VisualSVN Notes

VisualSVN Notes

  • VisualSVN Server comes with svn.exe on its own. It doesn't depend on TortoiseSVN(Graphical client with optional toolchain) or ApacheSVN(toolchain only).
  • If VisualSVN and TortoiseSVN are both installed, they will be accessing the same .svn folder of a repository. So TortoiseSVN can serve as a graphical interfaces only.
  • Things can break if using different SVN version to manage the same repo.
  • Command line editor is set by SVN_EDITOR system variable.

Initialize a folder as a new project into an existing repo

  • svn import [local-folder-path] [repo-url] -m "commit comment: initial commit via command line"
  • Impossible to edit ignore list before importing
  • Good for initialize an empty folder

Add a folder with initial content as a new project into an existing repo

  • Checkout the trunk in an empty folder, svn co [trunk-url] .
  • Move the .svn folder just created to the folder with initial content

SVN Ignore

  • Can only ignore items not added to version control.
  • Use svn status --no-ignore | grep "^I" to view a list of ignored files in the current directory.
  • Edit the global-ignores at /c/Documents and Settings/sydlu/Application Data/Subversion/Config, all patterns must be in one line.
  • Local ignores are done by propset. The properties exist on a specific path, not globally. So a file pattern to ignore globally must be done recursively: svn propset svn:ignore -R [pattern] .
  • To ignore a directory, go to the parent directory, then svn propset svn:ignore [dir-name] ., or use svn propedit svn:ignore ., in which the . means the property of the current directory.
  • svn propset svn:ignore xxx command will overwrite property set last time. So it's better to edit the property file instead of set the property. link
  • svn propset svn:ignore -F [filename] . sets the ignore using a file. (Don't use -R, can be messy.)
  • svn propdel svn:ignore . can delete the ignored file patterns.
  • svn proplist -v . can view the ignored file patterns.


  • svn changelist [list-name] file1 file2 ... Add changes to a changelist. The changes must have been svn add to version control. Repeating this command will add files to the list.
  • Use svn status --cl [list-name] to view the list.
  • Use svn changelist [list-name] --remove file1 file2 ... to remove file from the list.
  • Use svn commit --cl [list-name] -m "msg" to commit changes from the list only. After a commit, the list will be empty.
  • Directory properties cannot be added to a changelist.

Delete files that were in the version control

  1. (Delete file from system. Then svn status will show a ! before that file.)
  2. svn delete filename. Then svn status of the file will be D.
  3. These changes cannot be added to a changelist. Can only commit with everything else.

Other common command line commands

  • svn info [repo-url]
  • svn status
  • svn ls [repo-directory-url], show what files are in version control
  • svn add [dir-name], works recursively, equal to --depth=infinity; only marks for the next commit, doesn't to the "stage"
  • svn add --depth=empty [dir-name], only add the directory, not contents
  • svn revert --depth=infinity [dir-name], revert un-commited changes
  • svn mkdir [dir-name], equals to mkdir [dir-name]; svn add [dir-name]
  • svn mkdir --parents [dir-name]/[nested-dir-name], creates [dir-name] and [nested-dir-name] at the same time
  • svn commit -m "message"