Skip to main content

Notice: This Wiki is now read only and edits are no longer possible. Please see: for the plan.

Jump to: navigation, search


Please note: CVS code repositories at Eclipse have been migrated to Git. Please see Git


Getting Started

How do I get a project into my workspace from CVS?

  1. Choose File > Import from the main menu
  2. Select CVS > Projects from CVS and click Next
  3. Click on Create a new repository location and click Next
  4. Fill in the location information identifying your repository and click Next.
  5. Click on the Use an existing module and select the project or projects you want to check out.
  6. Click Finish
The project now exists in your workspace.

How do I put a project into CVS from my workspace?

  1. Select the project in the Navigator or other view.
  2. From the context menu choose Team->Share Project...
  3. Fill in the location information identifying your repository and click Next.
  4. Click Finish and the Sharing wizard closes and the Commit wizard opens.
  5. Supply a release comment and click Finish to commit the project contents to the repository.

The project now exists in the repository.

I already have a project checked out from CVS with the command-line tool. How do I use it in Eclipse without having to check out the whole project again?

  1. Create a project in the workspace.
  2. File->Import, select File System, locate your files, click Finish.
  3. Select the project in the Navigator or other view.
  4. Context Menu->Team->Share Project...
  5. The wizard should tell you that it found all the necessary information. Click Finish.

Eclipse has now shared the project with the CVS repository.

Browsing the Repository

Why don't my branches and versions show up when I am browsing?

When you are browsing in the CVS Repositories view, you may expect to see branch and version tags which you have previously created. In CVS, such tags are stored on individual files rather than on projects or folders. Rather than scan every file in the repository, Eclipse only scans one well-known file, .project, which should exist in every Eclipse project. It is possible that you have other interesting tags that do not appear on .project but which you would like to show up in the CVS Repositories view.

To make these tags appear, do the following:

  1. Open the CVS Repositories view.
  2. Expand HEAD and select the project for which you want to configure tags.
  3. Context Menu->Configure Branches and Versions...
  4. In the "Browse files for tags" table, select one or more files that contain tags you would like to see.
  5. Check the tags you want under "New tags found in the selected files"
  6. Click "Add Checked Tags".
  7. Click "OK".

The CVS Repositories view will now display the chosen tags under the Branches and Versions categories. In addition, these tags will show up in other tag-related operations, such as "Replace With->Branch or Version...".

Why do some modules defined in CVSROOT/modules appear empty in the CVS Repositories view?

Some modules are not expandable because their definition is complex and difficult to parse on the client. These modules can still be checked out properly using the Check Out menu item from the module's context menu.

When I expand HEAD in the CVS Repositories View, it is always empty even though I know the repository has contents. Whats wrong?

If you also see messages from the server like "-f server: ...", this indicates that your CVS server has not been configured properly. Here is the line as it should appear in the "/etc/inetd.conf" file (example from AIX but the problem has also been seen on Solaris):

    cvspserver stream tcp nowait root /usr/bin/cvs cvs -f --allow-root=/usr/cvsroot pserver

The key is the 2nd copy of "cvs". The online cvs book at has it right (although I thought it was a typo so never tried it). Look for "The pserver access method is not working" section. Part of the reason I got this wrong is that the linux xinetd configuration does not duplicate the name of the program. At one point I just copied the fields from the linux config into the fields in the AIX inetd.conf file. Now that I know what to look for, the other entries in the inetd.conf file have the program name duplicated.

Server Issues

What server versions of CVS are supported by Eclipse?

The following table describes which versions of CVS various Eclipse releases are know to support. By known, we mean that, at last point of testing for a particular Eclipse release, the provided CVS version was the version available to test against. It is likely that Eclipse will work with higher point releases of the same version but it is not guaranteed since it is always possible for changes in the server to be incompatible in some way with existing clients. Unless stated otherwise, it can be expected that Eclipse releases higher than those mentioned in the table support the same CVS server releases as the highest Eclipse release listed in the table. Anyone is welcome to update the table based on appropriate testing.

