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 12.1 platform.

Package Information

  • Download (HTTP):

  • Download MD5 sum: 19756a5ceb32a022698a66e48616ef6b

  • Download size: 8.2 MB

  • Estimated disk space required: 193 MB (add 189 MB for bindings, 54 MB for docs, 1.3 GB for tests)

  • Estimated build time: 0.5 SBU (Using parallelism=4; add 2.0 SBU for bindings, 30 SBU for tests)

Subversion Dependencies


Apr-Util-1.6.3 and SQLite-3.45.1



Apache-2.4.58, Boost-1.84.0, Cyrus SASL-2.1.28, dbus-1.14.10, Doxygen-1.10.0 (for generating HTML documentation), gnome-keyring-42.1, libsecret-0.21.3, Py3c-1.4 (for the python bindings, and tests), Python-3.12.2 (with sqlite support for the tests), Ruby-3.3.0, SWIG-4.2.0 (for building Perl, Python and Ruby bindings), LZ4, and UTF8proc

Optional (for the Java Bindings)

One of OpenJDK-21.0.2, Dante or Jikes, JUnit 4 (to test the Java bindings) and apache-ant-1.10.14.

Installation of Subversion

First, adapt some Python scripts to use python3:

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

Next, adapt the Ruby bindings to ruby-3.2 and later:

sed -e 's/File.exists?/File.exist?/'               \
    -i subversion/bindings/swig/ruby/svn/util.rb   \

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-1.10.0 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-1.10.14 and must be downloaded separately. To build the Java bindings, issue the following command:

make -j1 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/python3.12/site-packages/libsvn \
     swig_pydir_extra=/usr/lib/python3.12/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. Due to changes in Python-3.12, you can expect to see around 200 Syntax Warnings during the test suite due to invalid escape sequences.

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-1.14.3 &&
cp      -v -R doc/* /usr/share/doc/subversion-1.14.3

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/python3.12/site-packages/libsvn \
make install-swig-rb

The java bindings need to be installed in order for the tests to run, since the tests attempt to look for them in CLASSPATH. To test the results of the Java bindings build, issue LANG=C make check-javahl.

Command Explanations

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

--with-apache-libexecdir: If Apache-2.4.58 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 Apache HTTP DSO modules and various Perl, Python and Ruby modules.
Installed Directories: /usr/include/subversion-1, /usr/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.38/{,auto/}SVN, /usr/lib/python3.12/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-1.14.3

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