This post explains how to install a SVN server through svnserve xinetd service. It is installed from RPM packeges using URPMI on a Mandrake system.

1. Install

First install all necessary packages. You will need the following ones:

# urpmi subversion
# urpmi subversion-tools
# urpmi subversion-server

After subversion-server gets installed you will see your xinetd is restarted. That’s because SVN is installed as an xinetd service.

2. Configure the System

You need to examine the following file in order to make changes to the config:

# vi /etc/xinetd.d/svnserve

By default the SVN server is disabled. In order to enable it change the following line:

    disable             = yes
    disable             = no

Now restart the xinetd service:

# service xinetd restart

Now you should see your SVN server to be listening on port 3690:

# netstat -a | grep svn
tcp        0      0 *:svn                       *:*                         LISTEN

OK, we are good now but not enough. We need to get rid of all the firewalls and filters which prevent us to connect to our SVN server from the outside.

If you use shorewall as your firewall, edit the following file:

  # vi /etc/shorewall/rules

and add the following two lines:

  ACCEPT     net       fw    tcp      3690       -
  ACCEPT     net       fw    udp      3690       -

Restart shorewall:

  # service shorewall restart

Next allow connection to your SVN server from xinetd:

  # vi /etc/hosts.allow

Add the following:

  svnserve: ALL

OK, now you are ready to connect to your SVN server from outside.

3. Configure SVN Server

Your repositories are probably stored in the following directory:


You can connect to the server using the following command:

  $ svn checkout svn://

where repo1 is the name of your repository and is name of your host.

You might be wondering how to create a repository. It is easy:

# svnadmin create repo1

A directory will be created with a specific structure under:


The most important directory is conf. Edit the file svnserve.conf to configure your repository:

   # vi /var/lib/svn/repositories/repo1/conf/svnserve.conf
anon-access = none
auth-access = write
password-db = passwd
authz-db = authz
realm = My First Repository

Next edit the plaintext password file (low security):

   # vi /var/lib/svn/repositories/repo1/conf/passwd
user = userpassword

OK, now you are set. You can checkout the repository repo1 and work with it:

  $ cd ~/tmp
  $ svn checkout svn://
  $ cd repo1
  $ touch x
  $ svn add x
  $ svn ci -m "" --username=user


  1. SVN Homepage -
  2. The Subversion Book (Version Control with Subversion) -
Installing SVN server on Mandriva 2007.1 (Mandriva Spring)

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