Install SVN (Subversion) Server on Fedora 20/19, CentOS/Red Hat (RHEL) 6.5/5.10

This is guide, howto install SVN (Subversion) server on Fedora 20/19/18/17/16/15/14, CentOS 6.5/6.4/6.3/6.2/6.1/6/5.10, Red Hat (RHEL) 6.5/6.4/6.3/6.2/6.1/6/5.10.

What is SVN (Subversion)?

Subversion is a free/open-source version control system. 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”.

Install SVN (Subversion) Server on Fedora 20/19/18, CentOS 6.5/5.10, Red Hat (RHEL) 6.5/5.10

1. Change root user

su -
## OR ##
sudo -i

2. Install needed packages (mod_dav_svn and subversion)

yum install mod_dav_svn subversion

Note: If you don’t have Apache installed already, this command installs it also. Read more about installing Apache and PHP >>

3. Modify Subversion config file /etc/httpd/conf.d/subversion.conf

Add following config to /etc/httpd/conf.d/subversion.conf file:

LoadModule dav_svn_module     modules/
LoadModule authz_svn_module   modules/
<Location /svn>
   DAV svn
   SVNParentPath /var/www/svn
   AuthType Basic
   AuthName "Subversion repositories"
   AuthUserFile /etc/svn-auth-users
   Require valid-user

Read more SVN Access Control >>

4. Add SVN (Subversion) users

Use following command:

## Create testuser ##
htpasswd -cm /etc/svn-auth-users testuser
New password: 
Re-type new password: 
Adding password for user testuser
## Create testuser2 ##
htpasswd -m /etc/svn-auth-users testuser2
New password: 
Re-type new password: 
Adding password for user testuser2

Note: Use exactly same file and path name as used on subversion.conf file. This example use /etc/svn-auth-users file.

Read more SVN Access Control >>

5. Create and configure SVN repository

mkdir /var/www/svn
cd /var/www/svn
svnadmin create testrepo
chown -R apache.apache testrepo
## If you have SELinux enabled (you can check it with "sestatus" command) ##
## then change SELinux security context with chcon command ##
chcon -R -t httpd_sys_content_t /var/www/svn/testrepo
## Following enables commits over http ##
chcon -R -t httpd_sys_rw_content_t /var/www/svn/testrepo

Restart Apache:

## Fedora ##
systemctl restart httpd.service
## OR ##
service httpd restart
## CentOS / RHEL ##
/etc/init.d/httpd restart
## OR ##
service httpd restart

Goto http://localhost/svn/testrepo address and you should see something like following, write username and password:
SVN Subversion username and password

SVN testrepo revision 0:
SVN Subversion Repository Revision 0

6. Configure repository

To disable anonymous access and enable access control add following rows to testrepo/conf/svnserve.conf file:

## Disable anonymous access ##
anon-access = none
## Enable access control ##
authz-db = authz

7. Create trunk, branches and tags structure under testrepo

Create “template” directories with following command:

mkdir -p /tmp/svn-structure-template/{trunk,branches,tags}

Then import template to project repository using “svn import” command:

svn import -m 'Initial import' /tmp/svn-structure-template/ http://localhost/svn/testrepo/
Adding         /tmp/svn-structure-template/trunk
Adding         /tmp/svn-structure-template/branches
Adding         /tmp/svn-structure-template/tags
Committed revision 1.

Check results on browser and see testrepo revision 1:
SVN Subversion Repository Revision 1

Remember also take regular backups. Here is guide howto backup and restore SVN (Subversion) Repositories.

Our forums user Will have also written guide, howto to install and configure SVN (Subversion). This is little bit different method.

Follow If Not True Then False Updates!


