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Ubuntu SVN Setup

  • May 14th,
  • by Razvan Gavril

If you’re looking over the perfect subversion setup in ubuntu you’re at the right place. I’m a long time subversion and ubuntu user and I’ll try to share some info on how I keep my source code safe. This article will cover how you can setup your own webdav enabled, multi repository subversion server.

Setting up Subversion with WebDav Access

Starting with the easy part, installing all the needed packages.

apt-get install apache2 libapache2-svn subversion

We’re also going to need a directory structure where to store our repositories and config files:

mkdir -p /var/lib/svn/conf/policies
mkdir -p /var/lib/svn/repository

Let’s create our first config file /var/lib/svn/conf/default_policy.conf. We’re going to use this file to act as a default webdav config for every repository.

<Location />
        Dav svn
        SVNParentPath /var/lib/svn/repository
        AuthType Basic
        AuthName "Razvan's Subversion Repository"
        AuthUserFile /var/lib/svn/conf/passwords
        Require user rgavril

Of course you should set the Require user and AuthName to match your needs.

Create a default svn user. Since I used rgavril in the above config file, I’ll continue my example with that username but you can use whatever you want.

htpasswd -c /var/lib/svn/conf/passwords rgavril

Now we need to deceide on how to access the subversion repositories. I’m into using the naming scheme so I’ll show you how to do that. Create a file named in /etc/apache2/sites-available with the fallowing content:

<VirtualHost *:80>
        UseCanonicalName  Off
        ServerAdmin             ""
        CustomLog               /var/log/apache2/svn.domain.com_access_log combined
        ErrorLog                /var/log/apache2/svn.domain.com_error_log

        Include /var/lib/svn/conf/default_policy.conf
        Include /var/lib/svn/conf/policies/*

Let’s enable enable the svn_dav module and the newly created virtual host in apache and restart it:

a2enmod dav_svn
invoke-rc.d apache2 restart

Creating and Managing Repositories

Ok so let’s start creating our first repository in svn, it’s actually very simple:

mkdir /var/lib/svn/repository/project001
svnadmin create /var/lib/svn/repository/project001
chown -R www-data.www-data /var/lib/svn/repository/project001

After running the above commands you should be able to use access your newly created repository using this url:

Let’s assume you’re working with bob on this project and you want to give him access to the repository don’t allow him to access the other projects. What you want to do is to create a password for bob:

htpasswd /var/lib/svn/conf/passwords bob

And now create a special policy for this project by creating a file named /var/lib/svn/conf/policy/project001.conf :

<Location />
        AuthName "Razvan and Bob's Repository"
        Require user rgavril bob

For setting more complex user rights I recommend using the AuthzSVNAccessFile directive, but this should get you going for now.

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