Subversion: Setting the repository path for svn+ssh://server/repos

For some reason, it doesn’t seem to be possible to set up a path for your repository when using subversion as: svn+ssh://server/repos out of the box. So you end up having to specify svn+ssh://server/some/path/repos.

But it really isn’t that hard to do. Here is how I do it. Beware that you’re going to be making system-wide changes to how svnserve operates. The basic idea is to replace svnserve with our own version, that calls the original one with a -r parameter.

As in:

cd /usr/bin
mv svnserve svnserve.distrib
cat >
# Change this to reflect where your repository really is
umask 002
/usr/bin/svnserve.distrib -r $repos "$@"
# echo $? "$@" >> /tmp/svnserve.params

Now, whenever somebody accesses svn+ssh://server/repos, they’re really accessing /home/svnrepos/repos (which must then exist and be set up etc.)

Being careful about system upgrades

Now we’ve replaced svnserve that comes from the subversion package. Next time there is a new subversion package, our little script will be overwritten by svnserve from the new subversion package. So if we don’t do something else, keep a copy of your little wrapper script. You’ll be needing it periodically as you’ll need to do the above every time the subversion package gets updated. Unless:

Handling subversion package upgrades on dpkg (debian) based systems

Here, dpkg-divert is very handy as it allows us to move some package files “out of the way” like this:

$ sudo dpkg-divert /usr/bin/svnserve
Adding `local diversion of /usr/bin/svnserve to /usr/bin/svnserve.distrib'

Now, next time subversion is upgraded with a new one, /usr/bin/svnserve will stay the same, but /usr/bin/svnserve.distrib will get updated and we won’t have to do anything

Please give us a way to do this simply

I don’t understand why this isn’t possible by editing a config file somewhere. Oh, well, this works for me and I guess I have to pick my battles. This isn’t one of them, but now you also know how to do it. It has worked since forever for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *