cvs-ext CVS Shell Extension

This Shell Extension integrates the CVS version control system into Windows Explorer.

New columns in Windows Explorer

  • CVS Status - OK, Modified, Added, Removed, Conflict etc.
  • CVS Revision - Revision number of the workfile
  • CVS Options - sticky options, e.g. '-kb'
  • CVS Tag - sticky tag
  • Author - author of the previous revision
Detail View Columns

Overlay Icons

  • blue - directory is under version control or file is not modified
  • red - file has been modified since last check-out
Overlay Icons

Context menu

  • Update - get the latest version from the CVS server
  • Commit - submit the workfile to the CVS server
  • Diff - compare the workfile to the corresponding revision on the server using an external diff program
  • Undo Changes - get a clean copy from the CVS server
  • Add - adds a file or directory to source control
  • Remove - removes the file on the CVS server
  • Custom Command - runs a custom command on the selected items
  • Show Console - displays the output of all CVS commands in a console window (for debugging purposes)
  • Options... - displays configuration options and version info
Context Menu
Where applicable, the CVS command line is shown on the Explorer status bar while the corresponding menu item is selected.

Commit dialog

Enter a new log message that is used for all selected files or re-use a previously entered message. The current revision number and branch tag are displayed for additional info. Use the Compare... button to recall the actual changes you made to the selected file. This button is only available if a single file is about to be commited.

Commit dialog

Tag dialog

Enter the name of the new tag or select a previously used tag name. Optioanally you can move an existing tag and check if local files are modified. You can also create a branch.

Tag dialog

Custom command dialog

Runs a custom CVS command on all selected files or directories. The wildcard $(Names) expands to a list of all selected items. To see output of the command, activate the console window by selecting the menu item CVS | Show Console.

Custom command dialog


In addition to the usual information, the author of the current revision appears in the file tooltip and the status bar.


CVS propery page

Shows the content of the files Root, Repository and Tag in the CVS sub directory. Below is the change history of the selected items

CVS Property Page

History propery page

Shows the revision history of a single file.

  • Save As... - Save the revision to a file.
  • View... - View the revision with the default text viewer.
  • Merge - Merge the selected revision or differences beteen 2 selected revisions into the workfile.
  • Compare... - Compares two revisions or one revision to the workfile using an external Diff program
History Property Page - tree view History Property Page -list view

Compare revisions

To compare two revisions in CVS, open the History property page and select the two revision numbers, then click "Compare...". The configured diff tool (ExampDiff for example) will be launched.

Compare with ExamDiff

Output console

For debugging purposes the output of all CVS commands can be monitored in a console window. To show or hide the console window use the menu item 'View / Explorer Bar / CVS Output'.

Output console window


To configure settings and external tools, select "Options..." from the CVS context menu.



Set up external tools, such as a Diff program, editor and text viewer. If the tool is not found in the search path, specify the full path name to the executable. Enclose the path name with double quotes if it contains spaces.

The macros $(OldFile), $(NewFile) and $(File) are expanded and quoted automatically.

Tool Configuration