Eclipse Release Supported Server Versions Unsupported Server Versions
Eclipse 1.x CVS 1.11.1p1 to CVS 1.11.6 CVS 1.11.7+, CVSNT, CVS 1.12.x (1)
Eclipse 2.0.x CVS 1.11.1p1 to CVS 1.11.6 CVS 1.11.7+, CVSNT, CVS 1.12.x (1)
Eclipse 2.1.0, 2.1.1, 2.1.2 CVS 1.11.1p1 to CVS 1.11.6 CVS 1.11.7+, CVSNT, CVS 1.12.x (1)
Eclipse 2.1.3 CVS 1.11.1p1 to CVS 1.11.17 CVSNT (7), CVS 1.12.x (1, 2)
Eclipse 3.0.x CVS 1.11.2 to 1.11.17 CVSNT, CVS 1.12.x (1, 2, 3)
Eclipse 3.1 CVS 1.11.2 to 1.11.17 & 1.12.9, CVSNT 2.0.58b (7)
Eclipse 3.2 CVS 1.11.2 to 1.11.21 & 1.12.12, CVSNT 2.0.58b to 2.5.03 (4, 5) and 2.8.x (6)
Eclipse 3.3 CVS 1.11.2 to 1.11.22 & 1.12.13, CVSNT 2.0.58b to 2.5.03 (4, 5) and 2.8.x (6)
Eclipse 3.4 CVS 1.11.2 to 1.11.22 & 1.12.13, CVSNT 2.0.58b to 2.5.03 (4, 5) and 2.8.x (6)
Eclipse 3.5 CVS 1.11.2 to 1.11.22 & 1.12.13, CVSNT 2.0.58b to 2.5.03 (4, 5) and 2.8.x (6)
Eclipse 3.6 CVS 1.11.2 to 1.11.22 & 1.12.13, CVSNT 2.0.58b to 2.5.03 (4,5) and 2.8.x (6)
Eclipse 3.7 CVS 1.11.2 to 1.11.22 & 1.12.13, CVSNT 2.0.58b to 2.5.03 (4,5) and 2.8.x (6)

(1) A patch for compatibility between Eclipse 1.0.2 (WSAD 4.0.3) through 2.1.2 (WSAD 5.1) and CVS 1.11.7 through 1.11.17 is available here.

(2) A patch for compatibility between Eclipse 2.1.3 and CVS 1.12.3 is available here.

(3) There have been some changes in 1.12.9 that effect Eclipse functionality in minor ways (see bug#67627). There have been no problems reported with 1.12 builds prior to that.

(4) There are a known issue detected when using model based synchronization with CVSNT 2.5.01 (see bug#164964). The workaround is upgrade the server to 2.5.03 or disable model based synchronization.

(5) CVSNT 2.5.03 includes a major security flaw and the vendor recommends you upgrade.

(6) CVS Suite 2008, CVS Suite 2009, CVS Suite 2009R2 etc and CVSNT 2.8.x are all directly descended from CVSNT 2.5.03 and so should work with Eclipse. March Hare Software (the vendor) test each new release with the latest Eclipse release to ensure compatibility and a user guide is available here.

(7) March Hare Software has tested Eclipse 2.1.3 and Eclipse 3.1 with CVS Suite 2009R2 according to the user guide available here.

There are also cases where newer server versions are required for some functionality. For instance, incoming change sets in the synchronize view require CVS version 1.11.5 or beyond to work properly (see bug 81960)

What does Supported and Unsupported Mean?

When we say that a CVS server version is supported by Eclipse CVS, we mean that the full functionality of the Eclipse CVS client works with that server version. Since some of the functionality of the Eclipse CVS client relies on text messages, it is often the case that newly released CVS server version become incompatible with some of the functionality in Eclipse. In these cases, the Eclipse CVS client is still usable but one or more of the advanced features may not work properly.

The following table presents the basic CVS functionality that should always be available and how it is accessed in Eclipse:

CVS Command Eclipse Command  
checkout Import>Checkout Projects from CVS (1)  
update Team>Update  
commit Team>Commit  
tag Team>Tag as Version  
import Team>Share Project (2)  

(1) This command is also available from the New>Project wizard in the CVS category. The list of projects may not be available due to a new incompatibility in the Checkout wizard, in which case you will need to type in the module path manually.

(2) The final step of the Share Project wizard is a synchronize between the local workspace and the remote project. This may fail due to incompatibilities, in which case the wizard can be Finished or Canceled and the project committed using Team>Commit.

How can I test whether a server version is compatible with Eclipse?

If you want to use a new version of a CVS server that does not appear on the supported servers list, you can run the CVS tests to determine what, if any, compatibility problems may exist. The tests are not a 100% guarantee of compatibility since there may be subtle server changes that effect the Eclipse CVS client but were not covered by the tests. However, the tests will catch most problems.

Here are the steps to follow to run the CVS tests:

  1. Go to the Eclipse download page for the version of Eclipse you are testing.
  2. Scroll down to the link for the automated tests archive. It will be named eclipse-Automated-Tests-<release-d>.zip. For example, for 3.0.1, the name is Download the archive.
  3. A link to the instructions is available in the text above the download link. The instructions for 3.0.1 are here but you should check the instructions for your particular release since they may have changed.
  4. The instructions describe how to provide the information required for connecting to a test repository and for running only the CVS tests. Make sure these are done properly.
  5. The test run should report no errors. If errors are reported, the stdout should contain a protocol trace of the client/server communication which should help pinpoint where the incompatibility is.

