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MozDev WinCVS Setup

Setting up WinCVS for access to the MozDev CVS servers as an extension author can be a bit tricky, especially for those new to CVS. This page is designed to serve as a mini-guide to getting started quickly with an install, configuration, initial checkout, editing and uploading download files. If anyone has any corrections or additions, please let me know.

Installing WinCVS

  1. Head to and click on downloads. Download the installer for the latest recommended release.
  2. Extract the files from the zip and run wincvs_setup.exe
  3. Follow the prompts to install. Keep the default options up until the icon locations and shell extension screen (there you can choose the options you would like)
  4. Allow WinCVS to install CVSNT on the Finish screen (it should be checked by default)
  5. Follow the prompts to install CVSNT keeping the default options.
  6. Head to and click on downloads. Download the Python Windows Installer.
  7. Run the installer package and install Python with the default options (changing the location to within Program Files\Python if desired)

Launching and Configuring WinCVS

  1. Create a location to use for your CVS files. I use C:\Applications\CVS Files\
  2. Launch WinCVS
  3. Next to the location bar up top (which defaults to C:\), click the Change Location button next to it and select the location you created for CVS Files
  4. Now click Admin and then Login
  5. In the login screen that pops up, enter :pserver:[email protected]:/cvs replacing USERNAME with your mozdev username and click OK
  6. You will be prompted for your home directory. Select the directory you created above. (Or make a MozDev subdirectory within that if you will be using CVS on multiple servers)
  7. Enter your password
  8. Click Admin and the Checkout Module
  9. Enter the name of your mozdev project you wish to checkout and select the CVS root you entered earlier from the dropdown. Click OK and wait until the project is downloaded.

Editing Your Web Files

  1. Browse to the www directory
  2. Right-click on the index.html file and select Open With
  3. Select the HTML or text editor of your choice
  4. Make and save some changes to the file
  5. In WinCVS, right-click on the now-red updated file and select Update and click OK
  6. Right-click again and select Commit.
  7. Enter a message (if desired) and click OK

Making Files Available for Download

  1. Copy the file you wish to make available to the download directory within your CVS Files\projectname\ directory on your computer
  2. In WinCVS, browse to the download directory
  3. Select the new file
  4. Click Modify and then Add Binary
  5. Right-click the file and select Commit
  6. Add a message (optional) and click OK

When updating an extension, just overwrite the XPI in the download directory and then Update and Commit as in Editing Your Web Files. Or, better yet (and recommended), number your XPIs with a version number... like myextension-1.3.2.xpi so that older versions are still available if people want them.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License allowing you to use this document on your own site as long as you give proper attribution and include the same license. Please drop a link back to my site and let me know if you use it.