CVS for Administrators

Revision as of 22:34, 18 May 2007 by Wen Hao Chuang (talk | contribs) (Switching to a new server with TortoiseCVS)

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.3. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: CVS for Administrators.

The CVS archive contains all the source code for Moodle. You can use a CVS program to extract versions ranging from the most stable release to the most cutting-edge development version. CVS can be an extremely convenient way of maintaining a Moodle server.

CVS tree

Developers may have selective write access to the Moodle CVS archive using their Sourceforge username and password (see CVS for Developers for details about how to do this). However, most people only need read-only access, so they can just connect using anonymous CVS as described below. There can however currently be a delay of up to 1 hour between the time a developer commits changes to developer CVS and the time it becomes available on anonymous CVS.

CVS Servers

Until 25th April 2007, we only had one server available for anonymous CVS ( Unfortunately this server is now disabled.

Since then we have a growing list of CVS mirror servers around the world. Please choose the closest server to you from this list:

Country Server Provided by
EU Antonio Vicent and Eloy Lafuente (until more servers arrive - name will remain stable, don't worry)
ES Mondragon Unibertsitatea
UK Cumbria and Lancashire Education Online (CLEO) in collaboration with Lancaster University Network Services (LUNS)

Replace the in the instructions below with the server you chose above!

For up-to-date alerts about planned or unplanned outages on any of these servers subscribe to the Moodle Outage mailing list.

(If you would like to contribute to the project by running a mirror, please see How to set up a CVS mirror)

Switching to a new server

If you were already using CVS and want to switch to a different server, you'll probably need to make a small change so that the control files in your working copy will point to the new mirrors.

Switching to a new server on Unix

Use a shell command like this to change existing installations to point to the new mirror (UK mirror used in this example):

find . -type f -name Root -print0 | xargs -0 perl -pi -e 's/\@moodle\.cvs\.sourceforge\.net/\@uk\.cvs\.moodle\.org/'

It can be run from /home, say, to fix multiple sites at once.

Switching to a new server with TortoiseCVS

If you were already using Tortoise CVS on Windows it's tricky, because Tortoise doesn't have any interface for changing the server. explains it. But basically,

1) Install WinCVS and launch it. 
2) Navigate to and select your Moodle folder. 
3) Choose 'Macros'->CVS->Change Root from the menu.  
4) Accept (or change) the default for the 'old' server. 
5) Type the new server name. OK!  

It takes a few seconds to go through all of the cvs folders and update the root files.

By the way, if you don't want to install WinCVS, another way of doing this is to uninstall your TortoiseCVS client on Windows, then do a regedit to clean up all the tortoisecvs related entries (might not be necessary), then reinstall TortoiseCVS client again (a good reason to upgrade to the most recent 1.8.31 version!). I have tested this and it cleared up the original setting of the original anonymous CVS server setting.


From a Unix computer

To connect and login for the first time to the CVS server, you can use this command:

cvs login

There is no password - when asked for one, just hit Enter.

To checkout (download) the entire Moodle code for the first time, use this command to get the latest STABLE version:

cvs -z3 co -r MOODLE_18_STABLE moodle

Or the latest development version:

cvs -z3 co moodle

Or the modules in Contrib

cvs -z3 co contrib

Later, to update your local copy of Moodle to the current version in CVS you just need to go into your local Moodle directory and type:

cvs update -dP

To update your local copy of Moodle to a new version (e.g. from 1.7+ to 1.8), go into your local Moodle directory and type:

cvs update -dP -r MOODLE_18_STABLE

From a Windows computer

To get started with a fresh copy of Moodle, follow the following steps:

  1. Get TortoiseCVS from and install it, then reboot.
  2. Find or create a new folder somewhere where you want Moodle to be downloaded to.
  3. Right-mouse-click that folder and choose "CVS Checkout" from the menu. You should see a dialog box.
    Tortoise CVS Screen capture
  4. Copy this text into the CVSROOT field:
  5. Under the "Module" field, type "moodle" to get moodle. (Other options here include"contrib" to get the contrib directory of hacks and addons, or "mysql" to get the optional MySQL Admin module).
    • For the latest STABLE version, click on the "Revision" tab and then check the radio button labelled "Choose branch or tag". From the drop-down menu select MOODLE_18_STABLE.
    • If you don't see the very latest version in the long drop-down list under Branch or tag name, click the Update List button next to it and wait for the list to be updated.
    • For the latest UNSTABLE development version, the radio-button "Use HEAD branch" in the Revision tab should be checked.
  6. Press the button: "OK" and everything should be downloaded.

Later, to update your local copy of Moodle to the current version in CVS, just right-mouse-click the folder and choose "CVS Update".

Note that the enclosing moodle folder is self-contained - you can move it anywhere you like or even rename it.

From a Mac OS X computer

You will find some information about CVS and Mac OS X in the documentation for the complete installation package Moodle4Mac. Please read How To Update Your Moodle4Mac. It works fine with the new CVS servers.

See also