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Article: Using the GNU Arch version control system for your project

Item posted by Jérôme Marant <jerome> on Sat Mar 6 18:35:46 2004.

How do I use GNU Arch for my project?

(We assume that you already used your download area, that everything worked
well. If it is not the case, please read the related FAQ entries first)

There is currently more than one way to work with GNU arch: the decentralized
way and the centralized way.

  • Setting up a public archive mirror (decentralized way)

The most common way of using arch is the decentralized way: the developer
works with his local archive and publishes it on a regular basis.

Let's assume is your local archive, where
'project' is your project name.

Firstly, setup your public archive at with the following command
('archive-2004' is the symbolic name for your public archive location)

tla make-archive --listing --mirror \

Then, synchronize your public archive:

tla archive-mirror

Usually, it is more practical to synchronize your public archive whenever
commits are done into the local archive. This can be achieved by the means
of a commit hook. A hook is a small shell script that is run by tla when
commands are run. It is located at ~/.arch-params/hook.

Here is an example:


if [ "$1" == "commit" ]; then
tla archive-mirror ;

(Please note that your public mirror is locally know as

  • Setting up a centralized public archive

If you want several developers to commit direclty into the same public
archive, you may be interested in making the public archive the main one,
so every authorized commiter can access it at any time.

This can be done that way:

tla make-archive --listing \

  • Accessing a tla project archive

Firstly, register the tla archive with:

tla register-archive \

Then, retrieve the archive revision into a local directory:

tla get local-directory

For more details about GNU arch, please consider reading the documentation
available at
A community wiki is also worth browsing at

This article comes from the FAQ entry:


Viewarch? (posted by Nicolas LAURENT, Fri Mar 12 23:01:55 2004)

is there any change to see a viewarch configured with this new feature?

Anyway, many thanks for setting up this service and to gna! team for their work!

[ Reply ]

Re: It is secure (posted by Jérôme Marant, Thu Mar 11 12:50:58 2004)

I think you have the centralized way in mind.

Arch is mostly used the decentralized way anyway, so
the archive in the upload area is just a copy of a
local archive.

IMHO, using the centralized way doesn't bring any benefit.

[ Reply ]

Is it secure ? (posted by Martin Voelkle, Thu Mar 11 09:50:31 2004)

Does putting revision information in the upload area mean that anyone with write access to that area (any developer from the project) can erase versioning information ?

Isn't it what pserver and ssh jails are supposed to avoid ?

[ Reply ]



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