CVS for Administrators

Revision as of 21:50, 22 October 2007 by Wen Hao Chuang (talk | contribs) (CVS Servers)

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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 anonymous CVS access on this server is now disabled.

Since then we have a growing list of anonymous 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 In case of trouble, contact or
UK Cumbria and Lancashire Education Online (CLEO) in collaboration with Lancaster University Network Services (LUNS)
US => Martin will make a alias to it later San Francisco State University, Academic Technology (SFSU). In case of trouble, contact Wen Hao Chuang, Taylor Judd, or Mike Regan

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 version of TortoiseCVS!). 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

To update your local copy and to save the log of the process, use the following command instead the previous one:

cvs update -dP -r MOODLE_18_STABLE | tee upgrade.log

Then look at the upgrade.log, notably look for lines starting with "C" (conflict):

grep '^C' upgrade.log

Conflicts may appear in case you have manually modified your source files. You have to resolve conflicts before using the site. See CVS for Developers for more details.

Changing the directory name

By default, the CVS checkout creates a diectory on your webserver called 'moodle'. If you want your Moodle installation in a different directory, you can change the name of the directory that it will checkout the files to, by typing the follwing. This would download the MOODLE_18_STABLE branch into a directory called "mydirectory" (-d mydirectory).

cvs -z3 co -d mydirectory -r MOODLE_18_STABLE moodle

Or the latest development version to a directory called 'moodle-dev':

cvs -z3 co -d moodle-dev moodle

You can also change the name of the directory after the files are downloaded, and before you go through the Moodle install process. If you change the name of the directory before install, it will not affect anything during the install or during a CVS update. If you change the name of the directory after an install, you will need to change the config.php to reflect the name change (guidance here). It won't affect the CVS update though.

From a Windows computer

To get started with a fresh copy of Moodle, follow the following steps:
Tortoise CVS Screen capture
Tortoise CVS (real name) Screen capture
  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.
  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.

NOTE.- Admins with a SourceForge account name can connect with their account name, see attached screen shot.

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