Subversion (SVN) is an open-source version control system. It helps you keep track of a collection of files and folders. Any time you change, add or delete a file or folder that you manage with Subversion, you commit these changes to your Subversion repository, which creates a new revision in your repository reflecting these changes. You can always go back, look at and get the contents of previous revisions.

This article will help you for step by step setup of subversion (svn) server on CentOS, Red Hat & Fedora systems.

Step 1 – Install Apache

Firstly, You need to install Apache web server to access svn server using HTTP URLs. Skip this step if you already have Apache web server on your system.

yum install httpd   # For CentOS/RedHat 7/6
dnf install httpd   # For RedHat 8 & Fedora 

Start Apache web server and setup to autostart on system boot

service httpd restart
chkconfig httpd on

Step 2 – Install Subversion

Use following command to install subversion packages and there dependencies. Also install svn module for Apache mod_dav_svn packages on your system..

yum install subversion mod_dav_svn

Step 3 – Configure Subversion with Apache

Subversion module package creates an Apache configuration file, we just need to make necessary changes to it.

vim /etc/httpd/conf.d/subversion.conf
LoadModule dav_svn_module     modules/mod_dav_svn.so
LoadModule authz_svn_module   modules/mod_authz_svn.so

Alias /svn /var/svn

<Location /svn>
   DAV svn
   SVNParentPath /var/svn
   AuthType Basic
   AuthName "Subversion User Authentication "
   AuthUserFile /etc/svn-users
   Require valid-user
</Location>

Step 4 – Create First SVN Repository

Use following command to create your fist svn repository.

cd /var/svn
svnadmin create myrepo
chown -R apache.apache myrepo

Step 5 – Create Users for Authenctication

Now add svn users in /etc/svn-users file. These users will use for authentication of svn repositories for checkout, commit processes. Following commands will add two users to /etc/svn-users file. I have created the file using touch command. This can be also created with -c switch in htpasswd command but remember that -c switch delete existing file and create a new file, So to avoid accidental removal of existing file we recommend to use touch command.

touch /etc/svn-users
htpasswd -m /etc/svn-users user1
htpasswd -m /etc/svn-users user2

Step 6 – Access Repository in Browser

Use http urls to access your repository in browser. It will prompt for authentication. Use login credentials created in Step 5. Change example.com with your system host name, domain name or ip address.

http://example.com/svn/myrepo/

svn-server-login

svn-server-repo

Step 7 – Basic Operations on Repository

This step is for testing that repository is working properly. Use following commands to add few files to your svn repository.

  • Checkout repository on your local system. It will create the folder on local system with the repository name.
    svn co http://example.com/svn/myrepo/
    
  • Add some files to checkout repository directory.
    cd myrepo
    touch file1.txt index.php
    
  • Now add newly created files to svn repository and commit them to svn server repository.
    svn add file1.txt index.php
    svn ci file1.txt index.php -m "initial commit"
    

Let’s check back to http://example.com/svn/myrepo/ URL in browser. You will see your new files there.

Thank You for using this article. Read our next article How to Backup and Restore SVN Repository in Linux.