venerdì 10 dicembre 2010

How to mirror a remote subversion repository

When dealing with a remote repository the svnadmin command doesn't work, because it can only be used on the machine that holds the repository. But Subversion meets our need with the svnsycn command.

Svnsync works by essentially asking the Subversion server to “replay” revisions, one at a time. Neither the source nor the target repository needs to be locally accessible to machine on which svnsync is running, all the requirements are read access to the source repository and read/write access to the target/mirror repository.

Svnsync stores its bookkeeping information in special revision properties on revision 0 of the destination repository, but in order to make changes to revision properties you'll need to explicitly implement the pre-revprop-change hook, and your script must allow svnsync to set and change its special properties.

Let's see a script for local mirroring a remote svn repository:


svnadmin create $TARGET_REPO_PATH
echo '#!/bin/sh' > $TARGET_REPO_PATH/hooks/pre-revprop-change
chmod +x $TARGET_REPO_PATH/hooks/pre-revprop-change
svnsync init file://$TARGET_REPO_PATH $SOURCE_REPO_PATH --source-username $SOURCE_REPO_USER
svnsync sync file://$TARGET_REPO_PATH --source-username $SOURCE_REPO_USER

In line 5 we create the local target repository

In lines 6 and 7 we create the pre-revprop-change hook and make it executable

In line 8  we register in our target repository the fact that it will be a mirror of the source repository. We do this using the svnsync initialize subcommand. Our target repository will now remember that it is a mirror of the public Subversion source code repository (in Subversion 1.5, you can use svnsync to mirror only some subtree of the repository)

In line 9  with a single subcommand, we can tell svnsync to copy all the as-yet-unmirrored revisions from the source repository to the target. Svnsync performs careful bookkeeping that allows it to be safely interrupted and restarted without ruining the integrity of the mirrored data.
Do not modify a mirror repository in such a way as to cause its version history to deviate from that of the repository it mirrors. The only commits and revision property modifications that ever occur on that mirror repository should be those performed by the svnsync tool.

Whenever we want to update the mirror applying the changes from the remote source repository we just have to call the svnsync sync command as in line 9 of the example script.

Copyright note: most of this post comes from Version Control with Subversion.

See also:

Version Control with Subversion - Repository Administration - Repository Replication
Version Control with Subversion - Repository Administration - Implementing Repository Hooks
Version Control with Subversion - Repository Hooks - pre-revprop-change

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