If you get 1 or more errors when testing against a new server version, you can log a bug report and attach the test failure and client/server trace. Make sure to state your Eclipse and CVS server versions.

Why doesn't Eclipse 2.1.x work with CVS server versions 1.11.7 and beyond?

Most of the interesting Eclipse CVS functionality relies on the format of the messages and the change in format made in 1.11.7 breaks the parsing in Eclipse versions prior to 2.1.3. Most of the incompatibilities for 1.11.x were addressed in 2.1.3. See bugs 46655 and 49056 for patches and workarounds for previous versions of Eclipse or remaining incompatibilities. As for 1.12.x releases of CVS, Eclipse 2.1.x is not compatible with this server version. Eclipse 3.0 is compatible with 1.12.7 but future releases of CVS may cause similar breakages. In such cases, Team>Update and Team>Commit should still work but the more advanced work flows (e.g. synchronizing) may not be reliable.

Why aren't older (pre 2.0.58d) CVSNT versions supported?

The reason older CVSNT versions aren't supported is because traditionally its development effort had been smaller and has lagged behind that of CVS Linux, thus its quality tends to be of issue. That has changed as of version 2.0.58d which is now supported on Eclipse 3.0 and beyond.

How do I configure CVSNT to work with Eclipse?

Out-of-the-box, CVSNT will not work properly with Eclipse. You need to configure CVSNT to act like a standard CVS server. In CVSNT 2.0.58d, the required setting can be found under the 'Compatibility' tab. Check 'respond as cvs 1.11.2 to version request'; stop and restart the service. You will also need to check the Emulate -n checkout bug option since CVSNT has modified the behavior of the 'cvs -n update' command which is used by Eclipse to perform synchronization. although the CVSNT behavior is more intuitive, it differs from that of *nix CVS (one person's bug is another's feature).

Where can I get CVS for UNIX or Windows?

CVS for UNIX can be downloaded by going to CVSNT can be downloaded by going to</p>

Where can I find documentation on CVS?

The CVS manual can be found by going to

When I perform a Replace With or Update operation, Eclipse tells me that option -C is not supported. What's wrong?

This error indicates that your server version is CVS 1.10 or before. The -C option was introduced in version 1.11.

I performed a Replace With or Override and Update and one of the files involved ended up with strange characters in it. Why?

This error indicates that your server version is CVS 1.11 which has a bug when replacing a locally dirty file. Go here to see the supported CVS versions.

I got a "received broken pipe signal" error. What does it mean?

Eclipse sometime performs multiple commands within a single connection to the server. This may cause problems with CVS server that are running server scripts in reponse to certain commands.

How do I use a local connection with Eclipse?

Eclipse does not support the use of the local connection method as this requires a CVS client that also includes the CVS server code in it. Command line cvs uses the same executable for the client and the server whereas Eclipse is a client only. Since the repository is on the same machine as the client, you should be able to use pserver.

With CVSNT, why do I get the error: "Error fetching file revisions"?

This problem has several causes. One is the use of a backslash (\) in the repository path instead of a slash (/). Another can be a mismatch in the case of the letters in the repository path. See bug 56635 for more details.

Why can't I get Eclipse to work with CVSNT and mapped network drives?

The problem is that CVSNT only supports using the local connection method with network drives and Eclipse does not support this connection method.

Using CVSNT, Why do I get the error "cvs [server aborted]: cannot find .: No such file or directory"?

I think the problem is that of user rights on the machine CVSNT is running on. You might try one or more of the following options:

  • create a group having full access rights to the CVSNT repository directory structure plus the temp folder CVSNT is using. This is easiest if you specify a separate CVSNT temp directory such as "c:\cvstemp" using the Advanced tab in the
    CVSNT control panel. (The default temporary directories in "C:\WINNT\TEMP" and "C:\Documents and Settings" have access restrictions under Win2000 and WinXP).
  • turn off impersonation in CVSNT
  • add all CVS users to PowerUsers on the machine CVSNT is running on

Why do I get the error "Resource <name> is not a child of folder <folder>"?

CVSNT has a separate option called Emulate "-n checkout" bug that must be enabled for Eclipse to work properly. This is because the "bug" in question is the behavior of a 1.11.x server which Eclipse requires.

Why can't I set the keyword substitution mode for CVSNT using Eclipse?

CVSNT has a non-standard way of dealing with keyword substitution so you will need to use a CVSNT specific client to modify the keyword substitution mode.

How can I use GSSAPI to make a gserver connection for CVSNT

Bug 41097 Has a couple of connection methods attached that support GSSAPI access via GServer.

Using SSH with CVS

How do I use SSH to communicate with the server?

