One svnserve, multiple repositories


A note on how a single svnserve can serve multiple repositories.

Yellow Dog

Let’s suppose the Yellow Dog project uses Subversion. You’ve set up a Subversion server (let’s give it a hostname svnserver), created a user svn, and a repository /home/svn/repository. Here’s the command you use to start the server:

$ svnserve -d -r /home/svn/repository

Red Bear, Blue Goat

Sometime later, the Red Bear project also decides to use Subversion. This project is unrelated to the Yellow Dog project and therefore needs its own repository. Similarly, we want a Blue Goat repository for yet another unrelated project.

What to do

Here’s what to do.

Creating the new repositories
$ ssh svn@svnserver
$ mkdir repositories
$ cd repositories
$ svnadmin create red_bear
$ svnadmin create blue_goat

Now we should have a directory layout like the following.

The view from /home/svn
|   +---blue_goat
|   |   +---conf
|   |   +---dav
|   |   +---db
|   |   +---hooks
|   |   \---locks
|   \---red_bear
|       +---conf
|       +---dav
|       +---db
|       +---hooks
|       \---locks

All we need to do is move the (poorly named) original Yellow Dog repository alongside the newer ones. I’d recommend taking down svnserve first, and of course notifying everyone working on the Yellow Dog project — but the move really will only take a few seconds.

Moving the old repository and restarting the server
$ killall svnserve
$ mv repository repositories/yellow_dog
$ svnserve -d -r /home/svn/repositories

Inetd mode

If you’re using svnserve in inetd mode, most of the above applies directly — you simply adjust the svnserve configuration file in the obvious way to reflect the new repository root.

Repository URLs

The new repository URLs are:

  • svn://svnserver/yellow_dog
  • svn://svnserver/blue_goat
  • svn://svnserver/red_bear

Note that the old URL for the Yellow Dog project was svn://svnserver. This means that anyone with a Yellow Dog working copy will have to svn switch it.

$ svn switch --relocate svn://svnserver svn://svnserver/yellow_dog

Loose Ends

There may be a few scripts kicking around which need to be changed to reflect the new layout:

Nothing should be hard, but with a very little forwarded planning you’ll see no loss of service. Once you’ve adjusted (if necessary) your backup script, I’d suggest now would be a good time to rehearse the recover-from-backup procedure.