How-to: Get a read-only CVS checkout


This document is only of importance if you are interested for checking out older Zope 2 versions (before Zope 2.8). The current codebase is now maintained in the Subversion repository (see How-To: Get a Read-only Subversion Checkout).

Anyone can track Zope changes with a read-only checkout of the sources - here are instructions for hooking it up.

There are several top-level modules in the archives. Chief among them is the source for Zope itself: we’ll use that source for our example.

Read-only access is via CVS pserver mode.

Before you can check anything out, you must have done a CVS “login” to the CVS pserver. You only need to login once per repository per account. To login:

$ cvs -d login

You will be prompted for a password - anything will satisfy the prompt, including an empty line.

  • The -d option identifies the repository, indicating pserver mode, user anonymous, host, and repository directory /cvs-repository.

You only need to log in one time: CVS then creates a file in your home directory named .cvspass, containing the login info. All subsequent access to that repository will use the stashed info.

Once your login is established, you can do your initial check out:

$ cvs -z7 -d checkout Zope
  • -z7 says to use a substantial level of compression, balancing CPU and network bandwidth.


The module being checked out is Zope, no longer Zope2. The Zope2 section is not maintained, and will eventually be removed.

This should issue lots of check out messages, creating a directory named Zope, with the entire distribution inside it. The initial checkout creates a copy of the source files together with some CVS bookkeeping, in directories all named CVS.

Once you’ve done these initial steps, you can stay current by cd’ing into any of the created Zope subdirectories and typing:

$ cvs -q up -P -d
  • -q says not to spew about unchanged files.
  • -P says to prune empty (eg, obsolete) directories.
  • -d says to check out newly added directories.

In a pinch, you could just do a cvs up, but: you won’t get new directories, nor will defunct directories be removed, and you’ll get lots of unnecessary messages…)


There is truly no reason to document getting a writable CVS checkout, because all active development takes place in the Subversion repository (see Writable checkouts).