If you please, you can watch me go through RCS in this video or read the tutorial below.

About RCS:
RCS is a version control terminal application that is great for Teams of programmers.
What RCS does is lets you check in/out a file to work on so that if someone else wants to work on the same file you are working on they have to wait until you are done with it
If you are going into the Programming world or working as a system admin, you will have to know how to do this. So why not learn now?

Issues with RCS:
If one of your buddies working on a file desideds to take the month off and doesnt check out the file, well you might run into issues. Luckily theres an app for that, i mean terminal command, to break the lock.

Getting started:
First direct your terminal to the folder your files are in.
cd /path/to/folder

Now type:
mkdir RCS
This makes the Directory RCS
if you don’t do this it will save file,v in the folder that your original file is in already. (its just easier to make the folder)

Now we are ready to fix our file up
ci -u (filename_here)
What this does it check in (ci) and unlocks (-u) the file
You will see:

  • The system will prompt ‘>>’ you for a description of the file to be used as the initial description by RCS
  • enter the multi-line description
  • end the description by entering a ‘.’ period on a line by itself.

Note: This is NOT a change log message!

Now if you look in your RCS folder, you will see filename,v file in it. This is your change log message and version control file.

Using RCS:
Now that everything is set up lets checkout (co) and lock (-l) our file so we can edit it without anyone messing with it.
co -l filename

When your done editing the file save as you would regularly.
After your done, you will need to unlock and check your file back in.
To do this we will need to type:
ci -u filename

Remember to do this so your not the guy that leaves the entire team locked out from a file.

Checking changes made from last time edited:
a nice feature about RCS is that it has a diff feature..
to run this we type:
rcsdiff filename

which is great to help understand changes made last time the file was open. It also tells which user did the changes.

How to unlock a locked file:
rcs -u filename

Now that you have an understanding about RCS, use it wisely. Don’t be the guy who locks his team out.
Enjoy the new power of rcs control!

-John Riselvato