Using SVN in Ubuntu

Since I chose SVN as my VCS in google code, a SVN GUI client may be helpful. I found kdesvn. It’s free, powerful, and just there in the Ubuntu repository:

The 2nd line is used to fix the bookmark issue in kdesvn :).

Then invoke the line below first:

This will create a default configuration directory for SVN in ~/.subversion/. In fact, any SVN command will do. There are configuration files located in /etc/subversion/. But they seems to be of no use.

Note, kdesvn will use SVN configuration files when perform operations. Now, we need to edit them.

1. Proxy

Uncomment and modify the following lines in [global] section:

It seems that we can use separate settings for different host groups. This is not verified, leaves to you.

2. Password

SVN 1.6 added gnome/gnome-keyring and kde/kwallet credentials management support. Some additional options were introduced.

2.1 SVN 1.4.6 (Ubuntu 8.04, Hardy)

Uncomment and modify the following lines in [auth] section:

You’re done. The 1st option prevents SVN from saving plain-text password locally. The 2nd even stops caching the credentials. Then every time you need an SVN authentication, a prompt appears.

Note: you cannot find an option in kdesvn’s configuration to set a user/password values. The application just use cached key values in ~/.subversion/auth/ directory.

2.2 SVN 1.6.6 (Ubuntu 10.04, Lucid)

If you do not want to save password, set the 2 values as that in Hardy. But they are deprecated and moved to ~/.subversion/servers.

Uncomment and modify the following lines in [global] section:

Then the ~/.subversion/config file:

Uncomment and modify the following lines in [auth] section. Set to empty:

You’re done! All SVN behaviors are consistent with that in Hardy.

If you want to integrate with gnome-keyring or kwallet, modify the line to contain “gnome-keyring”, “kwallet” or both. Gnome-keyring does not integrate well with SVN, so I chose kwallet and have a test.

In kdesvn, go to Settings –> Configure Kdesvn –> Subversion, check the “Store passwords into KDE Kwallet” option. It’s the default configuration. Make sure that the option and the “password-stores” value are consistent. Otherwise, our kdesvn fail to commit code. When a kdesvn prompts to ask for username/password, check “Store password (into KDE Wallet)” option. Then you can view your saved login information in KWallet Manager application:

Some other screenshot of kdesvn in Lucid:

Main Window:


Revision Tree:


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