The pserver protocol sends passwords over the network in plaintext. Many people prefer to establish a secure connection using SSH. Eclipse supports two methods of connecting to CVS repositories using SSH.

To use the Eclipse's built-in SSH support, simply specify "extssh" as the connection method type when creating the repository connection.

To use SSH support from an external tool, you must:

  1. Specify "ext" as the connection method type when creating the repository connection.
  2. Window->Preferences->Team->CVS->Ext Connection Method. On this page, specify the name and location of your external ssh client. (For example, "C:\plink.exe" or "/usr/local/bin/ssh"). Also specify the name and location of the CVS binary on the server. The default value is often correct.
  3. Ensure that you can log on to the server using the external SSH tool without specifying a password.

Note: In Eclipse 2.1, you can also specify (on the Ext Connection Method preference page) the parameters to be passed to the SSH client, including the password.

What is the difference between ext and extssh?

The extssh connection method uses a built-in SSH client. The ext connection method allows you to specify an external SSH client to use. For extssh to work with Eclipse 2.1.x and before, the server must be running an SSH server with SSH1 protocol compatibility. If extssh does not work, it is possible that the server is running only the SSH2 protocol. If this is the case, you must configure the ext connection method with an external SSH client. In Eclipse 3.0 and beyond, extssh does support SSH2.

My SSH server only support SSH2 protocol and I'm using Eclipse 2.1.x

Eclipse comes with a built-in SSH connection method called 'extssh'. Prior to Eclipse 3.0, this method only supported SSH1 servers. If your server is running SSH2 and you want to use Eclipse 2.1.x to connect to that server you have two options:

  1. use a command line SSH client that supports SSH2 with the 'ext' connection method
  2. download a plugin created by JCraft that provides a SSH2 connection method.

To use the 'ext' connection method, download and install an SSH command line client for your operating environment. In the Team > CVS > Ext Connection Method preference page, configure the location of the SSH executable and how the executable is to be called. For the ext method to work the CVS client on your server must support the server mode. You can verify this by running cvs --help-commands and ensure that the server command is supported.

How do I set up public-key authentication for an external SSH client?

The steps for setting up public-key authentication vary depending on your SSH client. However, they all follow this set of common steps:

  1. Use the client program (or a utility that came with it) to generate a public/private key pair. This program might be called ssh-keygen or puttygen.exe.
  2. Copy the public key to the server. This is often done by pasting the public key into the file /home/user/.ssh/authorized_keys.

When I try to connect using SSH, it tells me "Could not chdir to home directory /home/user/myname". What did I do wrong?

This often happens when using SourceForge projects for the first time, but may occur on other servers as well. You must manually log in to the server, using an interactive SSH session, in order to create your home directory for the first time. After this, you will be able to log in successfully.

Use your SSH client to connect to the server (e.g. and log in with your username and password. Your home directory will be created for you.

I got an 'Unknown response' while trying to perform CVS browsing. What went wrong?

A problem has been reported that involves the Cygwin SSH client (see bug 21180). Try using another SSH client such as Putty or OpenSSH.

I can't get keys generated using Putty to work with Eclipse

Putty's private key is encrypted by AES, but JCE (Java Crtptgraphy Extension) included in J2SE 1.4.x does not support AES. So, at present time, there is no plan to support it. Of course, JSch (the SSH2 client used in Eclipse) may support Putty's key by using the latest J2SE in the near future, but Eclipse 3.0/3.1 will not be able to use it because they must run on J2SE 1.4.0. This is explained more in bug 84281.

Why do CVS extssh connections fail on Fedora Core 4

There is an issue with Sun's JDK 1.4.2 and Fedora Core 4 that causes extssh connections to fail with the message:

    CVS Communication error:$SSH2IOException:
          Invalid argument or cannot assign requested address

The issue seems to be related to both IPv6 and IPv4 being available in FC4. The solution is to add

with the -vmargs option when eclipse is started.

Why does CVS extssh prompt for my password even when it is saved?

This problem has been seen on servers that have a problems in a particular authentication method. This will cause extssh to believe that there has been an authentication failure which trigger a password prompt. See bug 119008 for details.

=== Why do I get prompted first for my passphrase to the DSA key, then for the keyboard interactive password TWICE for every CVS I perform? ===

This may be a permissions issue (see bug 179635). You can find out the specific issue by logging into your server with an SSH client. The server should print a message that describes the specific problem.

Why do I get prompted first for my passphrase to the DSA key, then for the keyboard interactive password TWICE for every CVS I perform?

This may be a permissions issue (see bug 179635). You can find out the specific issue by logging into your server with an SSH client. The server should print a message that describes the specific problem.

Why do CVS extssh connections to remote servers that only support SSH1 fail?

