It’s time to start from scratch: new job, new computer and no SVN server. So I’ll have to make one if I’m to do things semi-properly. I’m running Cygwin on my Windows computer and I’d prefer to have as few things installed as possible, so I want to run the SVN server through Cygwin so I don’t have to download the Windows SVN package. Getting the Cygwin SVN server to run as a service in Windows is not perfectly seamless, so here’s the steps:

  1. Select a location to store the SVN repository files. These are NOT the same as the files that will be IN the repo: they are the files that ARE the repo. There are several folders (conf, db, hooks, locks) and two files (format, README.txt). I prefer to put these in C:\SVN<Project Name>
  2. Open a Cygwin terminal and navigate to the location you chose to store the repo files. In this example, I will be using C:\SVN to store all of the repos I want to use and each project gets its own subdirectory. Type the following to generate the repo folder/file structure in the current working directory:

    mkdir newProject
    cd newProject
    svnadmin create .

  3. Now we need to modify several files in conf to configure the server. It’s important when you make these changes that the first character of the line is not a space. In svnserve.conf line 27, remove the hash and space from the start of the line so it looks like this:

    password-db = passwd

  4. In svnserve.conf change line 36 to remove the hash and space so it looks like this:

    authz-db = authz

  5. In svnserve.conf change line 66 to remove the hash and space so it looks like this:

    hooks-env = hooks-env

  6. In the conf directory for the SVN repo, rename hooks-env.tmpl to hooks-env
  7. Next, you need to give your Cygwin username a password. To find your Cygwin username, look at the prompt in Bash - it should look like sfrieder@mycomputerID /~ - The part before the @ is your username (sfrieder) and that’s what you need to add to the passwd file. Add the following line under [users]:

    username = password

  8. In authz you need to modify the file to allow any user full access to the root folder. While this may not be advisable on, say, the internet it’s fine for a single computer setup like this. Add the following lines to the bottom of the file:

    * = rw

  9. Start an SVN server for the new repo:

    svnserve -d -r /cydrive/c/svn

  10. Now you need a directory to store all of your working copies. I use C:\Projects to store all of my working copies, so the WC for this example would be C:\Projects\newProject. You can check out the working copy by doing this:

    cd /cygdrive/c/Projects
    svn co svn://

  11. Verify that everything worked correctly by creating the default directories and doing a test commit:

    cd newProject
    mkdir trunk
    mkdir tags
    mkdir branches
    svn add trunk
    svn add branches
    svn add tags
    svn commit -m “Adding default top-level folders”

  12. At this point it should ask for a password which is the same one that you put in the passwd file.

So now you’ve got a repo being served by svnserve and you can work with it - great. Except that svnserve wont’ start up with Windows, so you’ll have to start it up every time manually to serve your repo. You can start the server automatically by following these instructions:

  1. Open a new Cygwin terminal as an administrator
  2. Type this command:

    cygrunsrv –install svnserve –disp “CYGWIN svnserve” –path /bin/svnserve –args “–daemon –foreground –root=/cygdrive/c/svn”