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Categories: RCS, Version Control, git
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In this wiki page, I will deal with version control installation and usage on MS Windows and Linux (Fedora, Ubuntu and Centos). I will also deal with using a cloud storage with version control (dropbox, BOX, OneDrive,Ö..., etc.) Note that there is documentation covering the use of version control in Additional LyX manual, chapter "Version Control in LyX".

Table of contents (hide)

  1.   1.  RCS Installation on Windows
  2.   2.  RCS installation in Linux
    1.   2.1  Fedora
    2.   2.2  Ubuntu
  3.   3.  RCS installation in MacOS
    1.   3.1  Homebrew
  4.   4.  Version Control on the Cloud with RCS
  5.   5.  Using git

1.  RCS Installation on Windows

It is assumed that you have a successful installation of LyX and Latex (Tex Live or MiKTeX). In the following your LyX installation is assumed to be in C:\Program Files (x86)\LyX 2.2 (if you have windows x86 then yours will be C:\Program Files \LyX 2.2, where 2.2 is your LyX version. You may have another version number, please note that for the following). To install RCS on MS Windows (for all versions) do the following:

  1. Download RCS windows binaries from (
  2. copy win32 folder to C:\Program Files (x86)\LyX 2.2 and rename to RCS
  3. Open the file lyxrc.dist in notepad or wordpad. That file is located under to C:\Program Files (x86)\LyX 2.2\Resources. After that append ;$LyXDir\RCS\ to the path_prefix line as if you were modifying the windows path environment variable, so that it looks like this: \path_prefix "$LyXDir\bin;$LyXDir\python;$LyXDir\imagemagick;$LyXDir\ghostscript;$LyXDir\miktex\miktex\bin\;$LyXDir\RCS"
  4. In C:\Program Files (x86)\LyX 2.2, create an empty notepad file and save it as startLyX.bat (change the .txt extension to .bat),
  5. Open startLyX.bat and the following three lines:
    SET RCSINIT=-x,v
    start bin\LyX.exe/
  6. Save the file startLyX.bat
  7. Double click on startLyX.bat and wait till it opens your LyX.
  8. go to tools/reconfigure
  9. After it is done, close LyX
  10. Now create a LyX shortcut to your desktop. Note that the shortcut will refer to startLyX.bat not your LyX.exe. If you want to use RCS revision control on windows then you have to use startLyX.bat not your LyX.exe
  11. Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\LyX 2.2\bin
  12. Right click on Lyx.exe and send to desktop
  13. go back to the desktop and right click on the newly created shortcut and change the target to "C:\Program Files (x86)\LyX 2.2\StartLyX.bat. Also, change the start in field to "C:\Program Files (x86)\LyX 2.2"
  14. After you click OK, you will notice that the LyX icon went missing. You can right click on it one more time and click on change icon. Go to Lyx.exe in the bin folder and select the icon.

This ends up setting up RCS on windows. Again, to use version control on Windows you have to open LyX from that Desktop icon and to open your documents from that shortcut. If you donít, you wonít be to use version control on your documents. To make sure that your installation is correct, open LyX from the desktop shortcut, create a sample file, save it and then go to file/version control/check in. Write whatever message you want. If the file gets checked in correctly. Then you followed the steps correctly, if not, go back and check all steps

2.  RCS installation in Linux

2.1  Fedora

open a terminal and type the following:

  1. Sudo yum install rcs

2.2  Ubuntu

open a terminal and type the following

  1. Sudo apt-get install rcs

Open your Lyx and reconfigure it. This ends up installation on Linux and you can use RCS on Linux

3.  RCS installation in MacOS

3.1  Homebrew

open a terminal and type the following:

  1. brew install rcs

As above open LyX and reconfigure it.

4.  Version Control on the Cloud with RCS

Letís assume this situation: you have to identical LyX installations with RCS on two different PCs, one at work and one at home. And you saved all your LyX files on your Box, dropbox or OneDrive. You want to be able to continue working at home after you leave your saved document at work. This can be done but not in a perfect way. What I mean is that you wonít be able to just have a version controlled document on one pc and use the same file on the other pc. What you have to do is check all changes on your work pc before leaving. When you go back home you have to check out the document and continue working. Note that wonít be able to keep the same history of version control on the file at work unless you do the check in/check out as I just described. If you save you document at work without checking them, then you lose all of these changes since you will have to check out the document at home to continue version control. This is an apparent bug in RCS and sadly it is the best thing available on Windows since LyX doesnít yet fully support git.

(note: whoever is writting this I invite you to development mailing list. I do not exactly understand what your issue with RCS is, but we might be able to fix it. Pavel)

5.  Using git

If you want to use git, then it is straight forward. Just install git and create a repo in the folder of the LyX document. LyX will then will detect that git repo and you will be able to check in and check out the document. You even can use your cloud storage with git without having to check in the last change in you work PC.

Category: RCS Version Control git

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Page last modified on 2018-01-06 09:58 UTC