Support for the SSH1 connection method is optional and may be not available in your Eclipse or Eclipse based product. If the plug-in is not installed, you will not be able to connect to old servers that only support ssh1 connections. In such cases, when attempting to perform cvs operations, you will see errors that contain the message: "Support for SSH-1 connection method required by the remote server is not available"

To enable SSH-1 support, extract the plug-in from org.eclipse.cvs-p2repo and copy to the dropins folder in your Eclipse.

Using Eclipse and CVS for Java Development

When I check out a Java project from the repository, how do I make Eclipse aware it is a Java project?

Eclipse makes use of information in the .project file to determine if a project is a Java project. If the project you have checked out does not have a .project file, Eclipse will not mark it properly. If you use "Checkout As..." instead of "Checkout" in the Repositories view, then you will be given an opportunity to specify Java as the project type and provide Java specific configuration information.

What is the .classpath file? Should I commit it to the repository?

Eclipse's Java development tools create and maintain a special file, .classpath, in the root of each Java project. This file contains information about the project's classpath, including references to other projects, external jars, and the project's own source path. If you are working on a team with other developers that use Eclipse, you probably want to commit this file to the repository so that others can benefit from correct classpath settings. If the other developers on your team do not use Eclipse, you may still want to commit the .classpath file so that your settings are persisted - this should not affect the users that are not using Eclipse.

In my CVS repository, there is a source directory in the repository root. How can I use this with Eclipse?

If the name of the CVS module is part of the package name of Java files, you will encounter problems. For example, if the module you check out is called "test", and it contains a folder called "code" which contains Java files that claim to be in the package "test.code", Eclipse will not be able to compile these Java classes. There are several solutions to this problem:

  1. One solution is to move the top-level package folder ("test" in this case) to be a subfolder of the CVS module. In this case, create a folder called "test" in the project "test", and move "code" into it. Then commit your changes.
  2. Another possible solution is to use modules definitions. Modules can be defined in the CVSROOT/modules file to include root level projects as subfolders of the checked out folder stucture. The steps to get this to work for the above example are:
    1. Add the following two lines to the CVSROOT/modules file
         test &test
         MyProject &test
    2. In the CVS Repositories View, select the modules with the name matching the one defined in the CVSROOT/modules file (Note that in Eclipse 2.0.x, you will need to switch to "Show Modules" mode using the drop down menu in the title bar in order to see the module).
    3. Select "MyProject" and choose "Checkout Module" from the popup menu.

    See the CVS documentation for more information on defining modules.

  3. If you are using Eclipse 2.1, you can create a new Java Project and then perform a "Checkout Into..." on the CVS Module. This operation allows you to check out a CVS modules into an existing project as a subfolder and configures that target project to be shared with CVS.

Source folders must always begin beneath the project, not above it. See the Eclipse Java Development Tools documentation for more information on source folders.

How do I check out a module definition as a Java project?

To check out a module that is defined in the CVSROOT/modules file as a Java project, you may have to pre-create the target project as a java project in the workspace before performing the "Check Out".

Why does the bin directory keep appearing in the Synchronize view?

JDT marks most of its build output as being derived resources so that CVS and other repository types can easily ignore these resources from version control. However, if you define custom source and build output folders, the newly created build output folder will not be marked as derived. In many cases the root build output folder is named bin. To ignore this folder, select it in the navigator and choose Team > Add to .cvsignore, then commit the .cvsignore file to the repository so that the bin folder will be ignored at all times for that project.

I ignored the bin directory but it appears to be shared anyway. Why?

If a resources whose name matches a pattern in the .cvsignore also exists in the repository, then this resource is not ignored. For the case of the bin folder, chances are that the bin folder was committed to the repository at some point. The solution is to purge this directory from the repository.

How do I use CVS keywords in Java templates?

Substitute the usual keyword (e.g. $Revision: 1.59 $) with the $ escaped version (e.g. $$Revision: 1.59 $$).

I'm working with a virtual module defined in the CVSROOT/modules file. How do I commit the .project and/or .classpath file?

The easiest way to address this problem is to create a project in the repository whose purpose is to hold the .project and .classpath files for your module. For example, if your module definition is my-module &sub-dir1 &sub-dir2 you could change it to my-module my-module-project &sub-dir1 $sub-dir2 where my-module-project is an new folder on the CVS server. Committing the .project and .classpath files would create the files in this folder.

Compatibility Between CVS Command-line Client and Eclipse

Does Eclipse use [WinCVS|CVS command-line client] to talk to the server?

No. Eclipse implements a CVS client in Java that talks directly to the server using the documented CVS protocol. No external CVS client is required.

The command-line CVS client stores information in CVS folders. Does Eclipse do the same thing? If so, where are the folders?

