Introduction to Subversion

Subversion is a version control system that is designed to be a compelling replacement for CVS in the open source community. It extends and enhances CVS' feature set, while maintaining a similar interface for those already familiar with CVS. These instructions install the client and server software used to manipulate a Subversion repository. Creation of a repository is covered at Running a Subversion Server.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-11.0 platform.

Package Information

  • Download (HTTP):

  • Download MD5 sum: 2eccc2c7451397e01a13682600af9563

  • Download size: 8.1 MB

  • Estimated disk space required: 208 MB (add 228 MB for bindings, 52 MB for docs, 1.3 GB for tests)

  • Estimated build time: 0.5 SBU (Using parallelism=4; add 1.9 SBU for bindings, 35 SBU for tests)

Subversion Dependencies


Apr-Util-1.6.1 and SQLite-3.36.0



Apache-2.4.48, Boost-1.77.0, Cyrus SASL-2.1.27, dbus-1.12.20, Doxygen-1.9.2 (for generating HTML documentation), gnome-keyring-40.0, libsecret-0.20.4, Py3c-1.3.1 (for tests) Python-2.7.18 (with sqlite support for the tests), Ruby-3.0.2, SWIG-4.0.2 (for building Perl, Python and Ruby bindings), LZ4, and UTF8proc

Optional (for the Java Bindings)

One of OpenJDK-16.0.2, Dante or Jikes, JUnit 4 (to test the Java bindings) and apache-ant-1.10.11.

User Notes:

Installation of Subversion

First, adapt some Python scripts to use python3:

grep -rl '^#!.*python$' | xargs sed -i '1s/python/&3/'

Install Subversion by running the following commands:

PYTHON=python3 ./configure --prefix=/usr             \
            --disable-static          \
            --with-apache-libexecdir  \
            --with-lz4=internal       \
            --with-utf8proc=internal &&

If you have Doxygen-1.9.2 installed and you wish to build the API documentation, issue:

doxygen doc/doxygen.conf

If you wish to build the Java bindings pass the --enable-javahl parameter to the configure command. In addition, if you want to run the Java test suite, you have to specify the location of the JUnit file by adding --with-junit=<path to junit jar> (for instance --with-junit=/usr/local/java/lib/junit-4.13.jar) to configure. The JUnit jar file is no longer included in apache-ant-1.10.11 and must be downloaded seperatly. To build the Java bindings, issue the following command:

make javahl

If you want to compile Perl, Python, or Ruby bindings, issue any of the following command:

make swig-pl # for Perl
make swig-py \
     swig_pydir=/usr/lib/python3.9/site-packages/libsvn \
     swig_pydir_extra=/usr/lib/python3.9/site-packages/svn # for Python
make swig-rb # for Ruby

To test the results, issue: make check. Four tests in the,, and suites are known to fail.

To test the results of the Java bindings build, issue LANG=C make check-javahl.

To test the results of any of the SWIG bindings, you can use any of the following commands: make check-swig-pl, make check-swig-py, or make check-swig-rb.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&

install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/subversion-1.14.1 &&
cp      -v -R doc/* /usr/share/doc/subversion-1.14.1

If you built the Java bindings, issue the following command as the root user to install them:

make install-javahl

If you built the Perl, Python, or Ruby bindings, issue any of the following commands as the root user to install them:

make install-swig-pl
make install-swig-py \
      swig_pydir=/usr/lib/python3.9/site-packages/libsvn \
make install-swig-rb

Command Explanations

--disable-static: This switch prevents installation of static versions of the libraries.

--with-apache-libexecdir: If Apache-2.4.48 is installed, the shared Apache modules are built. This switch allows to have those modules installed to Apache's configured module dir instead of /usr/libexec. It has no effect if Apache is not installed.

--with-lz4=internal, --with-utf8proc=internal: Remove these switches if you have installed the optional dependencies.

--enable-javahl: enables compilation of Java high level bindings. Running make javahl is necessary to do the compilation.

--with-junit=<location of the junit jar file>: gives the location of the junit jar, otherwise the javahl tests cannot be run.

--disable-gmock: Do not use the Googlemock testing framework.

Configuring Subversion

Config Files

~/.subversion/config and /etc/subversion/config

Configuration Information

/etc/subversion/config is the Subversion system-wide configuration file. This file is used to specify defaults for different svn commands.

~/.subversion/config is the user's personal configuration file. It is used to override the system-wide defaults set in /etc/subversion/config.


Installed Programs: svn, svnadmin, svnbench, svndumpfilter, svnfsfs, svnlook, svnmucc, svnrdump, svnserve, svnsync, and svnversion
Installed Libraries: libsvn_* and optionally, a Java library, the and and Apache HTTP DSO modules and various Perl, Python and Ruby modules.
Installed Directories: /usr/include/subversion-1, /usr/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.34/{,auto/}SVN, /usr/lib/python3.9/site-packages/{libsvn,svn}, /usr/lib/ruby/site_ruby/<x.y.z>/{,<arch-linux>-linux/}svn, /usr/lib/svn-javahl, and /usr/share/doc/subversion-1.14.1

Short Descriptions


is a command-line client program used to access Subversion repositories


is a tool for creating, tweaking or repairing a Subversion repository


is a benchmarking tool


is a program for filtering Subversion repository dumpfile format streams


is the FSFS (FileSystem atop of the FileSystem - Subversion filesystem implementation) repository manipulation tool


is a tool for inspecting a Subversion repository


is a Multiple URL Command Client for Subversion


is a tool for dumping or loading a remote Subversion repository


is a custom standalone server program, able to run as a daemon process or invoked by SSH


is a Subversion repository synchronisation tool


is used to report the version number and state of a working Subversion repository copy


are the support libraries used by the Subversion programs

is a plug-in module for the Apache HTTP server, used to authenticate users to a Subversion repository over the Internet or an intranet

is a plug-in module for the Apache HTTP server, used to make a Subversion repository available to others over the Internet or an intranet

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