Source code version

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Mon Nov 11 07:08:59 UTC 2013

On 11/11/2013 05:41, Sreeram BS wrote:
> I have 2 questions related to source code of standard
> programs(commands) of FreeBSD.
> (1) Assuming I would like to get the source code of program 'tail',
> then I visit this URL and
> enter the 'tail' sub-directory. Here I see the tail.c file, but there
> is a version number(revision-number) next to it and that is the
> actual link for the program. Now, this version number is different
> for different utilities. For example, the latest version of tail.c is
> 251565, whereas the latest version of another program, 'basename' is
> 216370.
> My question is, is there a common path which can take us to the
> latest version of these programs? For example:
> ?
> (2) Is there a way, where I can get the revision number of source
> code of a program shipped in a particular release. For example,
> 'tail' is present in FreeBSD9 and FreeBSD8 also ('tail' is present in
> all FreeBSD releases, and so picking that as an example). The source
> code for 'tail' in FreeBSD8 could be different from the one in
> FreeBSD9. Is there a way to obtain the revision number of tail.c
> program that was shipped in FreeBSD8 (or FreeBSD9).

Conceptual misunderstanding.  Individual programs in the FreeBSD base
system do not have separate version numbers (except for certain vendor
imports).  Instead, the whole tree has an overall revision number[*].
The revision listed in any file is the version of the whole tree at the
time that file was last changed.

So to get the latest version of any file, just check out the latest
version of the source tree.



[*] This is a consequence of the shift to svn(1).  There used to be
individual per-file version numbers under CVS, but that's something most
modern VCSes have moved away from.

Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.

JID: matthew at

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