Eclipse stores CVS sync information in CVS/ folders in the same way as the command-line CVS client does. However, you rarely see these folders within Eclipse. They are marked using a Core facility called "team-private" which causes them to be hidden from view. If you open a (non-Eclipse) file explorer you will see that these directories and their contents appear on the file system.

Is Eclipse compatible with the command-line CVS client?

Eclipse Team CVS stores its meta information in a format that is compatible with the command-line CVS client. Thus you should be able to use a CVS command line client against Eclipse workspace files on disk. Please note that this support is experimental, and you may run into problems. However, we are very interested in making this work, so please report any bugs you find.

Whenever you use external tools to modify workspace files, you must perform a Refresh from within Eclipse to make the workspace aware of the changes.

You may encounter unexpected behaviour when using the command-line CVS client in conjunction with deleted folders. Eclipse's CVS support keeps track of deleted folders and their contents so that, on the next synchronization, the Synchronize view can properly report on the changes. This information is kept outside of the CVS meta folder structure. This is because in CVS you normally inform the repository of deletions prior to deleting them locally, which is a different workflow than we like to support in the Synchronization view. Thus it is recommended that you do not use the command-line CVS client while you have pending deletions to commit. In some circumstances it could cause the Synchronize view to display incorrect contents, although it should not cause any lost work.

There are some other known issues when using Eclipse with an external CVS client:

  • Eclipse is built on top of Java and Java determines file timestamps on some file systems differently then the CVS command line client. This can lead to the appearance of outgoing changes when no changes have been made to a file (see bug 12070 for more details).
  • Cygwin clients treat the windows file system as if it is a Unix file system and thus use Unix line endings. This is not a problem for Eclipse but CVS clients running from Cygwin do not handle windows style line terminators in the CVS meta files well. The workaround is to configure Eclipse CVS to use Unix line endings in files and met-files. This is done by disabling the Team>CVS>Convert text files to use platform line ending preference (available in Eclipse 3.0 and beyond).
  • Eclipse has an extssh connection method which uses an internal SSH client. This method is incompatible with other CVS clients. To avoid this, users can configure the ext connection method in Eclipse to use the extssh connection method by choosing this option on the Team>CVS>EXT Connection Method preference page. Once set, the user can create repository locations using the ext connection method. These repositories will use extssh inside Eclipse and whatever SSH tool is configured for the command line client.

Can I import a project into Eclipse that was checked out using the command line?

Yes you can. However, you may encounter errors from the builder related to the copying of the CVS folders. This can have two causes. The first is when the project is imported before the CVS plugin is loaded. To avoid this problem, make sure you open one of the CVS views before importing the project. The second is due to a "race" on import between the CVS plugin and other plugins that react to the import. If the CVS plugin wins the race, then the CVS folders are hidden but if another plugin discovers the CVS folders first, it may cause the workbench to "know" about them and perform inappropriate actions on them. The best way to solve the problem is to run a Team>Update on the project and then shutdown and restart Eclipse (although closing and reopening the view in which the CVS folders appear may work as well). If this fails, you may need to check the projects out from your repository using Eclipse instead of the command line client.

There is a plugin named available on the [ Development Resources] page that loads on startup and ensures that CVS folders are properly hidden. If you import CVS projects often, you may want to use this plugin.

Why does Eclipse corrupt my *.jar, *.zip, etc. files?

This problem is caused by the keyword substitution mode assigned to the file on the server. Any binary files must be marked as -kb. The default for CVS is to mark unknown file types as text. CVS provides cvswrappers and the cvs admin command to set file types.

When I use the command-line CVS on my project, why do the CVS folders sometimes appear in the Navigator View?

There are some cases where CVS folders are not hidden from the UI as the user would expect. For instance, CVS folders will appear if a user imports a CVS project into Eclipse before the CVS plug-in is loaded. To avoid this, open the CVS Repositories view (thus loading the CVS plug-in) before importing CVS projects into Eclipse.

When I use the command-line CVS on my project, why go I get "resource out of sync" errors?

This occurs when files that are resources in Eclipse are modified outside of Eclipse. One solution is to perform a refresh (available from a resource's popup menu) on any resources or projects that where modified outside of Eclipse. Another is to enable the Refresh Automatically preference on the General>Workspace preference page.

Working with Patches

How do I send someone a patch?

If you have modified a project that you checked out from CVS, you may want to send those changes to someone else. This often occurs when you do not have commit rights, but want to send the changes to someone who does. To create a patch file:

  1. Select the changed project in the Navigator or other view.
  2. Context Menu->Team->Create Patch...
  3. Select a location for the patch.
  4. Use E-mail or other delivery method to send the patch to someone else.

