Using CVS from within Eclipse

Ver 1.0 - 17 December 2003

 Robert J. Alexander - Rome - Italy

(For any corrections or simple thanks 8-> my email is bob and my provider is

Please read the disclaimer before using this document.


This tutorial want to show some basic usage of CVS from within the Eclipse development environment.

We will be using the Freemind open source project because it is one of the best out there and for the simple reason I am contributing to it.

The scenario we will be using is the following:

  1. We will build a local copy of a branch of the Freemind project CVS tree from Sourceforge repository.
  2. We will make some modifications on our local machine
  3. We will commit our local changes onto Freemind's CVS repository

For this example we will use a branch of the project which contains documentation, so that if I manage to break something while writing this tutorial I will not be chased by the police 8->

We will also need to assume that you have registered on Sourceforge and that the project managers have granted you with the permission to write on the CVS tree. The read/write connection with uploading to the CVS server is done via the extssh protocol

Please note that the CVS repository can also be accessed anonymously (with a protocol called pserver) without requiring registration but only to download files.

We will use the update verb to indicate downloading files from CVS to your local machine and commit to indicate upload.

As the example we are going to use is about documentation kept in an HTML tree, I will also make some examples on how we will create or update this material from within the Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 trial package. Of course you are free to use any other web authoring package you like. Unfortunately Dreamweaver AFAIK does not support direct CVS interfacing and therefore in this guide's context is used only to locally edit my HTML files.


Some readers might believe that using Eclipse just as a CVS client is on overkill. The reason you could just go ahead and try is that Eclipse is cross platform and therefore what you learn on Windows will be mostly usable on Linux and other platforms.

For users working under Windows I would like to reccomend the TortoiseCVS open source project which integrates seamlessly into Windows explorer. The project also has a page on Sourceforge. I found this client to be much easier to use than other products I have tried under Windows.

Copyright © 2003Robert Alexander - bob at

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