How to Set Up Your SVN Server with Apache


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on setting up your SVN server with Apache. Whether you are a software developer or a tech enthusiast, this guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to set up your SVN server, which is a subversion control system used for versioning software code. In this article, we will provide a thorough explanation of the process, its advantages and disadvantages, and an insightful FAQ section that answers all your questions. So, let’s get started!

Greeting the Audience

Before we dive deep into the technicalities of setting up an SVN server, we would like to take a moment to greet all our readers. Whether you are a seasoned developer or just starting your journey, we are here to help you achieve your goal. We recognize that the process of setting up an SVN server can be challenging, but we assure you that our guide will simplify it. So, without further ado, let’s begin the setup.

The Setup Process

The process of setting up an SVN server with Apache can be broken down into the following 7 steps:

Step 1: Install Apache and SVN Packages

The first step in setting up an SVN server is to install the Apache and SVN packages on your server. You can do this by using your server’s package manager. For example, if you are using Ubuntu, you can install the packages using the following command:

Operating System
Package Manager
sudo apt-get install apache2 subversion libapache2-svn
sudo yum install httpd mod_dav_svn subversion

Step 2: Create a Repository

Once you have installed the necessary packages, the next step is to create an SVN repository. You can do this by using the ‘svnadmin’ command and specifying the path to the directory where you want to create the repository. For example:

sudo svnadmin create /var/svn/repo/

Step 3: Configure Apache

The next step is to configure Apache to serve your SVN repository. This involves editing the Apache configuration file and adding the necessary directives. The following is an example of what you would add to your Apache configuration file:

<Location /svn/repo>DAV svnSVNPath /var/svn/repo</Location>

Step 4: Create Users and Passwords

Now that your repository is set up, you need to create users and passwords to access it. This can be done using the ‘htpasswd’ command. For example:

sudo htpasswd -c /etc/apache2/dav_svn.passwd user1

Step 5: Restart Apache

After making changes to your Apache configuration, you will need to restart the Apache service for the changes to take effect. You can do this using the following command:

sudo systemctl restart apache2

Step 6: Test Access

You can now test if everything is working by accessing your repository using a web browser. Simply enter the URL to your repository in your browser and use the credentials you created earlier to log in.

Step 7: Start Using SVN

You are now ready to start using SVN to version your code. You can use various SVN clients to interact with your repository, such as TortoiseSVN or Eclipse with SVN plugin.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using SVN with Apache

The Advantages

There are several advantages of using SVN with Apache:

1. Centralized Repository

SVN provides a centralized repository, which makes it easier for developers to collaborate on projects.

2. Versioning Control

SVN provides excellent versioning control, which helps developers to manage changes and track progress more effectively.

3. Integration with Other Tools

SVN can be integrated with other tools such as Jenkins, Bugzilla, and TestLink, which can help improve your project management.

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4. Easy to Learn and Use

SVN is easy to learn and use, even for those who are new to versioning control systems.

The Disadvantages

There are a few disadvantages of using SVN with Apache:

1. Centralized Repository

While the centralized repository is an advantage, it can also be a disadvantage if the server hosting the repository goes down, and developers cannot access their code.

2. Speed Issues

SVN can be slower than other versioning control systems, especially when dealing with large files or repositories.

3. Limited Branching and Merging

SVN has limitations when it comes to branching and merging, which can make it more challenging to manage complex projects.


1. What is an SVN server?

An SVN server is a subversion control system used for versioning software code. It allows developers to track changes, collaborate on projects, and manage files more effectively.

2. What is Apache?

Apache is a popular open-source web server that is widely used for hosting websites and web applications.

3. Can I use SVN without Apache?

Yes, SVN can be accessed without Apache, but using Apache makes it more accessible and user-friendly.

4. What is the advantage of using SVN over Git?

SVN is better suited for centralized versioning control, whereas Git is better suited for distributed versioning control. SVN provides a more straightforward workflow and is easier to use, but Git offers more flexibility and performance.

5. Can I use SVN with other versioning control systems?

No, SVN is a standalone versioning control system that cannot be integrated with other versioning control systems.

6. Can I use SVN to version files other than code?

Yes, you can use SVN to version any file type, including images, videos, and documents.

7. Is SVN secure?

Yes, SVN is secure, but it is essential to configure it correctly and follow best practices for secure software development.

8. Can I use SVN to manage projects other than software development?

Yes, SVN can be used to manage projects other than software development, such as graphic design or writing projects.

9. Can I use SVN to collaborate with developers in different locations?

Yes, SVN can be accessed through the internet, making it easy to collaborate with developers in different locations.

10. Can I use SVN on a Mac?

Yes, SVN can be used on a Mac, and the process is similar to setting it up on a Linux server.

11. Can I use SVN on a Windows machine?

Yes, SVN can be used on a Windows machine, and there are various SVN clients available, such as TortoiseSVN.

12. Can I recover deleted files in SVN?

Yes, SVN provides functionality to recover deleted files, making it easier to revert changes if necessary.

13. Can I use SVN on a cloud-based server?

Yes, SVN can be used on a cloud-based server, and there are various cloud providers that offer SVN hosting services.


In conclusion, setting up an SVN server with Apache can be a daunting task, but with our comprehensive guide, we hope that we have simplified the process for you. We have provided step-by-step instructions, explained the advantages and disadvantages of using SVN with Apache, and answered common questions. Now that you have all the information you need, we encourage you to take action and set up your SVN server today!

Closing or Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. We make no guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or suitability of this information. The use of any of the information in this article is entirely at your own risk. Before making any changes to your server, we strongly recommend that you consult with a qualified professional who can guide you through the process.

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