CVSup 15.3 is now available

John Polstra jdp at
Mon Mar 23 21:32:43 PST 1998

                     Announcing CVSup 15.3
Release 15.3 of CVSup, the CVS-aware network distribution system, is now

Where to Get CVSup
CVSup is free software.  It is available from the following FTP sites:     (California) (Germany)     (slow; avoid if possible)

Full sources as well as FreeBSD binaries are available:

  cvsup-bin-15.3.tar.gz		FreeBSD static binaries for the client + GUI
  cvsup.nogui-bin-15.3.tar.gz	FreeBSD static binaries for the client (no GUI)
  cvsupd-bin-15.3.tar.gz	FreeBSD static binaries for the server
  cvsup-15.3.tar.gz		Sources **

The MD5 file signatures for these files are:

  MD5 (cvsup-bin-15.3.tar.gz) = 95a7fc3273a60c36989aac64a005cf14
  MD5 (cvsup.nogui-bin-15.3.tar.gz) = 336e98236e4d2a62795e83096a80f4f9
  MD5 (cvsupd-bin-15.3.tar.gz) = e66c8478ff1390ff8baabebd6ab7d191
  MD5 (cvsup-15.3.tar.gz) = 04438ae30094b8a81f2a3b0c48511b8f

An updated port will appear in the FreeBSD ports and packages
collections soon:


  For FreeBSD-current:

  For FreeBSD-2.2:

If you want SOCKS support, you must also install the "modula-3-socks"
port or package:



SOCKS is supported only under FreeBSD, and only with dynamically linked
executables.  The static binary distributions do not support SOCKS.

** If you wish to build CVSup from the sources, be sure to read the
discussion further on in this announcement.

Compatibility with Previous Releases
This version is believed to interoperate properly with all earlier
public releases of CVSup.

If you run a cvsupd server and use the "cvsupd.access" file in
conjunction with "-C 0" on the command line, be sure to read the
first item in the next section.

It is always a good idea to upgrade to the latest release.  Bugs are
fixed, features are added, and robustness is improved.  Otherwise, I
wouldn't bother with it.

What Has Changed Since the Previous Release?
  Implemented a much more flexible access control scheme in the
  server.  It still uses the "cvsupd.access" file, and the syntax is
  backward compatible with the previous versions.  But it adds a lot
  of capability, supporting both permit and deny rules with per-host
  and per-network connection limits.  See cvsupd(8) for details.
  NOTE: The one incompatibility is that _all_ clients are now subject
  to the limit imposed by the server's "-C maxClients" command line
  option.  If you have been using "-C 0" in conjunction with the
  "cvsupd.access" file, you will need to increase the number.

  Implemented a new "mirror mode" for servers that are mirroring
  files from a master site.  It reduces the disk load by orders of
  magnitude.  Mirror mode is enabled by a new "-s" option to cvsupd.
  See cvsupd(8) for full details.

  Restructured a recursive function which could cause a thread stack
  to overflow in pathological cases involving RCS files with zillions
  of deltas.  If you have ever seen illegal instruction faults,
  segmentation violations, or infinite looping (especially when
  updating CVSROOT/modules,v), this is the fix for it.

  Fixed the protocol engine so that a lost network connection no
  longer can cause a misleading error message.  This also fixed a
  rare problem (I've only seen it once) in which a lost connection
  at exactly the wrong time could abort the server due to an assert

  Made the server processes display pertinent information about what
  they are doing in the Unix "ps" listing.  [Supported only under

  Fixed the server so that the whole thing doesn't die if a fork()

  Improved the error message when a collection is temporarily
  unavailable because an NFS server is not responding.

  Fixed the Makefiles so that they are much more portable.  You should
  be able to use them on any Unix system worthy of the name.

  Beefed up the "-v" version messages so that the client indicates
  whether it is the GUI version, and both the client and server
  mention the e-mail address for bug reports.

  Added the bug reporting address to the info window in the client's

  Removed the obsolete "supconv" utility.

  Fixed lots of minor bugs.

What Is CVSup?
CVSup is a software package for distributing and updating collections
of files across a network.  CVSup is specifically tailored to
distributing CVS repositories.  By taking advantage of the special
properties of the files contained in CVS repositories, CVSup is
able to perform updates much faster than traditional systems.  It is
especially valuable for people with slow Internet connections.

CVSup parses and understands the RCS files making up a CVS repository.
When updates occur, CVSup extracts new deltas directly from the RCS
files on the server and edits them into the client's RCS files.
Likewise, CVSup notes the addition of new symbolic tags to the files
on the server and sends only the new tags to the client.

