Official RCS Homepage
The source distribution is intended primarily for UNIX systems.
Some people have been successful in porting it to other systems
The latest source version is GNU RCS Version 5.9.4 from Paul Eggert and Thien-Thi Nguyen. It is available in
xz'ed tar format rcs-5.9.4.tar.xz. You can also go directly to the GNU source.
The latest PC (OS/2 DOS Win95 NT) binary version is available as
three ZIP files. They are rcs57pc1.zip (1.2MB), rcs57pc2.zip (0.9MB) and rcs57pc3.zip (0.9MB).
They contain everything you should need to use RCS on a PC.
If you want to try to compile RCS on a PC, you will need
source file (41K). This contains diffs relative to RCS
5.7 and diffutils 2.7.1 sources.
In July 2020 John Kelly provided a
patch (1.5K) that he used to build
RCS 5.7 on DOS. It corrects a bug with -o1.1 (delete all
revisions) and provides a makefile that works on DOS (shorter
command line lengths in real DOS vs OS/2).
If you have problems fetching the files with HTTP, you can use
FTP to fetch the necessary files from the RCS FTP site.
UNIX style man(ual) pages are included in the distributions.
There is some additional documentation available on-line. The
first is a modified version of the paper that appeared in
Software Practices & Experience, July 1985. It is
available in PostScript
(138K) or *roff (55K).
If you want to *roff format, but don't have the pic
preprocessor, you need to the pre-piced (63K)
The second document is a one-page summary describing the
functions of RCS. It is available in PostScript (9K) or *roff (3K).
Aaron Hawley (Aaron.Hawley@uvm.edu)
has made HTML and
DocBook XML versions of the SP&E paper available online.
The third document is a book written by Brian O'Donavan while at
Digital Equipment Corporation. It was never published, but he
gave it to Purdue to see if there was any interest from RCS
users. It is a compressed tar file
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. also published Applying RCS and
SCCS by Don Bolinger and Tan Bronson.
Please see the FAQ as a first pass. If
this does not answer your question, you can send mail to the GNU RCS help mailing list for
general help with RCS, or the GNU
RCS bug report list for bug reports.
If you cannot get help anywhere else, you can send mail to the
address. This is a mailing list of people that can either answer
your question or direct it to the actual code developers.
All contributed software is made available as-is, with no warranty
by either the contributors or the RCS maintainers.
Kenneth Cox contributed sccs2rcs, a csh script to
convert an existing SCCS history into an RCS history. It is
the version distributed with CVS in the contrib section, as
modified by Brian Berliner.
Eric S. Raymond created a modified version of Kenneth Cox's
sccs2rcs script. He has provided the csh source of the most
recent csh version (1.3) which includes all the functionality
of Ken Cox's and Brian Berliner's versions. He has also
provided a python rewrite at http://www.catb.org/~esr/sccs2rcs/
Ray McVay contributed a perl version of rcsfreeze.
CVS is an open source
version control system layered on top of RCS, designed to manage
entire software projects.
Sciences offers their /BriefCase 3
Toolkit for free under the GPL, and promotes it as a true
client/server solution for UNIX, providing better project
management than CVS.
supposed to be a much simpler CVS-like tool.
BitKeeper is a
fully distributed source management system from BitMover, Inc.
It is based on their version of SCCS and is file format
compatible with AT&T SCCS.
is a transaction-based software configuration management
Last modified: Fri Oct 14 13:48:18 EDT 2011