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SVN repository access for developers

This page is for open-bio affiliated developers who are making use of SVN based version control systems rather than the traditional CVS based systems.

Access methods

svnserve operates in tunnel mode only

For security and access control reasons we are not running a daemonized svnserver process or allowing access via HTTP through the Apache mod_DAV/svn module methods. The SVN access method that fits best with our current developer and security model is to run svnserver in "tunnel" mode on a per-user basis. This means developers will connect and authenticate via encrypted SSH sessions before svnserver is invoked. In this scenario svnserver is launched in tunnel mode and runs as the user who invoked it.

The SVN client protocol makes multiple connections to the svnserver binary. Since we only allow access via SSH this means you may be prompted for you developer password several times during some SVN actions, including update, diff (over revisions), and merge. The easiest way to circumvent having to enter your password multiple times is to set up your ssh-agent process or make use of SSH keypairs for passwordless access via public key encryption. For assistance in setting this up, email the OBF Helpdesk at support at

Public SVN Access

Partially implemented at this time, we now have a web based SVN viewer installed:

Methods for anonymously checking out SVN repositories are still being worked on. It is highly likely, in fact, that when we deploy public SVN access it will be via

Hosted repositories


Blipkit developer access is achieved only via an SSH tunnel:

svn checkout svn+ssh:// blipkit

Additional SVN documentation

Version Control with SVN