CVSup is able to merge new deltas and tags from the server with deltas
and tags added locally on the client machine.  This makes it possible
for the client to check local modifications into his repository
without their being obliterated by subsequent updates from the server.
Note: Although this feature is fully implemented in CVSup, it will
probably not be practical to use it until some small changes have been
made to CVS.

In addition to distributing the RCS files themselves, CVSup is able to
distribute specific checked-out versions.  The client can specify a
symbolic tag, a date, or both and CVSup will extract the appropriate
versions from the server's CVS repository.  Checked-out versions do
not need to be stored on the server since CVSup can extract any
version directly from the CVS repository.

If the client has an existing checked-out tree, CVSup will apply the
appropriate edits to update the tree or transform it into the
requested version.  Only the differences between the existing version
and the desired version are sent across the network.

To update non-RCS files, CVSup uses the highly efficient rsync
algorithm, developed by Andrew Tridgell and Paul Mackerras.

CVSup uses lightweight processes (threads) to implement a streaming
protocol across the network.  This completely eliminates the delays
associated with the lock-step, request-reply form of communication
used by many existing protocols, such as sup and NNTP.  Information
is transferred at the full available speed of the network in both
directions at once.  Network latency and server response delays
are rendered practically irrelevant.

CVSup uses the "zlib" compression package to optionally compress all
communications.  This provides an additional 65-75% compression, on
top of the diff-based compression already built into CVSup.

For efficiency, all processing is built into the CVSup package
itself.  Neither the client nor the server executes any other

For further information about how CVSup works, see the (somewhat out
of date) "Blurb" document in the CVSup distribution.

Using CVSup to Maintain FreeBSD Sources
CVSup servers are currently running at about 20 mirror sites around
the world.  For an up-to-date list of them, see:

Using CVSup, you can easily receive or update any of the standard
FreeBSD source releases, namely, "cvs", "current", and "stable".
The manual page for cvsup(1) describes how to do that.  For more detailed
instructions, see the section on CVSup in the FreeBSD Handbook:

Building CVSup from the Sources
CVSup is written in Modula-3, a modern, compiled, object-oriented
language.  Modula-3 integrates threads, exceptions, and garbage
collection, providing an ideal vehicle for this sort of application.
Without Modula-3, CVSup would almost certainly not exist today.

If you wish to build CVSup from the sources, you will first need
to install the free Modula-3 compiler and runtime libraries from
DEC SRC.  A port is available in the FreeBSD ports collection, in
"lang/modula-3".  The corresponding package is, of course, available
in the packages collection.

You will also need version 1.0.4 or later of the "zlib" library.
In FreeBSD-2.1.6 and later releases, this library has been incorporated
into the system sources, in "src/lib/libz".  Prior to that, a
FreeBSD port was available in "devel/libz" of the FreeBSD ports
collection.  For other sources of this library, see the "Install"
file.  Do not try to use versions earlier than 1.0.4.

To build the entire system from source under FreeBSD, simply type
"make" in the top-level directory.  (That's the directory that has
sub-directories named "client" and "server", among others.)  To
force the executables to be statically linked, set the environment
variable "M3FLAGS" to "-DSTATIC".  To build the client without the
GUI (e.g., if you don't have the X Window System installed on your
machine), set it to "-DNOGUI".  To do both of these things, set the
environment variable to "-DSTATIC -DNOGUI".

The Makefiles should work on any reasonable Unix system.  If you
have trouble with them, it is easy to build the components manually.
Simply chdir into each of the following subdirectories in the given
order and type "m3build":


To build statically linked executables, add "-DSTATIC" to each
"m3build" command.  To build the client without the GUI (e.g., if
you don't have the X Window System installed on your machine) add

Portability Issues
I intend for CVSup to be portable to most POSIX systems.  Earlier
releases have been run on a number of different platforms, including
FreeBSD, Linux, HP-UX, SunOS, Solaris, and DEC OSF/1 ALPHA.  In the
current release I have attempted to increase rather than decrease

Anybody who succeeds in porting CVSup to other systems is encouraged
to send his changes to <cvsup-bugs at>.  As long as the
changes are reasonably palatable, they will be incorporated into
future CVSup releases.

CVSup uses several POSIX-specific functions which may make it more
of an effort to port the package to non-POSIX systems such as Win32.
These functions include mmap, fork, syslog, stat, and chmod, among

Status of this Release
CVSup was first released publicly in August of 1996.  Since then
it has seen heavy use, and it has been quite stable.  Like all
software, though, it is not perfect.  Please be prepared to find
bugs -- without a doubt, there are some.  Please report bugs to
<cvsup-bugs at>.

John Polstra, <jdp at>

Copyright 1996-1998 John D. Polstra
$Id: Announce,v 1.34 1998/03/24 02:06:00 jdp Exp $

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