blame(1) annotate RCS files


blame [options] file ...


blame outputs an annotated revision from each RCS file. An annotated RCS file describes the revision and date in which each line was added to the file, and the author of each line.

Pathnames matching an RCS suffix denote RCS files; all others denote working files. Names are paired as explained in ci(1).

A revision is selected by options for revision or branch number, checkin date/time, author, or state. When the selection options are applied in combination, blame retrieves the latest revision that satisfies all of them. If none of the selection options is specified, blame retrieves the latest revision on the default branch (normally the trunk, see the -b option of rcs(1)). The options -d (--date), -s (--state), and -w (--author) retrieve from a single branch, the selected branch, which is specified by -r (--revision), or the default branch.

blame always performs keyword substitution (see KEYWORD SUBSTITUTION in co(1)).


-r, --revision[=rev]
Retrieves the latest revision whose number is less than or equal to rev. If rev indicates a branch rather than a revision, the latest revision on that branch is retrieved. If rev is omitted, the latest revision on the default branch (see the -b option of rcs(1)) is annotated. If rev is $, blame determines the revision number from keyword values in the working file. Otherwise, a revision is composed of one or more numeric or symbolic fields separated by periods. If rev begins with a period, then the default branch (normally the trunk) is prepended to it. If rev is a branch number followed by a period, then the latest revision on that branch is used. The numeric equivalent of a symbolic field is specified with the -n option of the commands ci(1) and rcs(1).
-kkv, --expand=kv
Generate keyword strings using the default form, e.g. $Revision: 1.3 $ for the Revision keyword. This is the default.
-kkvl, --expand=kvl
Like -kkv, except that a locker's name is inserted into the value of the Header, Id, and Locker keyword strings if the given revision is currently locked.
-kk, --expand=k
Generate only keyword names in keyword strings; omit their values. See KEYWORD SUBSTITUTION in co(1). For example, for the Revision keyword, generate the string $Revision$ instead of $Revision: 1.3 $. Log messages are inserted after $Log$ keywords even if this option is specified.
-ko, --expand=o
Generate the old keyword string, present in the working file just before it was checked in. For example, for the Revision keyword, generate the string $Revision: 1.1 $ instead of $Revision: 1.3 $ if that is how the string appeared when the file was checked in.
-kb, --expand=b
Generate a binary image of the old keyword string. This acts like -ko, except it performs all working file input and output in binary mode. This makes little difference on Posix and Unix hosts.
-kv, --expand=v
Generate only keyword values for keyword strings. For example, for the Revision keyword, generate the string 1.3 instead of $Revision: 1.3 $.
-d, --date=date
Retrieves the latest revision on the selected branch whose checkin date/time is less than or equal to date. The date and time can be given in free format. The time zone LT stands for local time; other common time zone names are understood. For example, the following dates are equivalent if local time is January 11, 1990, 8pm Pacific Standard Time, eight hours west of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC):

8:00 pm lt
4:00 AM, Jan. 12, 1990             default is UTC
1990-01-12 04:00:00+00             ISO 8601 (UTC)
1990-01-11 20:00:00-08             ISO 8601 (local time)
1990/01/12 04:00:00                traditional RCS format
Thu Jan 11 20:00:00 1990 LT        output of ctime(3) + LT
Thu Jan 11 20:00:00 PST 1990       output of date(1)
Fri Jan 12 04:00:00 GMT 1990
Thu, 11 Jan 1990 20:00:00 -0800    Internet RFC 822
12-January-1990, 04:00 WET

Most fields in the date and time can be defaulted. The default time zone is normally UTC, but this can be overridden by the -z option. The other defaults are determined in the order year, month, day, hour, minute, and second (most to least significant). At least one of these fields must be provided. For omitted fields that are of higher significance than the highest provided field, the time zone's current values are assumed. For all other omitted fields, the lowest possible values are assumed. For example, without -z, the date 20, 10:30 defaults to 10:30:00 UTC of the 20th of the UTC time zone's current month and year. The date/time must be quoted if it contains spaces.

-s, --state=state
Retrieves the latest revision on the selected branch whose state is set to state.
-w, --login[=login]
Retrieves the latest revision on the selected branch which was checked in by the user with login name login. If the argument login is omitted, the caller's login is assumed.
-V, --version[=ver]
If no argument is supplied, print blame's version number, and the version of RCS it emulates by default. Otherwise emulate the specified version. See co(1) for details.
-x, --suffixes=suffixes
Use suffixes to characterize RCS files. See ci(1) for details.
-z, --zone=zone
Specifies the date output format in keyword substitution, and specifies the default time zone for date in the -ddate option. The zone should be empty, a numeric UTC offset, or the special string LT for local time. The default is an empty zone, which uses the traditional RCS format of UTC without any time zone indication and with slashes separating the parts of the date; otherwise, times are output in ISO 8601 format with time zone indication. For example, if local time is January 11, 1990, 8pm Pacific Standard Time, eight hours west of UTC, then the time is output as follows:

option      time output
-z          1990/01/12 04:00:00          (default)
-zLT        1990-01-11 20:00:00-08
-z+05:30    1990-01-12 09:30:00+05:30


Strings of the form $keyword$ and $keyword:...$ embedded in the text are replaced with strings of the form $keyword:value$ as described in co(1).


blame never changes an RCS or working file. It uses the effective user for all accesses, and it does not even read the working file unless a revision number of $ is specified.


Options prepended to the argument list, separated by spaces. See ci(1) for details.


The working pathname and a separator line is written to the diagnostic output. The exit status is zero if and only if all operations were successful.


One day, there will be a whole bunch of useful examples here.


Michael Chapman <[email protected]>

Portions of this manual page are from ci(1) and co(1) by Walter F. Tichy and Paul Eggert.


blame is copyright © 2004, 2005 Michael Chapman.

blame is released under the terms and conditions of the GNU General Public License version 2. Please read the COPYING file carefully.