cvs2cl - Man Page

convert cvs log messages to changelogs


cvs2cl [options] [FILE1 [FILE2 ...]]


cvs2cl produces a GNU-style ChangeLog for CVS-controlled sources by running "cvs log" and parsing the output. Duplicate log messages get unified in the Right Way.

The default output of cvs2cl is designed to be compact, formally unambiguous, but still easy for humans to read.  It should be largely self-explanatory; the one abbreviation that might not be obvious is "utags".  That stands for "universal tags" -- a universal tag is one held by all the files in a given change entry.

If you need output that's easy for a program to parse, use the --xml option. Note that with XML output, just about all available information is included with each change entry, whether you asked for it or not, on the theory that your parser can ignore anything it's not looking for.

If filenames are given as arguments cvs2cl only shows log information for the named files.


-h,  -help,  --help,  -?

Show a short help and exit.


Show version and exit.

-r,  --revisions

Show revision numbers in output.

-b,  --branches

Show branch names in revisions when possible.

-t,  --tags

Show tags (symbolic names) in output.

-T,  --tagdates

Show tags in output on their first occurance.


Show dead files.


Read from stdin, don't run cvs log.


Output to stdout not to ChangeLog.

-d,  --distributed

Put ChangeLogs in subdirs.

-f FILE, --file FILE

Write to FILE instead of ChangeLog.


Use this if log data is in FSF ChangeLog style.


Attempt strict FSF-standard compatible output (incompatible with --accum).

-W SECS, --window SECS

Window of time within which log entries unify.

-U UFILE, --usermap UFILE

Expand usernames to email addresses from UFILE.


Use system passwd file for user name expansion.  If no mail domain is provided (via --domain), it tries to read one from /etc/mailname, output of hostname -d, dnsdomainname, or domain-name.  cvs2cl exits with an error if none of those options is successful. Use a domain of '' to prevent the addition of a mail domain.

--domain DOMAIN

Domain to build email addresses from.


Get user information from GECOS data.

-R REGEXP, --regexp REGEXP

Include only entries that match REGEXP.  This option may be used multiple times.

-I REGEXP, --ignore REGEXP

Ignore files whose names match REGEXP.  This option may be used multiple times.  The regexp is a perl regular expression.  It is matched as is; you may want to prefix with a ^ or suffix with a $ to anchor the match.

-C,  --case-insensitive

Any regexp matching is done case-insensitively.

-F BRANCH, --follow BRANCH

Show only revisions on or ancestral to BRANCH.

--follow-only BRANCH

Like --follow, but sub-branches are not followed.


When using -F, only track changes since the BRANCH started.


By default, entries generated by cvs for a file added on a branch (a dead 1.1 entry) are not shown.  This flag reverses that action.

-S,  --separate-header

Blank line between each header and log message.


Group ChangeLog entries on the same date together, instead of having a separate entry for each commit on that date.


Add CVS change summary information.


Don't auto-wrap log message (recommend -S also).


Don't indent log message

--gmt,  --utc

Show times in GMT/UTC instead of local time.


Add to an existing ChangeLog (incompatible with --xml and --FSF).

-w,  --day-of-week

Show day of week.


Don't show times in output.


Output log in chronological order (default is reverse chronological order).

--header FILE

Get ChangeLog header from FILE ("-" means stdin).


Output XML instead of ChangeLog format (incompatible with --accum).

--xml-encoding ENCODING

Insert encoding clause in XML header.

--xml-stylesheet FILE

Insert xml-stylesheet processing instruction with FILE formatting stylesheet file path in XML header.


Don't include xmlns= attribute in root element.


Don't show filenames (ignored for XML output).


Don't shorten directory names from filenames.


Handle filenames from raw RCS, for instance those produced by "cvs rlog" output, stripping the prefix CVSROOT.

-P,  --prune

Don't show empty log messages.


Output the number of lines added and the number of lines removed for each checkin (if applicable). At the moment, this only affects the XML output mode.

--ignore-tag TAG

Ignore individual changes that are associated with a given tag. May be repeated, if so, changes that are associated with any of the given tags are ignored.

--show-tag TAG

Log only individual changes that are associated with a given tag.  May be repeated, if so, changes that are associated with any of the given tags are logged.


Attempt a delta between two tags (since FROM_TAG up to and including TO_TAG).  The algorithm is a simple date-based one (this is a hard problem) so results are imperfect.

-g OPTS, --global-opts OPTS

Pass OPTS to cvs like in "cvs OPTS log ...".

-l OPTS, --log-opts OPTS

Pass OPTS to cvs log like in "cvs ... log OPTS".

Notes about the options and arguments:


Some examples (working on UNIX shells):

      # logs after 6th March, 2003 (inclusive)
      cvs2cl -l "-d'>2003-03-06'"
      # logs after 4:34PM 6th March, 2003 (inclusive)
      cvs2cl -l "-d'>2003-03-06 16:34'"
      # logs between 4:46PM 6th March, 2003 (exclusive) and
      # 4:34PM 6th March, 2003 (inclusive)
      cvs2cl -l "-d'2003-03-06 16:46>2003-03-06 16:34'"

Some examples (on non-UNIX shells):

      # Reported to work on windows xp/2000
      cvs2cl -l  "-d"">2003-10-18;today<"""


Karl Fogel

Melissa O'Neill

Martyn J. Pearce

Contributions from

Mike Ayers

Tim Bradshaw

Richard Broberg

Nathan Bryant

Oswald Buddenhagen

Neil Conway

Arthur de Jong

Mark W. Eichin

Dave Elcock

Reid Ellis

Simon Josefsson

Robin Hugh Johnson

Terry Kane

Pete Kempf

Akos Kiss

Claus Klein

Eddie Kohler

Richard Laager

Kevin Lilly

Karl-Heinz Marbaise

Mitsuaki Masuhara

Henrik Nordstrom

Joe Orton

Peter Palfrader

Thomas Parmelan

Jordan Russell

Jacek Sliwerski

Johannes Stezenbach

Joseph Walton

Ernie Zapata


Please report bugs to cvs2cl-reports {_AT_}


This script requires Text::Wrap, Time::Local, and File::Basename.  It also seems to require Perl 5.004_04 or higher.

Operating System Compatibility

Should work on any OS.

Script Categories


See Also


Referenced By


2024-01-24 2.73 CVS-log-message-to-ChangeLog conversion script