# How to Use Fossil

## How to Install Fossil

Fossil is a modern, distributed version control system, that we use to manage the files of most of the projects on this site.

Fossil is available for several computer platforms. In case it is not available from the software installation tool of your operating system, it can be downloaded here.

## How to Install Fossil on Syllable Server

Fossil can be installed on Syllable Server by taking the Linux version from the official downloads, mentioned above. The program doesn't even need to be installed, but if you want to keep it in the system for future use, the easiest way to do that is by moving the Fossil executable to the /system/programs/ directory.

Alternatively, Fossil can be compiled from its source code. In that case, you need to have the following software packs installed:

- Development files pack for your exact Syllable version
- Shell Essentials
- Developer's Delight
- Network Necessities

To compile Fossil and start it, enter the following commands:
s build update
build log
build Fossil--current
build install Fossil--current
fossil help


## Using Fossil on Syllable Desktop

Fossil is included in Syllable Desktop since Syllable 0.6.7.

Alternatively, Fossil can be compiled from its source code. In that case, you also need Syllable 0.6.7 and you need to have the following software packs installed:

- Development files pack for your exact Syllable version
- Shell Essentials
- Developer's Delight
- Network Necessities

To compile Fossil and start it, enter the following commands in the terminal:
build update
build log
build Fossil--current
build install Fossil--current
fossil help


## Using Fossil

Fossil keeps projects in repository databases, which can be copied and synchronised over the Internet. It is easy to access one of our projects and keep it up-to-date with any changes we make. You start by making a so called clone of the repository, for example our repository of binary test programs for the Red(/System) programming language. Enter this command at the terminal command prompt:
fossil clone http://red.esperconsultancy.nl/Red-test Red-test.fossil

You now have a repository in one file called Red-test.fossil. You can use a different name or extension, or move the file if you want.

To get at the files in the repository database, you have to open it, which is called checking out a working copy. It is wise to create a separate directory and work in there. On a Unix style operating system, you would for example do this:
mkdir test
cd test

Now open the repository. Adjust the path to where you put the cloned database:
fossil open path/to/Red-test.fossil

On Windows, you would have to use a deviating notation for the path:
fossil open path\to\Red-test.fossil

The files of the project will now be checked out into the directory you prepared.

When you are in the working directory of the project, you can update your copy of the project from our version on the Internet like this:
fossil update

You can make changes to the files if you want, but when updating you will have to manage the process of merging them with any changes from our remote repository. Fossil will assist with that.

A more extensive introduction guide and the complete Fossil documentation are available here.