How to change CVSROOT or username in Windows

To update your CVSROOT and connection username (e.g. “:ssh:esalwin@”),
replace the value in each hidden ROOT file (within every sub-folder in your repository).

You can open the ROOT file with Notepad.  You can display the hidden CVS folders with Control Panel > Folder Options > View > Show Hidden Files.

Use a text tool (e.g. Notepad++) to batch-replace the ROOT value across your repository.  Or delete your repository and check it out from scratch with the new ROOT value.  Or switch to Subversion or any other versioning system invented after 1986.

Note: My environment is Windows 7 with TortoiseCVS and CVSNT authenticating via SSH to a CVS Linux server.  I used the above “find-and-replace” technique to change just my username in the CVSROOT.  I don’t know how well the technique would work under different circumstances.

On your CVS server, you may or may not also need to logout, login, and set your CVSROOT environment variable (see


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