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General Information

Subversion Server

Subversion Web Interface

Subversion ViewVC Web Interface

HTTP Access


HTTPS Access


Subversion Version


GUI Clients

Authentication & Authorization

Authentication, who can connect to the server, is handled by Rice. Anyone with a netId can authenticate to the Subversion server or web interface, this includes guest accounts. Authentication can be forced by using the https protocol when accessing the server.

Authorization, who can access the repository, is controlled by the repository owner and their delegates. Each repository is created with a /rice_config directory. This directory contains a file named access_file. The access_file controls who has access to that specific repository. Changes to the access_file take up to 5 minutes to become active on the server. Please see the file access_file.readme which is also located in the /rice_config directory for a simple explanation of the format of this file. For more information, please read the Subversion Book linked to on the right.


This resource is available 24 hours a day most days. If we need to take the system down for an extended time an email will be sent to the repository owners regarding the date and time of the outage. The system will occasionally need to be taken down for routine maintenance and repair. Please see the Subversion page for information about regularly scheduled maintenance times.


Each repository is backed up with a hot copy backup nightly, replacing the previous backup. Upon repository deletion, the last backup for that repository is kept for a maximum of six months.


Each repository is owned by a primary owner. If this primary owner becomes inactive, any repositories owned by this owner will begin down the cleanup process. If control of the repository is shared with others, i.e. other people have write access to the /rice_config folder within the repository, then they will be offered the opportunity to become the new owner of the repository which will remove it from deletion processing.
Please see Repository Cleanup for more information on the cleanup process.


What is Subversion?


Subversion is a free/open-source version control system. That is, Subversion manages files and directories, and the changes made to them, over time. This allows you to recover older versions of your data, or examine the history of how your data changed. In this regard, many people think of a version control system as a sort of "time machine".

Version Control with Subversion by O'Reilly Media(c)


The subversion URL

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You access your repository using a URL similar to what you would use in a web browser. However this URL is used with a Subversion client. There are several GUI clients and a command line client. The command line client is described in the Subversion Book linked to on the right.

Let's start by decomposing the URL.

  • The protocol

The first part of the URL listed above is http. You could also use https. The difference between the two is if you use http you will not be prompted for authentication thus you will be restricted to only being able to access repositories that are readable by the public. If you use the https protocol, you will be prompted to authenticate and then you will be able to access any repository for which you have permission.

  • The server

The server is This is the campus subversion server. It supports the subversion protocol. You need a subversion client to be able to access the data on the server.

  • The command

All repositories start with /r. The /r stands for repository and is mandatory.

  • The repository

This where you put the name of your repository, in this case it is myrepository. Though you can choose almost any name for your repository. There are some restrictions about what kind of name you can use though. The name must begin with a letter and can include letters and numbers and the special characters dash (-) and underscore (_). All names can be mixed case.

Repository Hooks

It is now possible to use a select number of repository hooks. This is an advanced user feature. For more information please consult the Subversion Hooks page.

Global Groups

It is now possible to use LDAP groups to manage access to your repository. These groups are managed through Grouper. For more information please see the Subversion Global Groups page.

title"Special Notes"

Ubuntu Subversion
Linux Subversion
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Repository Management


More Information

The repository

Anyone with a Rice netId can create up to 3 repositories on the campus Subversion server. These repositories are tied to an individual and will be subject to cleanup when the individual's accounts become inactive. It is possible to transfer ownership of a repository to another individual, please submit a ticket to the IT Help system to request it.

Please use the space in your repository responsibly. This means to use your repository for your Rice courses and work. It is not to be used to store your complete MP3 or DVD collection or for other personal data. If we find that you are abusing the system, we reserve the right to ask you to move your data elsewhere. We all share the same space.

The web interface

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If you point your web browser to the URL above, you can access the Subversion web interface. Just like with the Subversion URL, the protocol you use is important. If you access the web interface with http you will not be prompted to authenticate and you will only be able to see repositories that are available to the public. If you use https, you will be forced to authenticate but you will see any repositories for which you have access.

There is a Login link on the upper right corner of the front page. If you click on this link, it will move you from the http, non authenticated, page to the https, authenticated, page.

Common commands