I was interested in creating a private subversion repository on my web server,
and inquired with support into running a server process on the server so that
I could access the repository remotely. Since support confirmed that I would
be unable to do this, I managed to get it working over SSH, and figured I’d
share it with everyone, since I did see that there were a few entries on the
suggestion panel for subversion support.
Note that I am using the TortoiseSVN Windows client for accessing the repository…
Doing it in *nix or from the svn command line client is an exercise left for
- Compile subversion:
- Download the latest tarball from subversion.tigris.org
- Untar into your home directory
- ./configure (you will get a warning that berkeley db is not supported - this
is fine, you’ll use fsfs)
- If everything compiled correctly (I had no problems on guilder.dreamhost.com),
copy the binaries to your home directory:
- cp \subversion\svnserve\svnserve
- cp \subversion\svnadmin\svnadmin
- Create the root repository:
- mkdir repos
- svnadmin --fs-type fsfs repos
3.5. Fix your SSH path:
- Add the following to ~/.bashrc and ~/.bash_profile:
Download latest TortoiseSVN from tortoisesvn.tigris.org and install on your
Configure TortoiseSVN for your subversion repository:
- Right click on something (desktop, whatever)
- Go to TortoiseSVN -> Settings
- Go to the Network tab
- In the SSH client box, enter the following:
C:\Program Files\TortoiseSVN\bin\TortoisePlink.exe -l -pw
(note that you can omit the password for security reasons, but you will then
be prompted to enter your password every time a request is made, which gets
annoying, quickly, since your password is not cached)
- Hit OK to save
- Attempt to browse to your repository:
- Right click on something
- Go to TortoiseSVN -> Repo-Browser
- Enter the following URL:
- Hit OK and attempt to expand the repos directory (click the plus)
- If you get no errors, you’re in
- Obviously, you may not want to share your ssh login/password with other people
that you want to give subversion access. I believe you can make another account
from the admin panel for subversion access - you should be able to give it
permission to your repos directory and copy the binaries there. Again, this is
an exercise left to the reader.
- This is not the fastest/most efficient way to do subversion - every request
must do the following:
- Open an SSH session.
- Invoke the svnserve process.
- Communicate with the svnserve process.
- Kill the svnserve process and close the SSH session.
Yes, it’s going to be slow. But it will work, and large commits/imports/exports
are not as affected, since once the connection’s open and the server process
is started, the speed will depend on your connection to the server. It’s just
the initialization/clean up that adds a few seconds of overhead to each request.
- For the Dreamhost admin’s peace of mind, the svnserve process is invoked with
a command line switch that indicates it’s being used through an SSH tunnel and
communicating through stdin/stdout. It never listens on a TCP port.
Let me know if you have any questions. A word of caution: I’m only beginning to
use subversion/TortoiseSVN, so I probably won’t be too much help outside of
clarifying the above. =)
EDIT: Forgot about the path setting (3.5) - this is necessary so that svnserve can be found by the SSH shell…