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6. Recursive behavior

Almost all of the subcommands of CVS work recursively when you specify a directory as an argument. For instance, consider this directory structure:

 
      $HOME
        |
        +--tc
        |   |
            +--CVS
            |      (internal CVS files)
            +--Makefile
            +--backend.c
            +--driver.c
            +--frontend.c
            +--parser.c
            +--man
            |    |
            |    +--CVS
            |    |  (internal CVS files)
            |    +--tc.1
            |
            +--testing
                 |
                 +--CVS
                 |  (internal CVS files)
                 +--testpgm.t
                 +--test2.t

If `tc' is the current working directory, the following is true:

  • `cvs update testing' is equivalent to
     
    cvs update testing/testpgm.t testing/test2.t
    
  • `cvs update testing man' updates all files in the subdirectories
  • `cvs update .' or just `cvs update' updates all files in the tc directory

If no arguments are given to update it will update all files in the current working directory and all its subdirectories. In other words, `.' is a default argument to update. This is also true for most of the CVS subcommands, not only the update command.

The recursive behavior of the CVS subcommands can be turned off with the `-l' option. Conversely, the `-R' option can be used to force recursion if `-l' is specified in `~/.cvsrc' (see section Default options and the ~/.cvsrc file).

 
$ cvs update -l         # Don't update files in subdirectories

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