Creating a Temporary Subversion Repository


Sometimes you need to create a temporary Subversion repository for test purposes. Here’s how.

Creating the Repository

To create a temporary Subversion repository for test purposes, all you need to do is:

svnadmin create /home/tag/tmp/temp_repos

This new repository uses the default FSFS database layer.

Local access to the test repository

If you simply wish to access this test repository from your local machine, you don’t even need to start up the Subversion server. Use the file protocol directly. Here’s an example, using the svn info command to obtain basic top-level repository information:

> svn info file:///home/tag/tmp/testrepo
Path: testrepo
URL: file:///home/tag/tmp/testrepo
Repository Root: file:///home/tag/tmp/testrepo
Repository UUID: 8d23c088-e23b-4eea-828f-d863b48cbd24
Revision: 0
Node Kind: directory
Last Changed Rev: 0
Last Changed Date: 2006-08-08 08:50:12 +0100 (Tue, 08 Aug 2006)

You already have full access rights to this test repository without requiring to enter any username/password credentials. Effectively, if you’re on the Subversion server you can do what you want!

Remote access to the test repository using svn

Local access may well be good enough to run whatever experiments you need to run. If, however, you want to access the repository remotely, you’ll need to start the server. The easiest way to do this is using the custom svn protocol:

svnserve --daemon --root /home/tag/tmp/testrepo

Now you can access this repository using svn URLs.

svn info svn://svnhostname

By default, you will have read-only access to the test repository.

Read/Write Remote access

The simplest way to gain remote read/write access to your test repository is to edit the svnserve.conf file. Of course, you’ll want to be on the host machine to do this:

emacs /home/tag/tmp/temp_repos/conf/svnserve.conf

If you edit this file to read:

anon-access = write

then anyone has read/write access. Alternatively, configure Subversion to use a password file for authorisation by editing conf/svnserve.conf and conf/passwd.

anon-access = read
auth-access = write
password-db = passwd

harry = harryssecret
sally = sallyssecret

When you’re done

When you’re finished with your repository, just throw it away. You can always make another one.

killall svnserve
rm -rf /home/tag/tmp/test_repo

Guess What?

Creating a real live production Subversion repository is no different to creating a temporary one. You might make different arrangements to serve it, to back it up, and possibly to access it.

Oh, and you’ll be careful not to delete it.