"This is the first in a two-part series on CVS. This
article is intended for folks who will be using CVS already
installed on a system. In it, the author explains check-out,
update, adding, merging, and other functions. In the second part,
scheduled to run later this month, she will show how to create and
manage a CVS repository, for those who need to start from scratch.
CVS -- or Concurrent Versioning System -- is a system for
managing simultaneous development of files. It is in common use in
large programming projects, and is also useful to system
administrators, technical writers, and anyone who needs to manage
CVS stores files in a central repository, set (using standard
Unix permissions) to be accessible to all users of the files.
Commands are given to "check out" a copy of a file for development,
and "commit" changes back to the repository. It also scans the
files as they are moved to and from the repository, to prevent one
person's work from overwriting another's."