Subversion Server

The Service

The subversion service is a part of the www provision for the Department. It is a sectioned-off part of the web server, but linked into the web services. Any repositories created (even if they are not generally readable) will be advertised on the "portals" page here. All repositories created on the server are accessible from anywhere in the world.

Please do not use the subversion service for storing large datasets; the intention is to provide a code and document repository which would store no more than 5-10Mb of current documents (plus their histories) per user.

Users and Accounting 

Every effort has been made to ensure the system is secure. All data sent between your computer and the repository is encrypted BUT the password used to connect to the repository and check out your data may be stored in clear text within your working copy.  For this reason, we have decided that each user registered to use this service, must use a password other than the one they normally use for Departmental access.

Because a separate accounting system is used, we can support code-collaborations outside the Department. Please let us know if you want to give access to your repository to collaborators from elsewhere.

This is not an open service which means that users are not automatically able to use it. Please mail with the name of the repository you would like set up and a list of collaborators including their status (internal or external) who will share access to the repository.

As we will occasionally have a need for system maintenance, we would like each repository owner to be registered with us as a contact. The contact for the repository will be listed on the portal page and this person will be authorised to grant access to their repository.

By default, all repositories will be closed access. All users will need to sign in to view them. We can support open access repositories, but you will need to speak to us.

IT Support

The IT team are here to support you, up to a point! We are not subversion experts, so please check some of the references below before asking for help. In fact, we would go as far as to say you should read some of these references below before asking for access to this service.

Repositories and Commands

If you have a repository called "repo-1", then you will be able to access this from the URI Access commands would look like:

  • svn import
  • svn checkout
  • svn commit

and so on.

This service does not offer any of the following:

  • Local access to the repos (in fact the SVN book strongly discourages this).
  • Access through svnserve.
  • Access through svnserve+ssh.

The hardware

The disk provision for the server is modest, but is on resilient UPS-backed up RAID and is backed up nightly. The disks are not quota'd so please be careful how much space you use.

Technical details of the service

The svn command accesses a secure web address (an https URI through SSL) thus ensuring that all traffic is encrypted.

The SVN service is entirely Apache-enabled as it provides the most flexibility with the most robustness and requires no extra Firewall holes.