  1. Hi JR

    I am getting httpd unpacking error while trying to install mod_dav_svn. on centOS 6.4

    Running Transaction
    Installing : subversion-1.6.11-9.el6_4.x86_64 1/3
    Installing : httpd-2.2.15-29.el6.centos.x86_64 2/3
    Error unpacking rpm package httpd-2.2.15-29.el6.centos.x86_64
    warning: /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf created as /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf.rpmnew
    warning: /etc/httpd/conf/magic created as /etc/httpd/conf/magic.rpmnew
    error: unpacking of archive failed on file /etc/httpd/logs: cpio: rename
    Installing : mod_dav_svn-1.6.11-9.el6_4.x86_64 3/3
    Verifying : mod_dav_svn-1.6.11-9.el6_4.x86_64 1/3
    Verifying : subversion-1.6.11-9.el6_4.x86_64 2/3
    Verifying : httpd-2.2.15-29.el6.centos.x86_64 3/3

    mod_dav_svn.x86_64 0:1.6.11-9.el6_4 subversion.x86_64 0:1.6.11-9.el6_4

    httpd.x86_64 0:2.2.15-29.el6.centos

    • Hi Akhil,

      Could you post output of following commands:

      ls -la /etc/httpd
      ls -la /etc/httpd/logs
  2. I followed your articles to install my SVN server with Apache2 successfully. Now I want to enable https. Do you have some instructions like this?

    • Hi Jirong Hu,

      Do you want use self-signed SSL certificate or commercial SSL certificate?

  3. Hi JR

    I’m post some step then I to do. Please help me a sulotion for error :

    DAV svn
    SVNParentPath /var/www/svn
    AuthType Basic
    AuthName “Subversion repositories”
    AuthUserFile /etc/apache2/dav_svn.passwd
    AuthzSVNAccessFile /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/dav_svn.authz
    Require valid-user

    5. Create Repository for test:
    mkdir /var/www/svn

    6. Authencation for user access forder
    svnadmin create myproject
    chown -R www-data myproject

    7. Create username
    htpasswd -cm /etc/sapache2/dav_svn.passwd testuser1
    htpasswd -m /etc/apache2/dav_svn.passwd testuser2

    9. Configure file dav_svn.authz control access for every user.

    testgroup1 = rw
    testuser2 = r

    • Hi sinhatpro,

      I read your both comments and looks like you don’t have myproject2 just only myproject?

      Then also your dav_svn.authz file groups is missing group names, you only list testuser1 and testuser2, then you set rw permission to testgroup1.

      But yes you are right, it’s not SELinux problem, because you are using Ubuntu…

  4. If step 5 fails with message

    chcon: can't apply partial context to unlabeled file

    do these commands instead

    chcon -h system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t /var/www/svn/testrepo
    chcon -R -h apache:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t /var/www/svn/testrepo/*

  5. I’m not getting add.

    for example:

    [cit@Ltv10 repos]$ svn add test.txt
    svn: ‘.’ is not a working copy

    [cit@Ltv10 repos]$ svn status
    svn: warning: ‘.’ is not a working copy

    [cit@Ltv10 repos]$ svn commit
    svn: ‘/var/www/svn/repos’ is not a working copy


    [cit@Ltv10 repos]$ sudo svn co http://localhost/svn/repos/
    [sudo] password for cit:
    A repos/trunk
    A repos/branches
    A repos/tags
    Checked out revision 1.

    follown my file subversion.config:

    LoadModule dav_svn_module modules/
    LoadModule authz_svn_module modules/

    DAV svn
    SVNParentPath /var/www/svn
    SVNPathAuthz off

    Do you can help me?


    • Hi edivaldo,

      You can’t add files or do anything if you have not working copy.

      What happens after checkout, if you run:

      svn status
  6. I am following this step but Last IMPORT command Not relocalted

    root@atomix# svn import -m ‘Initial import’ /tmp/svn-structure-template/
    Authentication realm: Subversion repositories
    Password for ‘root’:
    Authentication realm: Subversion repositories
    Username: sk
    Password for ‘sk’:
    svn: Repository moved permanently to ‘’; please relocate
    [root@atomix ~]#

    Can’t import “trunk,branches,tags”
    pls help any one

    • Hi Shaikh Zahid Hossain,

      Could you post your config files example to

      And output of following commands here:

      ls -ladZ /var/www/svn
      ls -laZ /var/www/svn

      I assume here, that you have used /var/www/svn location for repos.

  7. Hi JR,

    First of all I wann thank you for your useful blog.

    I have same issue as Max.

