible -- they claimed they did not care (it's a subtle difference
> :-).  They defended the use of :ssh method, saying it was distinct from
> :ext.

I do not know who these people are. It sounds like they are mostly
ignorant of what CVS does these days.

They should consider opening dialogue with the CVS maintainers if they
think they are trying to support CVS as a source control mechanism and
do not like how the client server stuff is defined or are actively
refusing to actually use options that are used by a large number of the
opensource projects on the planet.

> And here I have to concede a point.  I would rather they support the
> standard command line cvs.  But encoding the access method in the
> CVS/Root seems an elegant solution when compared to CVS_RSH=ssh.  This
> is especially true if one has multiple projects some of which use rsh,
> and others which use ssh.

You should not need to concede this point.

You apparently are missing facts.

CVS 1.12.2 added a --with-rsh=ssh configuration option to allow easy
change of the default from rsh to ssh for the :ext: transport.

cvs 1.12.11 enhanced the :ext: method to support both the CVS_SERVER
option and the CVS_RSH option. That is, it became possible to encode the
transport and the path to the remote version of CVS as a part of the
CVSROOT variable and save that information into the CVS/Root file on the
client. For example, it is entirely possible to use


and have the cvs 1.12.x client connect to the remote server using ssh
for all connections. This is documented. I suggest the following link:

The default is to NOT encode this information in the client directories
so that maximum flexibility is retained with other CVS clients such as
CVSNT or even closed-source clients like SmartCVS which may not be at
the same release level as the latest FEATURE release of CVS.

CVS 1.12.11 added the CVS_SERVER and CVS_RSH optiosn to the :ext: method

CVS 1.12.12 changed the default to using the ssh transport,
allowing users to still use --with-rsh=rsh if needed.

Perhaps you should suggest they actually READ the documentation for CVS

> So I patched cvs itself.   Are there any other tools for which this is
> helpful, and would such a patch be considered for the mainline code?  

It is certainly your right to patch CVS. This is why we give you the

No, I do not know of any other tools which are trying to drive use of
:ssh: as the CVS method.

I do know that CVSNT does support :ssh: and works on windows as well as
many non-windows platforms such as GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD,
Solaris, HP/UX, AIX and probably others. If you do not wish to support
your hack, you could easily use a CVSNT client for your purposes.

CVSNT information may be found here: and it is
also an open source project that works very well for its intended
environment and interoperates with CVS servers. We do strive to keep the
client/server protocol support consistent between the two where

> As ssh becomes more and more common as an access method (perhaps even
> overtaking rsh?), it'd like to help make it all work out smoothly and
> easily for users.

It is already the case that rsh transport is on the decline and is not
the default in a large number of institutions and companies.

For many distributions of CVS 1.11.x (FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD), the
default is already ssh instead of rsh. All of the clients of those users
with trees already checked out using rsh are not happily using ssh as
the transport with no impact on the user configuration or CVS/Root

With the latest CVS 1.12.x, you must explicitly change the defaults to
use rsh if you still need it using configure:

  --with-rsh              The default remote shell CVS will use for :ext:
                          transport (default ssh)

The goal is a smooth transition to those who were using rsh into ssh.
Making the user care about the transport was NOT a primary goal for CVS.

>                                -Bryce
> NB: IDEA is not open source.

Then you should probably reject it and support an open source project

        Good luck,
        -- Mark
Version: GnuPG v1.4.2.2 (FreeBSD)


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