Configuring the biowikifarm subversion repository

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This topic is about creating and configuring the repository on the server itself. For help with using or managing subversion, see Help: Subversion.


Configuring a subversion repository, with svn already installed through apt-get, on Debian 5. The procedure was contributed by an anonymous helper. First: in /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/dav_svn.conf enable several lines:

<Location /svn>
DAV svn
SVNPath /var/lib/svn
AuthType Basic
AuthName "Subversion Repository"
AuthUserFile /etc/apache2/dav_svn.passwd
Require valid-user
AuthzSVNAccessFile /etc/apache2/dav_svn.authz

Password file and users

 sudo htpasswd -c /etc/apache2/dav_svn_git.passwd user ## only for first user
 sudo htpasswd /etc/apache2/dav_svn_git.passwd username1
 sudo htpasswd /etc/apache2/dav_svn_git.passwd username2 ## etc.

(Password will be requested by htpasswd)

Create access control file and reload:

 sudo nano /etc/apache2/dav_svn.authz
 # Read/write permission for all SVN users:
 * = rw
 sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 reload

SVN Web Access

Creating SVN-Repository, access only to Webserver:

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

Now one can check versions directly inside the browser using or check locally out using a svn client:

 svn co

SVN post-commit-hook

To increase comfort we can ensure that committing to the webserver the most recent version is updated also in server’s repositories (i.e. with every commit from a normal subversion user, the webserver-local checkout is updated by a post-commit later on):

 # set password for www-data, use a random password, it will be stored plain text:
 sudo htpasswd /etc/apache2/dav_svn.passwd www-data 
 # sudo -s #  -s (shell) 
 # sudo chown -R www-data.www-data /var/www/v-artenquiz
 # Note: www-data needs a folder to store svn-configuration (esp. a plaintext password needs to be set and then stored):
 sudo mkdir /var/www/.subversion
 sudo chown www-data.www-data /var/www/.subversion/

 # Perhaps, if existing, safety first: 
 #  sudo mv /var/www/v-artenquiz /var/www/v-artenquiz-DELETE-ME-LATER
 sudo mkdir /var/www/v-artenquiz; cd /var/www/v-artenquiz
 # svn checkout URL local-target
 sudo svn checkout file:///var/lib/svn/artenquiz /var/www/v-artenquiz
 sudo chown -R  www-data.www-data /var/www/v-artenquiz
 ##NOTE: BELOW WAS OBSOLETE CODE THAT REFERRED TO OLD SVN mediawiki checkout structure. Removed!

Continuing as normal user, edit/create file

 sudo nano /var/lib/svn/hooks/post-commit
 ##(no longer direct code in wiki, refer to backup of current file)##

… and set this file as executable:

 sudo chmod +x /var/lib/svn/hooks/post-commit

By means of this post-commit-hook, whenever a commit to SVN occurs, www/v-artenquiz is automatically updated as well!

Adding new directories

The easiest way to add new directories or files to the repository is to use a GUI like TortoiseSVN (Windows) or kdesvn (Linux KDE).

  1. Check out the repository
  2. Add or copy the folders you wish to add to the repository and add them to subversion control locally using the local GUI
  3. Commit your changes to the main repository (needs a user account in dav)

An alternative is to use svn import on command line with

 sudo svn import LocalSVNextensions file:///var/lib/svn/LocalSVNextensions -m 'import of mediawiki LocalSVNextensions'

Adding a log-edit feature

cd /var/lib/svn/hooks/
# use templates provided by subversion
sudo cp  pre-revprop-change.tmpl pre-revprop-change 
# make it executable
sudo chmod +x pre-revprop-change

Now you are able to edit/or set log entries from a specific subversion revision number -r by:

1 cd /path/to/versioned/directory/
2 # edit log entry with editor
3 sudo svn propedit -r123 --revprop svn:log
4 # set log entry
5 sudo svn propset -r123 --revprop svn:log "new log message"

See also

SVN repo on apache behind nginx

Changes made to dav_svn.conf: add right before "<Location /svn>"

RequestHeader edit Destination ^https http early 

Note: Normal commits would work without this, but renames of folders caused "Server sent unexpected return value (502 Bad Gateway) in response to COPY". This requires the headers mod to be enabled:

a2enmod headers

There was nothing about SVN in our sites-available/default anyways. Setting in nginx /etc/nginx/sites-available/default:

 # SVN/GIT need ^~ to have priority over regexp with *.php!
 location ^~ /svn {
     proxy_set_header X-Real-IP       $remote_addr;
     proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $remote_addr;
     proxy_set_header Host            $host;
     proxy_pass; # = APACHE2 Prefork

Note: with "location /svn" instead of "location ^~ /svn" it would work with most files, but not with *.php files. PHP files would be caught by a regexp location (not shown), which has priority over normal nginx starts-with directives. The error message was: "Commit failed (details follow): File '/home/...i18n.php' is out of date '/svn/!svn/bc/2423/.../i18n.php' path not found. You have to update your working copy first. (Or German: "Übertragen schlug fehl (Details folgen): Datei »/home/.../i18n.php« ist veraltet. »/svn/!svn/bc/2423/.../i18n.php«. Pfad nicht gefunden."). This would occur for commits immediately after successful updates. Using a priority-start-with (which has priority over regexp locations) solved the problem.

Initially there also was a problem with checkouts on the server itself, this could be solved by checking these out again, using file: instead of https: (e.g. svn checkout file:///var/lib/svn/LocalSVNextensions).