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Virtual repositories: overview

A special password-checking program called `vchkpw' allows to use the so-called virtual repositories.

There is a separate database of virtual users in each virtual repository, and the authentication is done against that particular database. Each virtual user has a corresponding system user to switch to. In most cases almost all virtual users for a given repository switch to the same single system user. One of the virtual users is designated to a repository administrator, and this user needs to switch to its own system user, with additional privileges. Thus, only two system users are allocated to each repository, while allowing an unlimited number of virtual users.

Additional advantage of virtual repositories is that they could be completely administrated over the network, not bothering the administrator of server machine. The remote administration is handled by the cvs client, and consists in adding, enabling, disabling, and deleting users, and changing user information, including password. Ordinary users can change their own password, not bothering the repository administrator.

The user database for the virtual repository is stored in the `cvspasswd' file in the `CVSROOT/' subdirectory of the repository. The `cvschkpw' program uses that file to authenticate virtual users and to switch to the system account specified for each virtual users (most of the time almost all users switch to the same account). section Setting up server.

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