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Fossil FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Note: See also Questions and Criticisms.

  1. What GUIs are available for fossil?
  2. What is the difference between a "branch" and a "fork"?
  3. How do I create a new branch?
  4. How do I tag a check-in?
  5. How do I create a private branch that won't get pushed back to the main repository.
  6. How can I delete inappropriate content from my fossil repository?
  7. How do I make a clone of the fossil self-hosting repository?
  8. How do I import or export content from and to other version control systems?

(1) What GUIs are available for fossil?

The fossil executable comes with a web-based GUI built in. Just run:
fossil ui REPOSITORY-FILENAME

And your default web browser should pop up and automatically point to the fossil interface. (Hint: You can omit the REPOSITORY-FILENAME if you are within an open check-out.)

See also: http://fuelscm.org/

(2) What is the difference between a "branch" and a "fork"?

This is a big question - too big to answer in a FAQ. Please read the Branching, Forking, Merging, and Tagging document.

(3) How do I create a new branch?

There are lots of ways:

When you are checking in a new change using the commit command, you can add the option "--branch BRANCH-NAME" to make the new check-in be the first check-in for a new branch.

If you want to create a new branch whose initial content is the same as an existing check-in, use this command:

fossil branch new BRANCH-NAME BASIS

The BRANCH-NAME argument is the name of the new branch and the BASIS argument is the name of the check-in that the branch splits off from.

If you already have a fork in your check-in tree and you want to convert that fork to a branch, you can do this from the web interface. First locate the check-in that you want to be the initial check-in of your branch on the timeline and click on its link so that you are on the ci page. Then find the "edit" link (near the "Commands:" label) and click on that. On the "Edit Check-in" page, check the box beside "Branching:" and fill in the name of your new branch to the right and press the "Apply Changes" button.

(4) How do I tag a check-in?

There are several ways:

When you are checking in a new change using the commit command, you can add a tag to that check-in using the "--tag TAGNAME" command-line option. You can repeat the --tag option to give a check-in multiple tags. Tags need not be unique. So, for example, it is common to give every released version a "release" tag.

If you want add a tag to an existing check-in, you can use the tag command. For example:

fossil tag add TAGNAME CHECK-IN

The CHECK-IN in the previous line can be any valid check-in name format.

You can also add (and remove) tags from a check-in using the web interface. First locate the check-in that you what to tag on the timeline, then click on the link to go the detailed information page for that check-in. Then find the "edit" link (near the "Commands:" label) and click on that. There are controls on the edit page that allow new tags to be added and existing tags to be removed.

(5) How do I create a private branch that won't get pushed back to the main repository.

Use the --private command-line option on the commit command. The result will be a check-in which exists on your local repository only and is never pushed to other repositories. All descendants of a private check-in are also private.

Unless you specify something different using the --branch and/or --bgcolor options, the new private check-in will be put on a branch named "private" with an orange background color.

You can merge from the trunk into your private branch in order to keep your private branch in sync with the latest changes on the trunk. Once you have everything in your private branch the way you want it, you can then merge your private branch back into the trunk and push. Only the final merge operation will appear in other repositories. It will seem as if all the changes that occurred on your private branch occurred in a single check-in. Of course, you can also keep your branch private forever simply by not merging the changes in the private branch back into the trunk.

Additional information

(6) How can I delete inappropriate content from my fossil repository?

See the article on "shunning" for details.

(7) How do I make a clone of the fossil self-hosting repository?

Any of the following commands should work:
fossil clone  http://www.fossil-scm.org/  fossil.fossil
fossil clone  http://www2.fossil-scm.org/  fossil.fossil
fossil clone  http://www3.fossil-scm.org/site.cgi  fossil.fossil
Once you have the repository cloned, you can open a local check-out as follows:
mkdir src; cd src; fossil open ../fossil.fossil
Thereafter you should be able to keep your local check-out up to date with the latest code in the public repository by typing:
fossil update

(8) How do I import or export content from and to other version control systems?

Please see Import And Export