CVS vs SVN: Difference and Comparison

Software is the main part of any hardware to become worthy. Version-controlling systems are often used in the software world. Well, two of the main versions of control systems are used in today’s world. CVS and SVN.

They both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. However, they are slightly different from each other.

Key Takeaways

  1. CVS is a Concurrent Versioning System used for version control of source code files, while SVN is a Subversion Version Control System used for version control of source code files.
  2. CVS is an older version control system replaced by SVN, a more advanced and modern system with better features and capabilities.
  3. SVN is more user-friendly than CVS, with better support for binary files and a more intuitive user interface.


The difference between the concurrent versions system and Apache subversion is that CVS is a free and client-based version controlling system while the SVN is a high-end, advanced and latest version of the controlling system. Also, the release date of CVS is 1990, while it’s 2000 of SVN.


The CVS or concurrent versions system is necessary for any complex enterprise application. The main usages of CVS are that it saves the changes made into the file. That gives an upper hand to the developer to compare between various other versions of control systems.


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The conductivity of semiconductor materials

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The SVN, on the other hand, is a new and latest technology software version ruled out in 2000 as Apache subversion. It’s a distributed version controlling system.

It facilitates the coder or developer to make changes in the code and maintain the past and new versions of files like source code, website pages, and docs. It’s used by several projects like GCC, Pascal, and Apache software foundation.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCVSSVN
DefinitionCVS is a free availability, client-oriented version controlling system in software development.SVN is an Apache subversion that is the advanced, hi-tech, and latest technology in software development.
Full formCVS stands for concurrent versions system.SVN stands for Apache subversion.
Developing teamIt is developed by the CVS team and released in 1990.It’s developed by Apache software foundation and released in 2000.
Supporting partsConcurrent versions system does not support atomic commits but supports SSH.Apache Subversion supports atomic commits and also HTTP and HTTPS.
LicenceCVS is GNU General public license.SVN us Apache license 2.0.

What is CVS?

In the field of technology, where everything is almost software-based, it’s important to develop software that eases the work and unloads the burden remaining on shoulders. Developers keep working continuously to make eye-catching and high-end software that can meet requirements.

CVS or concurrent versions system is a free-of-cost, client-based software development software. With CVS, many developers can work on the same project at the same time. This saves time and capital both.

Also, it allows collaboration among the team workers to enhance workability and functionality. This collaboration part plays a major role in bringing the people to work together as a team and eventually raises the bar of development.

CVS is basically following client-server architecture. The main server keeps a record of previous and current source codes and versions. Also, it allows a client to access these files and get a copy of the projects and codes.

It’s easy to connect a client and a server machine through a local area network or LAN.

CVS has many local developers who constantly update and enhance the software. Usually, the server works on UNIX, and clients run on operating platforms like Windows, Mac, and Linux.

It allows the developers to make necessary changes to make the user experience more good and healthy. The client can use the UPDATE command to update their local copies, with the new versions rolling out with time.


What is SVN?

SVN, or Apache Subversion, is a distributed network software versioning control system. It facilitates the coder to make important changes in the code, keeping the previous and recent source code files intact.

SVN is majorly used by many other projects like Apache software foundation, FREE Pascal, GCC, SourceForge, etc. The SVN is one of a kind thing rolled out by the Apache software foundation that facilitates the clients and the developers at the same time.

There are various features SVN incorporate. It allows removing files, renaming files, copying the data and important documents, moving, and many more. There’s a binding language like C#, Java, Python, Perl, and Ruby. Also, Apache subversion has a tracking feature known as merge tracking.

SVN allows three types of repository storage. One of them Is Berkeley DB. The original SVN development used this kind of technology. Well, Berkeley has some limitations.

When a program accesses the database, it could terminate or crash. FSFS is another type of repository storage that works way faster than the Berkeley DB backend. It takes less disk space in comparison.

The last one is FSX. That one is a new version of FSFS and is majorly used as a better alternative since it covers approximately all drawbacks of FSFS. Updates make everything easier and better than before indeed.


Main Differences Between CVS and SVN

  1. The CVS is a concurrent version system that’s free and client-based software, while the SVN is an Apache subversion that version controlling system and is high-end, new, and has advanced features.
  2. CVS was rolled out in 1990, while the SVN was rolled out after ten years of CVS. That is in 2000.
  3. The CVS team develops CVS, while the Apache software foundation develops SVN.
  4. CVS has GNU general public license, while the SVN us an Apache license 2.0.
  5. CVS doesn’t support atomic commits but supports SSH, while the SVN supports atomic commits, HTTP and HTTPS.

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