There are certain file names that frequently occur inside your working copy, but that you don't want to put under CVS control. Examples are all the object files that you get while you compile your sources. Normally, when you run `cvs update', it prints a line for each file it encounters that it doesn't know about (see section update output).
CVS has a list of files (or sh(1) file name patterns)
that it should ignore while running
This list is constructed in the following way.
RCS SCCS CVS CVS.adm RCSLOG cvslog.* tags TAGS .make.state .nse_depinfo *~ #* .#* ,* _$* *$ *.old *.bak *.BAK *.orig *.rej .del-* *.a *.olb *.o *.obj *.so *.exe *.Z *.elc *.ln core
$CVSIGNOREis appended to the list.
In any of the 5 places listed above, a single exclamation mark (`!') clears the ignore list. This can be used if you want to store any file which normally is ignored by CVS.
Specifying `-I !' to
cvs import will import
everything, which is generally what you want to do if
you are importing files from a pristine distribution or
any other source which is known to not contain any
extraneous files. However, looking at the rules above
you will see there is a fly in the ointment; if the
distribution contains any `.cvsignore' files, then
the patterns from those files will be processed even if
`-I !' is specified. The only workaround is to
remove the `.cvsignore' files in order to do the
import. Because this is awkward, in the future
`-I !' might be modified to override
`.cvsignore' files in each directory.
Note that the syntax of the ignore files consists of a series of lines, each of which contains a space separated list of filenames. This offers no clean way to specify filenames which contain spaces, but you can use a workaround like `foo?bar' to match a file named `foo bar' (it also matches `fooxbar' and the like). Also note that there is currently no way to specify comments.