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Old 03-24-2009, 10:40 AM   #1
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Registered: Mar 2009
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Generalize the authentication for SVN


Plz help me out!

I'm have 21 repositories in my SVN. Instead of providing all usernames and password in each and every repository(in "passwd" file under "conf" directory),Is it possible to make a generalized set where all username and password are available,so that all repository can be accessed using the username and password. Is it something related to " password-db = passwd"(in svnserve.conf file under conf directory).

Thanks in Advance!!!
Old 03-25-2009, 03:18 AM   #2
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Sri Lanka
Distribution: Fedora (workstations), CentOS (servers), Arch, Mint, Ubuntu, and a few more.
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I'm assuming that you are using basic HTTP authentication which means you are using a password database cretedd/modified with htpasswd.

The htpasswd DBs are generic, which means it's not bound to a repo or anything. So you can easily do following things:
1. create a one DB for all SVN users and point to that DB for all repos
2. use Access control lists to specify which users have read and write access to the repos

This method is not too flexible, but will work for basic needs. If you need more flexible authentication needs you might have to look into other methods.

I assume that you know how to create password files and add/edit/remove users. So here's what you can do. Use htpasswd to create a file which can be used for all the repos. You can point to it using the AuthUserFile directive.
<Location /repos>
DAV svn
SVNParentPath /var/www/svn/repos
AuthzSVNAccessFile /etc/svn-acl-conf
AuthType Basic
AuthName "Subversion repos"
AuthUserFile /etc/svn-auth-conf
Require valid-user

The AuthzSVNAccessFile directive can be used to specify the Access Controls you want for the repos. In the above example the ACL file is /etc/svn-acl-conf which will have content similar to:
staff = joe, george

john = r
@staff = rw

The last example have a repository named "framework" and repo path is /repo. There's a group defined as "staff" which consists of users joe and george. The group staff have read-write accress to framework repo, which the user john only have read-only access.

Hope this helps you. For more info refer this ans this. While the two links discuss specific cases, you might be able to get something from them.
Old 03-25-2009, 09:15 AM   #3
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Registered: Mar 2009
Posts: 26

Original Poster
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Thanks for the reply.

One more favor needed.

Plz forgive me if my question is chilli.

I'm not using HTTP method of authentication. Apache not get installed. SVN is alone resides in Linux machine,Rest of the users are using Tortoise SVN client to import and checkout. For this situation,How can i make the username and password in generalised format for all repositories.

Thanks in Advance!
Old 03-27-2009, 03:13 AM   #4
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Sri Lanka
Distribution: Fedora (workstations), CentOS (servers), Arch, Mint, Ubuntu, and a few more.
Posts: 441

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Unless you provide more information about your setup, there's nothing much I can tell to help.

You are saying that you aren't using basic HTTP auth for Subversion. I assumed that you were using basic auth because you haven't mentioned your auth type and you mentioned something about the password files. So if you need help with your case you need to tell us what authentication method you are trying to configure.

Secondly, your explanation does not say anything about how you serve Subversion (svn). You just say the repos are on a server and the client is usually TortoiseSVN. My guess is you still have Subversion serving under a Apache/Web server, because it's the most common setup to host Subversion. And probably have basic http auth too.

That is my guess, please check with the SysAdmin of the machine holding the svn repos (if it's not you, BTW). If you provide more info about your setup like OS/Distro, version, Subversion setup details we will able to help you better.


apache, subversion, svn

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