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Version Control with Subversion
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Version Control with Subversion - svnserve


svnserve allows access to Subversion repositories using the svn network protocol. You can run svnserve either as a standalone server process, or you can have another process, such as inetd , xinetd or sshd , launch it for you.

Once the client has selected a repository by transmitting its URL, svnserve reads a file named conf/svnserve.conf in the repository directory to determine repository-specific settings such as what authentication database to use and what authorization policies to apply. See the section called “svnserve, a custom server” for details of the svnserve.conf file.

svnserve Switches

Unlike the previous commands we've described. svnserve has no subcommands— svnserve is controlled exclusively by switches.

--daemon (-d)

Causes svnserve to run in daemon mode. svnserve backgrounds itself and accepts and serves TCP/IP connections on the svn port (3690, by default).

--listen-port= PORT

Causes svnserve to listen on PORT when run in daemon mode.

--listen-host= HOST

Causes svnserve to listen on the interface specified by HOST , which may be either a hostname or an IP address.


When used together with -d, this switch causes svnserve to stay in the foreground. This switch is mainly useful for debugging.

--inetd (-i)

Causes svnserve to use the stdin/stdout file descriptors, as is appropriate for a daemon running out of inetd .

--help (-h)

Displays a usage summary and exits.


Displays version information, a list of repository back-end modules available, and exits.

--root= ROOT (-r= ROOT )

Sets the virtual root for repositories served by svnserve . The pathname in URLs provided by the client will be interpreted relative to this root, and will not be allowed to escape this root.

--tunnel (-t)

Causes svnserve to run in tunnel mode, which is just like the inetd mode of operation (serve one connection over stdin/stdout) except that the connection is considered to be pre-authenticated with the username of the current uid. This flag is selected by the client when running over a tunnel agent such as ssh .

--tunnel-user NAME

Used in conjunction with --tunnel switch; tells svnserve to assume that NAME is the authenticated user, rather than the UID of the svnserve process. Useful for users wishing to share a single system account over SSH, but maintaining separate commit identities.

--threads (-T)

When running in daemon mode, causes svnserve to spawn a thread instead of a process for each connection. The svnserve process still backgrounds itself at startup time.

--listen-once (-X)

Causes svnserve to accept one connection on the svn port, serve it, and exit. This option is mainly useful for debugging.

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Version Control with Subversion
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