How to Install Apache Subversion (SVN) on RHEL 8 / Rocky Linux 8

Apache Subversion is also known as SVN, it is an open-source versioning and revision controlling program which helps in storing the present and past historic file versions like documents, source codes and web pages. SVN comes under Apache License.

In this tutorial, we will learn how install & configure SVN on RHEL 8 and Rocky Linux 8. Here authenticated users will be allowed to perform check-in and checkout operations on SVN repository.

Step 1) Install SVN and Apache

SVN & Apache (http) package are available in the default package repositories of RHEL 8 and Rocky Linux 8. Run following dnf command to install required packages,

$ sudo dnf install -y httpd subversion mod_dav_svn

Step 2) Edit Configuration File of Apache Subversion

Create a file ‘/etc/httpd/conf.d/subversion.conf’ and add the following lines to it.

$ sudo vi /etc/httpd/conf.d/subversion.conf
<Location /svn>
DAV svn
SVNParentPath /var/www/svn/
AuthType Basic
AuthName "SVN Repository"
AuthUserFile /etc/svn/svn-auth-accounts
Require valid-user

Above settings will allow only the authenticated users to use SVN repository.

Step 3) Create SVN Users via htpasswd command

Run the beneath command to create user for SVN via htpasswd command,

$ sudo htpasswd -cm /etc/svn-auth-accounts linuxtechi
New password:
Re-type new password:
Adding password for user linuxtechi

In the above htpasswd command we have used ‘-c’ & ‘-m’ options. -c is used to create the password file (/etc/svn-auth-accounts) and -m used to create MD5 encryption password for the user. To create second user remove the ‘-c’ from the above command otherwise it will overwrite existing file.

$ sudo htpasswd -m /etc/svn-auth-accounts pkumar
New password:
Re-type new password:
Adding password for user pkumar

Step 4)  Create SVN Repository

Run following commands one after the another to create your first svn repository and to set the required permissions,

$ sudo mkdir /var/www/svn
$ cd /var/www/svn/
$ sudo svnadmin create repo
$ sudo chown apache.apache repo/

Note: In case SELinux is enable then apply below selinux rules by running,

$ sudo chcon -R -t httpd_sys_content_t /var/www/svn/repo/
$ sudo chcon -R -t httpd_sys_rw_content_t /var/www/svn/repo/

Step 5)  Start and Enable Apache Service

Run the beneath systemctl commands to start and enable apache web server’s service.

$ sudo systemctl start httpd
$ sudo systemctl enable httpd

In case firewall is enabled on your system then allow following port by running,

$ sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=http
$ sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=https
$ sudo firewall-cmd --reload

Step 6) Access SVN Repo from Web Browser

Type the following URL in your web browser,




In the browser just replace ip address with your SVN Server’s IP



Step 7) Disable anonymous access on SVN Repository

Edit the file – /var/www/svn/repo/conf/svnserve.conf, add the below two lines

## Disable Anonymous Access
anon-access = none

## Enable Access control
authz-db = authz

Step 8) Import Project Directory’s Content to SVN repository

Let’s create our first sample project directory and its file.

$ mkdir devops
$ cd devops/
$ touch testfile_1 ; touch testfile_2

Now use SVN command to import ‘devops’ project to the repo. As we have created sample ‘devops’ project on the svn server itself. So run following svn command,

$ sudo svn import -m "First SVN Repo" devops file:///var/www/svn/repo/devops
Adding devops/testfile_1
Adding devops/testfile_2
Committing transaction...
Committed revision 1.

Now Check from the Browser



Step 9) Check Out the Project

In my case, I want to checkout the devops project on my Ubuntu laptop using SVN command. So to perform checkout operations, please make your system has subversion package installed, if not then use “sudo apt  install -y subversion command to install required package.

$ mkdir svn_data
$ svn co /home/pkumar/svn_data/ --username linuxtechi
A svn_data/testfile_1
A svn_data/testfile_2
Checked out revision 1.

Step 10) Committing Changes

After making required changes in the project code , we can commit the changes to the SVN repos. In my case i have created one more file in linuxproject folder.

