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8.4 The fork Access Method

The fork access method acts like ext without the external connection. You can use it only when the repository and the sandbox are on the same computer. fork makes CVS run in client/server mode and is most useful for debugging to isolate whether a fault is in CVS's remote protocols or in the networking but it is also used as a substitute for the local method.

The fork method uses the CVS_SERVER environment variable, as described in Section 8.3 earlier in this chapter.

The repository path format for fork is:


With the fork access method, both client and server programs run under the username that the client was called with and have the filesystem access of that user. Any programs CVS calls (such as programs called from a scripting file) run with the same username and access.

Security normally is not an issue with the fork access method if the method is used on a single-user computer. However, be aware of the security issues of shared filesystems or shared mainframes; use the security services of your operating system to secure a shared repository that is accessed with the fork method.

Example 8-7 shows how to check out a sandbox using the fork access method.

Example 8-7. Using the fork access method
jenn@helit:/tmp$ cvs -d :fork:/var/lib/cvs checkout wizzard  
cvs server: Updating wizzard
U wizzard/Changelog
U wizzard/INSTALL
U wizzard/Makefile

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