    I have tried below two commnads

    1. chcon -R -t httpd_sys_content_t /var/www/svn/repository

    Above commnad went through fine

    2. chcon -R -t httpd_sys_rw_content_t /var/www/svn/repository

    This Command Gave me Error:

    chcon: failed to change context of /var/www/svn/repository to system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_rw_content_t: Invalid argument
    chcon: failed to change context of /var/www/svn/repository/format to system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_rw_content_t: Invalid argument

    Then I tried the commands as suggested to MAX

    1. chcon -h system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_rw_content_t /var/www/svn/repository

    Error: chcon -h system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_rw_content_t /var/www/svn/repository
    chcon: failed to change context of /var/www/svn/repository to system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_rw_content_t: Invalid argument

    2. chcon -R -h apache:object_r:httpd_sys_rw_content_t /var/www/svn/repository/*

    Error: chcon -R -h apache:object_r:httpd_sys_rw_content_t /var/www/svn/repository/*
    chcon: failed to change context of /var/www/svn/repository/conf to apache:object_r:httpd_sys_rw_content_t: Invalid argument
    chcon: failed to change context of /var/www/svn/repository/conf/authz to apache:object_r:httpd_sys_rw_content_t: Invalid argument

    My Machine details:

    uname -a
    Linux adc6140502 2.6.18- #1 SMP Wed Sep 2 22:48:20 EDT 2009 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

    lsb_release -a
    LSB Version: :core-3.1-ia32:core-3.1-noarch:graphics-3.1-ia32:graphics-3.1-noarch
    Distributor ID: EnterpriseEnterpriseServer
    Description: Enterprise Linux Enterprise Linux Server release 5.4 (Carthage)
    Release: 5.4
    Codename: Carthage

    rpm -qa coreutils\* selinux\* |sort

    Please help

  8. how to log out in my account

  9. First off thanks for the directions. I’m up and running but having an issue on commit:
    In my checked out dir, I first did an ADD for a bunch of new files and directories. svn status reports ok that files are ready to add. Upon attempting my first commit I get:

    svn: Commit failed (details follow):
    svn: Server sent unexpected return value (503 Service Temporarily Unavailable) in response to PROPFIND request…

    when I did all of your steps I did as my own user but sudo’ed to root.
    I did checkout, add, and attempting commit as my own user ‘steve’. All files and directories in my checked out dir are permissioned for me.

    Been googling around on this error and can’t find a solutions for my case. Please help.

    • Hi Steve,

      When you checkout repo example over http, then you can use repo as any user. Did you added your user and password AuthUserFile? If you use exactly this guide then you have to do commits as testuser and use testuser password.

      Could you also check what errors you see on httpd access and erros logs?

  10. I think this one is important too, to start your SVN services

    svnserve -d -r /var/www/svn

  11. Thanks People for this useful blog. I could install SVN in my Linux server successfully but when I try to launch it through console (http://localhost/svn/testrepo) I get login screen but the credentials fail. I gave testuser as the login, similar to the example given above. Sucessful Users, Please advice.

    • Hi Vasu,

      Did you used exactly same password that you used on step 4.?

      You could of course create some other user, set password and try again.

  12. Thanks for replies.. Yes, I used the same password, even i tried by creating another and using it. It didnt work..

    I came across a file in net /etc/svn-access-control . Should we do any changes into svn-access-control file for making the credentials work..?

    • Excellent, just want to first make sure that there wasn’t any mistake on users or passwords…

      So do you have enabled SVN Access Control?

      If yes, could you then post content of /etc/httpd/conf.d/subversion.conf and /etc/svn-access-control files?

  13. How can we enable SVN Access Control..? Please find below /etc/svn-access-control File for your reference.

    testgroup = testuser1, testuser2
    testgroup2 = testuser3, testuser4, testuser5
    testgroup3 = testuser6, testuser7

    * = r
    @testgroup = rw
    testuser4 = rw

    @testgroup2 = rw
    testuser6 = rw

    @testgroup3 = rw
    testuser5 = rw

    @testgroup3 = r
    testuser5 = rw

  14. Also please let me know the purpose of authz and passwd files under /var/www/svn/testrepo/conf

    It contains Username and passwords.. Do we need to enter into it.?

    • Hi Vasu,

      Could you post content of following files /etc/httpd/conf.d/subversion.conf and testrepo/conf/svnserve.conf, example to

      Normally it’s better test installation without access control to make sure, where the problem is. If basic setup is not working, then it’s wise to try fix it first without any additional configurations.