Note that, as of Eclipse 3.2, Create patch can be run with multiple projects selected.

How do I apply a patch that someone sent me?

To apply a patch, such as one generated in the previous step, do

the following:

  1. Select the changed project in the Navigator or other view.
  2. Context Menu->Compare With->Patch...
  3. Fill in the location of the patch file
  4. Click Next. A summary of changed files will appear.
  5. Click Finish. The changes are now merged into the workspace.
  6. Context Menu->Team->Synchronize. You may now commit the changes into the repository.

Linux Issues

On Red Hat 8, Eclipse fails to make a checkout but it works with other clients. Why?

The problem may be the encoding in /etc/sysconfig/i18n file. If the language encoding is:


changing it to


should fix the problem.

Windows Issues

Eclipse crashed Windows 2000 (blue screen) when performing a CVS operation. What happened?

Instances of this have been reported that involve the NDIS.sys driver and particular brands of network cards (see bug 21276).

Eclipse always times out when performing a Synchronize on one or two particular machines?

Instances of this have been reported that involve the VIA on-board network cards (see bug 27077). Changing the network card fixed the problem.

Why do CVS operations slow down when I am connected to my network/dial-up?

I have a large number of entries in my hosts file for anti-ad software - and when I'm connected, name resolution (even to localhost) slows to a crawl. When I'm not connected, localhost gets resolved at normal speed. I think this might be a "feature" of 2000/XP - it didn't happen in NT.

Why do all my files show as outgoing changes?

The CVS plugin uses timestamps of the files on disk to track the modification state of versioned files. As a result, there are some cases where Windows users may find that as a result of either (1) an automatic daylight savings change or (2) moving files between file systems, that all the files show up as outgoing changes. See Bug 5337 for an explanation of the problem and workarounds. Thers is a utility action that will reset the timestamps so the files are in-sync with CVS. Be warned however that this utility resets the timestamps for any file whose timestamp differs from the sync timestamp by 1 hour. There is a possibility that this could reset a file that is really dirty. Use at your own risk. To use the action, install the plugin found here and them run the CVS Util/Fix Timestamps command available from the context menu of the Resource Navigator.

I get a "<filename> is an invalid name on this platform." when updating or synchronizing How do I fix it?

One way to fix it is to rename the file/folder so it doesn't conflict with the Windows naming rules. If you do not do this, Synchronizing will always have an error. However, for the case of an empty directory, CVS update can be configured to work by going to the Windows>Preferences dialog and finding the Team>CVS>Update/Merge preference page. On that page select the "Never preview and use CVS text markup to indicate conflicts" option.

CVS with SSPI (and CVSNT)

You need a version of CVSNT installed. If you have installed TortoiseCVS then you have a copy already.

Edit "extnt.ini" in "C:\Program Files\CVSNT" and add the following section:



  • [my-cvs] = any identifier you want. Here the simple hostname of the CVS repository is used.
  • hostname = the same host as your CVS connection string
  • directory = the same as the CVS Repository location in your CVS connection string.

Add an environment variable CVS_RSH=C:\Program Files\CVSNT\extnt.exe

From a command line try (don't try using extnt.exe directly):

cvs -d :ext:.@my-cvs:/cvs/repository version

Note: the user doesn't need to be specified as by default it will use the currently logged in user.

You will see output like:

C:\Program Files\CVSNT>cvs -d :ext:.@my-cvs:/cvs/repository  version
Client: Concurrent Versions System (CVSNT) 2.5.03 (Scorpio) Build 2382 (client/server)
Server: Concurrent Versions System (CVSNT) 2.5.03 (Scorpio) Build 2260 (client/server)

In eclipse Windows > Preference browse to Team > CVS > Ext Connection

  • CVS_RSH=C:\Program Files\CVSNT\extnt.exe
  • Parameters={host}
  • CVS_Server=cvsnt

Now open the CVS Repository Exploring perspective and create a new Repository Location. Paste :ext:.@my-cvs:/cvs/repository into the host field (Eclipse will automatically parse this and populate the correct fields) Click Finish and you should have working CVS access.

p.s. I recommend not using extnt.exe directly as I spent a few hours guessing the format (I probably should have looked up CVS_RSH definitions) and failed to get anyway. But as soon as I used cvs (which invokes extnt.exe for me) I had no problems connecting.


Is there any equivalent to CVS_CLIENT_LOG in Eclipse?

Yes, there are tracing facilities in Eclipse that will allow you to see what messages are being communicated between the CVS client and server. Here's how:

  1. Create a file named ".options" in the directory you start Eclipse from (in most cases this is the directory that contains the executable but it may differ in some cases: for instance, if you use a shortcut in windows and specify a different starting directory) that contains the following 2 lines that enable CVS debugging.
  2. Start Eclipse with the following parameters tailored to your local setup (The below example is for windows). The important aspects are the use of java.exe instead of javaw.exe and the inclusion of the -debug and -consolelog options. These will cause the debug console to be visible and for debugging output to appear in the console.
    		   -vm C:\jre\bin\java.exe
    		   -data C:\eclipse\workspace
  3. Inside Eclipse, create your repo location and expand it in the repositories view (for example). The CVS command traffic in the debug console should contains an invocation of the update command that looks something like (this is output from
    		CMD> cvs -n update -d "."
    		E cvs server: Updating .
    		E cvs server: New directory `CVSROOT' -- ignored
    		E cvs server: New directory `jdt-core-home' -- ignored
    		E cvs server: New directory `jdt-debug-home' -- ignored

What is the .project file, and should I release it to CVS?

The .project file is created and maintained by Eclipse. It stores meta-information about the project, such as which projects it references and what type of project it is. If other members of your team will be using Eclipse to check out this project from CVS, you almost certainly want to release the .project file to CVS. Even if other members of your team are not using Eclipse, you may still want to release the .project file so that the information is persisted for you.

I don't have update access to the CVS repository. Can I still check out a project with Eclipse?

In some circumstances, depending on permissions on the server, you may not be able to browse the repository in the CVS Repositories view. In this case, it may still be possible to check out the project you want.

  1. Create an empty project.
  2. Context Menu->Team->Share Project...
  3. Enter the repository information and click Finish
  4. The Synchronize view appears. Update all incoming changes.

The project in your workspace is now shared with the CVS repository, and contains the remote contents.

What does "Terminated with fatal signal 10" mean?

There is a bug in the CVS server related to some compression levels. If you get this error, change the compression level on the CVS preferences page and see if that helps.

I copied some folders from one CVS project to another and the old CVS information remained. What happened?

There is a bug in the CVS client in Eclipse 2.0 that will not purge the CVS folders properly if a folder under CVS control is moved into a folder that is not under CVS control. If this occurs, you will need to delete the CVS folders manually.

I used Team > Share Project to connect a local project to an existing project and it takes forever. Why?

The particular method you have chosen to populate your workspace (i.e. create a new project and then sync against a large existing one) happens to be one of the most ineffiecient operations in the Eclipse CVS client. The CVS protocol does not support this type of operation directly which results in the ineffiecient, communication intensive operation. The proper way to populate your workspace is to use "Checkout as Project" from the CVS Repositories view. Once the project and its contents exists locally, the synchronize operations should be much faster.

Does Eclipse support Watch/Edit?

Eclipse does have support for Watch/Edit but there are some incompatibilities between the advanced features of Eclipse and CVS Watch/Edit.

  • In Eclipse 3.0 and beyond, certain operations (e.g. Compare with Latest from HEAD, opeing a comparison from the Syncyhronize view, Compare with Revision) will cause the edit state on the server to be lost (bug 41331).
  • In Eclipse 3.2, there was new funtionality introduced that interferes with Watch/Edit enabled on the server (bug 142728). To work around this, you need to do the following:
    • Open the Window>Preferences dialog, select the Team>CVS>Update/Merge section and enable the Never preview and use CVS test markup to indicate conflicts option.
    • Select the Team>CVS>Synchronize/Compare section and disable the Allow models to participate in synchronizations option.

Why do I get a "Pre-commit failed" error with no detailed error message?

The problem is that the CVS server communicates the error details as M messages instead of E messages and so the error handling in Eclipse doesn't display them. Eclipse has a CVS console which you can open from the Window>Show View>Other menu command. If this view is open and you run the failing commit, it will show you the error details.

Why can't I get my pserver CVS proxy to work?

There are some quirks with some firewalls. See bug 133930 for details.

Synchronizing has some regressions in Eclipse 3.2. Why?

In 3.2, we introduced the concept of a model-based synchronization. This type of synchronization allows model providers (e.g. Java) to participate in the display of elements in the Synchronize view. This amounted to a total rewrite and we just didn't have the time or resources to implement the full funtionality that was available in the old-style synchronization. If you are missing funtionality that you require or just prefer the look and feel of the old view, you can disable the model-based sync by going to the Team>CVS>Synchronize/Compare preference page and unchecking "Allow models to participate in Synchronizations". You can also change the Update option on the Team>CVS>Update/Merge prefernece page to "Never preview and use CVS text markup" as the other options make use of the model-based synchronization.

Pruning always happens when checking out from a branch.

As discussed in bug 159480 and indicated in the CVS doc, prune empty directories is the default when you checkout a project and specify a branch with the -r option. There appears to be no option to turn off pruning.

Copyright © Eclipse Foundation, Inc. All Rights Reserved.