Knowledge Base

Subversion Over SSH Overview

Before You Start

  • Assume you have some basic knowledge of Subversion and you know how to use it (import, commit, checkout, update, etc)

  • Assume you are using TortoiseSVN to browse repositories

  • Assume you know how to use pico or vi

Creating a Repository

This is a guide on how I did it, you may want to create your own structure.

Create svn folder in your home folder:

$ cd ~
$ mkdir svn

Give the repo an SVN filesystem:

$ svnadmin create --fs-type fsfs svn

Then we need to hack bash a little to let us use SSH to login (and use pico or vi to edit):

$ cd ~
$ mv .bashrc .bashrc_old
$ cp /etc/bashrc .bashrc
$ vi .bashrc

Then find the line containing:

mesg y

Replace it with:

tty -s
if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then
mesg y

That's it for repo creation!


The setup is pretty easy. Really, a few commands and you're done.

Make a new folder on your desktop and call it 'svn'. Right-click it and select 'TortoiseSVN -> SVN Checkout' (or 'SVN Checkout' if it isn't in the sub-menu.)

The program will ask you for the "URL of repository", you will supply:


The program will ask you for your password, you give it, and ta-da! You're ready to go!

The break down of this URL:

svn+ssh://** - the protocol
YOURUSERNAME@YOURHOST  - come on now, seriously
/home/YOURUSERNAME/svn - the absolute path to your repository

The 'repo' is an absolute path from the root of your system all the way up to the repository folder that we made in the last step.

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