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Version Control with Subversion, 2nd Edition by Brian W. Fitzpatrick, Ben Collins-Sussman, C. Michael Pilato

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Recommendations

In general, the authors of this book recommend a vanilla svnserve installation for small teams just trying to get started with a Subversion server; it’s the simplest to set up and has the fewest maintenance issues. You can always switch to a more complex server deployment as your needs change.

Here are some general recommendations and tips, based on years of supporting users:

  • If you’re trying to set up the simplest possible server for your group, a vanilla svnserve installation is the easiest, fastest route. Note, however, that your repository data will be transmitted in the clear over the network. If your deployment is entirely within your company’s LAN or VPN, this isn’t an issue. If the repository is exposed to the wide-open Internet, you might want to make sure that either the repository’s contents aren’t sensitive (e.g., it contains only open source code), or that you go the extra mile in configuring SASL to encrypt network communications.

  • If you need to integrate with existing legacy identity systems (LDAP, Active Directory, NTLM, X.509, etc.), you must use either the Apache-based server or svnserve configured with SASL. If you absolutely need server-side logs of either server errors or client activities, an Apache-based server is your only option.

  • If you’ve decided to use either Apache or stock svnserve, create a single svn user on your system and run the server process as that user. Be sure to make the repository directory wholly owned by the svn user as well. ...

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