Home Server - Part III - SVN

  Now that we have our linux box running, and we can connect to it from inside and outside the network, let's get to the good stuff - keeping all of our files in sync, and our version tracking the code. This allows us to always roll back if we should make a goof-up.

Part I - Installing Linux
Part II - Setting up SSH
Part III - Setting up SVN

  Some reminders from the previous cases - our example server sits on internal network at, our DNS service forwards traffic from the example domain madscientistlair.blogspot.com, and our SSH is configured to use example port 1986. We've so far been able to use PuTTY to connect.

  First off, we want to create a directory the non-administrator users can access (since we're using them when we SSH in). As the computer administrator we're going to create some directories, and then a usergroup, and finally add the users to that group, and give the group access to the folder. Then we can restrict SSH logins to those users, but they can still access all the files we want to access anyway.

  I chose to make a new high level directory /share with the command "mkdir /share". Within that I have /share/music, /share/photos, and /share/repos. This last one is where our subversion repositories will sit. The repository is where subversion maintains all of the files and file history that it uses. We will actually add the repositories first, and then do our group permissions to make sure that the permissions take on the repository files.

  I followed the quick start guide at the end of the svnbook to get myself started. First, we tell svn we want to use to repos folder as our repository;
    svn create repos
Now we add files
    svn import /tmp/myproject file:///var/svn/repos/ProjectA -m "initial import" 

The argument goes svn import [folder holding your files] [repository you want to add the files to]. The -m tells it what comment to associate with this version. It's always good to add comments to your commits so you can figure where to roll back to.

  Now I promised user groups and access to that folder. Create the usergroup and add users with the commands;
    sudo addgroup sharegrp
    sudo adduser username sharegrp
  Obviously username needs to be changed to the actual user name you want to add.
  Now we need to change permissions on the folder we created.
    chgrp sharegrp -R /share
    sudo chmod -R 775 /share
  This sets the group associated with the share folder as sharegrp. The second command changes the folder permissions to read-write-execute for owner (root) and group (sharegrp) and read-execute for any other users. The -R flag tells it to recursively do this for all the folders and files in the folder. I still had some issues being able to read / write to the folder immediately after, but a simple log-out and log-in fixed this for me.

  Now we've established and populated the subversion repository, we can check it out on our remote computers. I was following this guide, but the basic steps are to install TortoiseSVN. TortoiseSVN integrates into the windows shell, so that when you right click on or in a folder, you should see some new options "SVN Checkout" and "TortoiseSVN" with an arrow for more options. First we need to tell T.SVN that we'll be using ssh. So right click anywhere and go to TortoiseSVN -> Settings -> Network. Browse for the TortoisePlink SSH client. Mine was located at "C:\Program Files\TortoiseSVN\bin\TortoisePlink.exe". Now let's checkout the repository. Navigate where you want it, right click and hit "SVN Checkout". It will prompt us for the repository we wish to checkout. You want to end up with something like;
    svn+ssh://[username]@[PuTTY Saved session name]/share/repos/ProjectA
  Oh, I should mention; once PuTTY can connect to your server, re-enter the information, then give it a name on the main screen, and click save. This will save the session, and allow other programs, like plink or tortoiseplink (both command line interfaces to putty) to access this session. That's what I referred to above as the PuTTY saved session name. Also, it's useful to have Paegent running in the background during this, to run the authentication without prompting you for it. Click "Okay" and you should be on your way to checking out your repository!

  I also had to configure svn for my linux work machine. The command line interface is a tad bit different. First off, since we're using a non-standard port, we have to add a new ssh tunnel for subversion. Edit ~/.subversion/config under the [tunnels] heading add in myssh = ssh -p 422
Now when you go to checkout tell svn to use that tunnel with the command;
    svn checkout svn+myssh://[username]@[madscientistlair.blogspot.com]/share/repos/ProjectA

Now onto using subversion. The basic work cycle goes something like this;
    update -> resolve conflicts -> make changes -> commit changes
In TortoiseSVN click the folder you want to update and go "SVN Update". From the linux command line, either use svn update if you're in the folder, or svn update [path to folder] to update the specific repository. I've not yet had to resolve many conflicts, so I'm going to leave this blank for now. Once I have some more experience I'll link to a detailed discussion. When you're done commit the changes with svn commit -m "comment on the changes". Or use Tortoise, right click the folder and use SVN Commit. I have noticed that TortoiseSVN someitmes won't commit any changes, if you right click on the top level directory, and you have not checked out all the sub-directories.
  On this note, you may only want to check out part of a repository, here's how to do it. For instance, assume our project repository looks like;
and you don't want the Web or Template folders checked out. When you initially check out the repository, select "Checkout Depth -> Immediate children including folders". This will make empty folders which you can then populate by right clicking and using SVN Update, but under options pull down "Fully Recursive" instead of "Working Copy".
  Again, when you're done making your changes, bring the server back up to date by right clicking and going SVN Commit.

  That's it. This is pretty cursory guide to getting SVN running on our server, but you should have a functional, if rudimentary, SVN system now.

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