Global options

The available cvs_options (that are given to the left of cvs_command) are:


Specify legal cvsroot directory. Obsolete. See the section called “Setting up the server for Authentication”.

-a, --authenticate

Authenticate all communication between the client and the server. Only has an effect on the cvsnt client. Authentication prevents certain sorts of attacks involving hijacking the active tcp connection. Enabling authentication does not enable encryption.

-b bindir

In CVS 1.9.18 and older, this specified that rcs programs are in the bindir directory. Current versions of cvsnt do not run rcs programs; for compatibility this option is accepted, but it does nothing.

-T tempdir

Use tempdir as the directory where temporary files are located. Overrides the setting of the $TMPDIR environment variable and any precompiled directory. This parameter should be specified as an absolute pathname.

-d cvs_root_directory

Use cvs_root_directory as the root directory pathname of the repository. Overrides the setting of the $CVSROOT environment variable. Chapter 2, The Repository.

-e editor

Use editor to enter revision log information. Overrides the setting of the $CVSEDITOR and $EDITOR environment variables. For more information, see the section called “Committing your changes”.


Do not read the ~/.cvsrc file. This option is most often used because of the non-orthogonality of the cvsnt option set. For example, the cvs log option -N (turn off display of tag names) does not have a corresponding option to turn the display on. So if you have -N in the ~/.cvsrc entry for log, you may need to use -f to show the tag names.

-F file

Read the contents of file and append it to the supplied command line. Arguments are separated by whitespace, and follow normal quoting rules.

-H, -help

Display usage information about the specified cvs_command (but do not actually execute the command). If you don't specify a command name, cvs -H displays overall help for cvsnt, including a list of other help options.


Do not log the cvs_command in the command history (but execute it anyway). the section called “history--Show status of files and users”, for information on command history.


Do not change any files. Attempt to execute the cvs_command, but only to issue reports; do not remove, update, or merge any existing files, or create any new files.

This option has a long history and is not guaranteed to actually leave the sandbox in the same state that it started with. It is supported only for the checkout command to an empty directory, which is required by certain frontends.

cvsnt has other commands which replace the functionality of this option - see status -q and ls commands.


Enable :local: access to a network share. Normally this is explicitly prohibited to discourage its use. It is recommended that you setup a proper server instead, as problems encountered using network shares will not normally be supported.


Where supported by the server (CVSNT 2.0.57+), try to convert the character set of the server to that of the client. This allows you to store exended characters such an umlauts in the repository even if your machine is set to a different codepage/language to the server.

For Win32, the codepage used is the current ANSI codepage. This may not render correctly in the OEM codepage used by the command line processor. To verify that CVSNT is doing the correct conversion look at the filename in Windows Explorer.

As of CVSNT 2.0.59 this is the default behaviour.


Disable client/server locale translation. If the client and server are not in the same locale then care must be taken not to use characters outside US-ASCII codepage if this option is used.


Cause the command to be really quiet; the command will only generate output for serious problems.


Cause the command to be somewhat quiet; informational messages, such as reports of recursion through subdirectories, are suppressed.


Make new working files read-only. Same effect as if the $CVSREAD environment variable is set (Appendix C, All environment variables which affect CVS). The default is to make working files writable, unless watches are on (the section called “Mechanisms to track who is editing files”).


Make all users readonly. This is used for read only mirror servers.

-s variable=value

Set a user variable (the section called “Expansions in administrative files”).


Trace program execution; display messages showing the steps of cvsnt activity. Particularly useful with -n to explore the potential impact of an unfamiliar command. More instances of -t increase verbosity.

-v, --version

Display version and copyright information for cvsnt.


Make new working files read-write. Overrides the setting of the $CVSREAD environment variable. Files are created read-write by default, unless $CVSREAD is set or -r is given.

-x, --encrypt

Encrypt all communication between the client and the server. Only has an effect on the cvsnt client. Enabling encryption implies that message traffic is also authenticated.

-z gzip-level

Set the compression level. Valid levels are 1 (high speed, low compression) to 9 (low speed, high compression), or 0 to disable compression (the default). Only has an effect on the cvsnt client.