$ cd svn_data/
$ touch testfile_3
$ svn add testfile_3 --username linuxtechi
A testfile_3
$ svn commit -m "New File addedd" --username linuxtechi
Adding testfile_3
Transmitting file data .
Committed revision 2.

Note: While committing the changes if you are getting below error

svn: E000013: Commit failed (details follow):

svn: E000013: could not begin a transaction

Then to solve this error , make sure that Apache user has read & write access to the entire repository.

$ cd /var/www/svn/repo
$ sudo chown -R apache:apache *
$ sudo chmod -R 664 *

That’s all from this tutorial, please do share your feedback and queries in below comments section.

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19 thoughts on “How to Install Apache Subversion (SVN) on RHEL 8 / Rocky Linux 8”

  1. Nice article with well-explained procedure. BUT.
    The real tricky part for the source-control tools is the authentication. Especially if/when you want to open-up your server to the public.

    Obviously you (really) need to avoid storing your password unencrypted!

    The latest trend is to use SSH-keys instead of username/password. Is it possible with SVN?

  2. Hi.
    Directive Alias /svn /var/www/svn causes “svn: E195019: Redirect cycle detected for URL ‘http://….” error and you are unable to do checkout for example! Problem detected on Centos 7 , Server version: Apache/2.4.6 (CentOS), svn version 1.7.14

    # vi /etc/httpd/conf.modules.d/10-subversion.conf
    Alias /svn /var/www/svn

    Commenting out # Alias /svn /home/testsvn solves this problem – after a few hours of googling and pounding my head against the wall.

  3. Hello, I am following the tutorial and I think I’ve got it all right. But now I do not interpret php files, if I agree to index.php is downloaded to my computer, it seems that does not recognize the php, but if I access the HTML if it looks good.
    Do you know if I have to set something else to see the php?
    Thank you !!

  4. hello…
    very nice tutorial but only one thing is in step 8 when i try to import i am getting a error E205000:Invalid URL…. please help me

    • Can you give me the full command which you are trying to run to import sample project. In my Case i am using file

  5. The result of: svn import -m “First SVN Repo” /mnt/linuxproject
    svn import -m “First SVN Repo” –username MYUSER–password MYPASSWORD /mnt/linuxproject
    results in this console output:
    svn: E205000: Try ‘svn help’ for more info
    svn: E205000: Invalid URL ‘/mnt/linuxproject’

    • Never mind. I figured out the problem. It works when we append the URL of the server, for example:
      #svn import -m “First SVN Repo” –username MYUSER –password MYPASSWORD /mnt/linuxproject ‘http://MYSERVER/svn/repo’
      (above should show hyphen hyphen before username and password switches; if it shows long dash, it really should be hyphen hyphen)

    • svn import is giving me this error:
      svn: E175011: Repository moved permanently to ‘http://MYSERVER/svn/repo’; please relocate

  6. Excellent writeup. We were using subversion in ClearOS 6.8. Recently we upgraded to ClearOS 7.3. Ran into an issue and while looking it up came across your article. We are able to follow the steps and checkout and commit changes. However not able to connect from TortoiseSVN client on windows. When we try to connect to repo, it prompts for the password, and after that its waits for a while before finally giving an error “Error running context. The server unexpectedly closed the connection”. Any thoughts as to what might be going on?

    • Hi Parveen,

      We have not tested these steps on ClearOS 7.3, For the basic troubleshooting make sure required permissions are set on the Project, SELinux rules should be properly set in case it is enabled and check the Apache logs for errors

  7. Hi ,

    I followed the same procedure . I have not got any error while doing .

    After runnig this commnand — > systemctl enable httpd.service
    Got this output
    Created symlink from /etc/systemd/system/ to /usr/lib/systemd/system/ httpd.service.

    but still am not able to access svn repo

    am getting this error

    Not Found
    The requested URL /svn/repo was not found on this server.

    Can someone suggest me what needs to be changed . if there problem with my machine .

  8. Hi there,

    I am currently moving from Windows SVN to CentOS 7

    I have a folder which contains the all the users designated to each repo.

    I have imported it into CentOS.

    My question is, where do i put this file? I checked “svn-auth-accounts” and I just have the one user which i created, and the password is hashed.

    Where is the file that contains the groups?


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