  15. Good Morning..:)
    Please find content of /etc/httpd/conf.d/subversion.conf below

    LoadModule dav_svn_module modules/
    LoadModule authz_svn_module modules/

    DAV svn
    SVNParentPath /var/www/svn
    AuthType Basic
    AuthName “Subversion repositories”
    AuthUserFile /etc/svn-auth-users
    Require valid-user

    testrepo/conf/svnserve.conf Content is
    anon-access = none
    autzh-db = authz
    anon-access = read
    auth-access = write
    password-db = passwd
    authz-db = authz

    I also want to know from which file the credentials are loaded while we login…..

  16. People, the issue is resolved by changed two files like below:

    /etc/svn-access-control data:

    testgroup = testuser,testuser1,testuser2,testuser3,testuser4

    * = rw
    @testgroup = rw

    @testgroup = rw

    @testgroup = rw

    @testgroup = rw

    @testgroup = rw

    Type the below commands to add Users:

    htpasswd -cm /etc/svn-auth-users testuser2
    New Password:
    Retype Password:

    This encrypts and stores password and username at /etc/svn-auth-users file

  17. mkdir /var/www/svn- which path we need to create

    • Hi kaku,

      If you are following exactly this guide, then you need to create /var/www/svn directory.

  18. Before starting the installation, I would like to know what are the prerequisites?

    I use Fedora desktop to write C code. I would like to use svn for my version management. Until now, I only downloaded compilers and editors, and some Dropbox links that I use for backup. What I would very much like to do is have svn working on my local network (3 systems).

    Please advise, for single or network, to host svn, what are the prerequisites?

    • Hi Leslie,

      Do you mean system requirements to host svn?

      If you could run Apache it’s almost enough, but if you have very big repositories or thousands of users, then you need of course more processing power and RAM. So local network svn for 3 systems just need machine which could run Apache, if you have reasonable size repositories.

  19. Hi J R

    thank for share this.
    after i install SVN ready by following these step i get an error in log file
    “configuration error: couldn’t perform authentication. AuthType not set!: /svn/repo”

    do you know what kind of that error.
    thank in advance!

  20. hi J R,

    i’ve got an error in log file
    “configuration error: couldn’t perform authentication. AuthType not set!: /svn/repo”

    pls help.thank you

    • Hi lideth,

      Could you post content of your subversion.conf file?

  21. For some reason i dont get the popup of username password in

  22. hi JR,
    now i can use my svn but i still don’t get the popup of username password in on browser.

    here is my subversion.conf:

    LoadModule dav_svn_module modules/
    LoadModule authz_svn_module modules/

    # Example configuration to enable HTTP access for a directory
    # containing Subversion repositories, “/var/www/svn”. Each repository
    # must be both:
    # a) readable and writable by the ‘apache’ user, and
    # b) labelled with the ‘httpd_sys_content_t’ context if using
    # SELinux

    # To create a new repository “http://localhost/repos/stuff” using
    # this configuration, run as root:
    # # cd /var/www/svn
    # # svnadmin create stuff
    # # chown -R apache.apache stuff
    # # chcon -R -t httpd_sys_content_t stuff

    # DAV svn
    # SVNParentPath /var/www/svn
    # # Limit write permission to list of valid users.
    # # Require SSL connection for password protection.
    # # SSLRequireSSL
    # AuthType Basic
    # AuthName “Authorization Realm”
    # AuthUserFile /path/to/passwdfile
    # Require valid-user

    DAV svn
    SVNParentPath /var/www/svn/
    SVNListParentPath on
    AuthzSVNAnonymous Off
    AuthzSVNAuthoritative On
    SVNPathAuthz On
    AuthName Basic
    AuthName “SVN1 Repositories”
    AuthUserFile /etc/svn-auth-users
    AuthzSVNAccessFile /etc/svn-access-control
    Require valid-user

    do you have any idea about it?

    thank you very much.

    • Hi lideth,

      Try to change following lines:

      AuthName Basic
      AuthName “SVN1 Repositories”


      AuthType Basic
      AuthName "SVN1 Repositories"

      Then restart httpd.

  23. hi JR,
    i’ve already changed my subversion.conf,but it’s still nothing change.

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