Concurrent Versions Librarian

What is Concurrent Versions Librarian ?

CVL (Concurrent Versions Librarian) is a version and configuration management tool for MacOS X, Mac OS X Server (Rhapsody), Windows and OPENSTEP. It helps managing versions of various resources (source code, projects, documents). It allows parallel modifications as well as branches. CVL is useful for one and for many users.

CVL is a graphical user interface to CVS (Concurrent Versioning System) most often used commands. Its work area viewer (Fig. 1) allows you to quickly check the status of your files and directories. It is an alternative to Apple's ProjectBuilder source code management (SCM) bundle; it even provides more features than SCM. As a standalone application, it can be used by non-developers.

For WebObjects and MacOS X Server developers, CVLAvatar a ProjectBuilder bundle, provides improved integration between CVL and ProjectBuilder.

Information on this page includes:

Fig. 1: Work Area Viewer

Work Area Viewer

Fig. 2: Log Inspector

Log Inspector


Features of CVL include:

Integration with ProjectBuilder

Integration of CVL and ProjectBuilder is done through services and a bundle, CVLAvatar (except on MacOS X).



For MacOS X, CVL is available as a .dmg file.For other platforms, CVL, CVLAvatar and PBFilenamePasteboardFix are available in GZIP compressed TAR files that can be decoded with gnutar and gzip: CVLAvatar.bundle PBFilenamePasteboardFix.bundle (+source)

Mac OS X  10.4 (Tiger, Universal) CVL-3.4.14-b90.dmg 3.4.14 (b90)

Mac OS X  10.3/10.4 (Panther/Tiger) CVL-3.4.9-b76.dmg 3.4.9 (b76)

Mac OS X  10.2 (Jaguar) CVL-Jaguar.dmg 3.1.0 (v37)

Mac OS X  10.1 CVLv27.dmg v27

Mac OS X Server 1.x (Rhapsody) v27 CVLAvatar.bundle.MacOSXServer.tar.gz 1.0b11 PBFilenamePasteboardFix-P-bs.tgz

Windows + WebObjects/Yellow box v27.6 CVLAvatar.bundle.Windows.tar.gz 1.0b11 PBFilenamePasteboardFix-Y-bs.tar.gz

OPENSTEP 4.1 or 4.2 Mach (i386, m68k, Sparc) 1.0b9     PBFilenamePasteboardFix.tar.gz

Windows + OPENSTEP 4.2 1.0b9 (.zip)     PBFilenamePasteboardFix.tar.gz

Sources (for 3.4.14-b90) CVL-3.4.14-b90-Tiger-sources.dmg    

Sources (for 3.4.9-b76) CVL-3.4.9-b76-sources.dmg    

Sources (for v27) CVLv27-sources.tgz   Included with CVL sources

Sources package contains code for CVL, CVLAvatar and necessary frameworks and palette, for all platforms (except OPENSTEP).

Installation must be installed in one of the following locations, in order for its services to work: $HOME/Applications/, $NEXT_ROOT/Local/Applications/ (MacOS X Server 1.x (Rhapsody) and Windows) or /Applications (MacOS X), /Network/Applications/ (MacOS X Server/MacOS X only)
Do not install the new CVL version over an existing one! First delete the existing version.

On MacOS X:

CVL is provided in .dmg format; just download it and click it!

On MacOS X Server 1.x (Rhapsody):

After dowloading the compressed file, unarchive it using the excellent or the command-line:

  gnutar xzf

You will be provided with a package (.pkg) that you can install using; note that if you want to install CVL in another location than ~/Applications, you might need to be root, as the installer tries to modify the rights on the files.

On Windows:

You need to decompress the archive with the following commands:

  gnutar xf

Do not use WinZip or tar to unarchive CVL, and do not place in Program Files or any location which contains a space in its path.

When you first start CVL, you'll be asked to configure it with the path for the cvs executable on your system (see CVS).


CVL has an integrated documentation file that you can access through menu Help. For cvs documentation, follow the links in the CVS section. There is also a diagram for cvs/CVL usage (JPEG or OmniGraffle format), provided by some kind soul.



New features are often incorporated to CVL. Possible future additions include:

For any question, suggestion, or problem report, please send an e-mail to


CVL is open-source. You can read the license at
Latest sources can be downloaded from
There is a file (HowToBuildCVL.txt) that will help you build CVL; Windows users should also read WindowsOnly/README.txt


There is a public mailing-list in which you can discuss problems with CVL, make suggestions, talk about technical issues, deployment issues, bugs, gripes or request for help. The mailing-list is also archived, and anybody can consult the archives; there is no need to be subscribed to the mailing-list.

To subscribe to the mailing-list, send any message to:

To consult the archives, go to

Release Notes

CVL Releases 3.4.14 (b90), v27 and 1.0b9 are currently available.


You need to get CVS to work with OPENSTEP or Mac OS X Server, and to understand CVS. CVS comes preinstalled with MacOS X Developer Tools.

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