Subversion + SVN::Notify + Apache 2.2.x + mod_auth

By , last updated August 8, 2012

This is a brief guide on how to set up Subversion with Trac on Apache with commit-mails sent with SVN::Notify Perl module.

First of all, we need to install some software.

# emerge -av subversion apache

When everythin has installed fine, continue.

Create a repository somewhere.

# cd /var/svn/
# svnadmin create test
# ll
drwxr-xr-x  6 root   root   4.0K 2009-01-30 12:56 test

Change the permissions to apache:apache and rights 770:

# chown apache:apache test -R && chmod 770 test -R
# ll
drwxrwx---  6 apache apache 4.0K 2009-01-30 12:56 test

Our repository root is at /var/svn/test and our Subversion root is /var/svn.

Two more files are needed if you are doing HTTP Authentication, /var/svn/htpasswd and /var/svn/authz.

Create the htpasswd file with htpasswd2.

# htpasswd2 -c htpasswd username

The authz file looks like this (with the defaults).

# harry_and_sally = harry,sally

username = rw
* =

# [repository:/baz/fuz]
# @harry_and_sally = rw
# * = r

Our next step is to configure Apache to work with Subversion.

Open up/etc/conf.d/apache2 and make sure APACHE2_OPTS contains “-D SVN -D SVN_AUTHZ -D PHP5 -D DAV”.

If you’re doing a SVN repository with authentication, I’d advise you to use SVN over SSL (HTTPS).

If we want to use as our Subversion repository URL, our Apache config should look like:

<VirtualHost *:443>
    #Include /etc/apache2/vhosts.d/default_vhost.include
    ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/ssl_error_log

    <IfModule log_config_module>
        TransferLog /var/log/apache2/ssl_access_log

    <Location />
        AuthType Basic
        AuthName "Subversion repository and Trac"
        AuthUserFile /var/svn/htpasswd
        Require valid-user

        DAV svn
        SVNParentPath /var/svn/
        BrowserMatch "SVN" redirect-carefull
        AuthzSVNAccessFile  /var/svn/authz
        SVNListParentPath on

    DocumentRoot "/var/www/localhost/htdocs"

If everything is successful, you’ll be able to access your subversion repository at

Final touch is the Perl module SVN::Notify. Fire up CPAN.

# cpan

cpan shell -- CPAN exploration and modules installation (v1.9301)
ReadLine support enabled

cpan[1]> install SVN::Notify
cpan[2]> install HTML::Entities

Enter your SVN hooks directory.

# cd /var/svn/test/hooks

And copy the post commit template to post commit.

# cp post-commit.tmpl post-commit
# vim post-commit

Make sure the following lines are present:


export LANG="nb_NO.UTF-8" # optional
/usr/bin/svnnotify --repos-path "/var/svn/test" --revision "$REV" --svnlook /usr/bin/svnlook --sendmail /usr/sbin/sendmail --to --from --with-diff --reply-to --linkize --handler HTML::ColorDiff --smtp localhost --svn-encoding "UTF-8"

Whenever someone does a commit, a mail with the colored diff is sent out to the recipients.

  1. nadsCreen October 13, 2010

    Hi people, long time browser first time poster here

    excited to be a member, and I’m keen to begin getting more active here