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Getting the SVN Service to work on Vista

Since I'm thinking of moving from SVN to a distributed version control system, the first thing I need to do is to try to convert my current repositories to the other version control systems and the first one I tried was git.

My repositories are local and I access them via file://..., and apparently the git-svn application can't access the repositories that way, so I had the get the my repositories to work via the svn:// protocol.

Step 1: Register the SVN service

To register the svnserve executable as a windows service we run the following command (in a command prompt window with administrator rights):

sc create svnserve
  binpath= "\"{Path to svnserve.exe}\"
    --service -r {Path to your repositories}
  displayname= "Subversion Server"
  depend= Tcpip
  start= auto

Where the "{Path to your repositories}" variable should be the path that contains the repository, not the repository itself, for example if you have three repositories:

  • c:\repositories\dev
  • c:\repositories\university
  • c:\repositories\work

you should put "c:\repositories" as the path to your repositories.

Step 2: Add the "mylocal" host to your hosts file

You'll notice that I added the --listen-host=mylocal to svnserve's arguments, the reason for that is that for some reason you can't access the server using TortoiseSVN and other tools unless they use a host that's not localhost (I'm not sure why that is, but that's how this guy solved the problem).

For this to work you have to define the mylocal host in your hosts file, to do that just add the line mylocal to the C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts file.

Step 3: Start the service

Run services.msc, right click on the "Subversion Server" service and press "Start".

Step 4: Test the server

Open a command prompt and run:

svn info svn://mylocal/{path-to-svn-repository}

If it writes some information about that repository then it works!

Now open the same path in TortoiseSVN's repository browser.

Next:Alt + Drag on Vista