2. Deployment Guide

Though you may have referred to the Deployment Checklist before or during an evaluation of Subversion Access Control we strongly recommend that you revisit the checklist and confirm that your system still meets all requirements.

tip" Tip
Overlooked requirements are a common cause of difficult-to-diagnose setup problems that could take a lot of time more time to fix than you'll spend running through these checks.

2.1 Deployment Checklist

 System setup

 Operating Systems

We've tested the following operating systems:
  • Fedora (32 or 64 bit): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
  • Red Hat Linux Enterprise Server (32 or 64 bit): 4, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 6, 6.1, 6.2
  • Sun Solaris (32 or 64 bit): 9, 10, 11
  • Linux: Linux kernel 2.6 or higher
  • CentOS: 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 6, 6.1, 6.2
  • Windows Server: (32 or 64 bit) 2003, 2008

  • In principle, any operating system that can support a Java environment, Apache and Subversion.

 Subversion server

Version 1.4 and above (we've tested up to version 1.6.13). Run the Apache Portable Runtime that matches your Subversion version.

tip"Certified Subversion Binaries
are now available from WANdisco. Providing the latest builds, without the risks associated with Open Source distribution.
tip"Available as an uberAPP
Subversion Access Control is now available in a version that integrates with uberSVN, WANdisco's free, easy-to-use Subversion ALM platform.
Running Access Control with uberSVN
Access Control is compatible with uberSVN "Chimneyhouse" Update 1 or later.

Access Control runs as a plugin on uberSVN. For the installation procedure follow our dedicated Guide to Installing Access Control on uberSVN.

** Alert! **Disable SSL before Installation
When run as an uberSVN plugin Access Control isn't compatible with uberSVN's SSL implementation. Before starting installation, ensure that SSL is disabled on the SVN Server screen. Once Access Control has been installed, use ProxyPass to re-enable SSL encryption - Read about ProxyPass in the uberSVN uberGUIDE

 Subversion client

Any that are compatible with local Subversion servers.

 Apache server

Your Apache server will need to be configured to handle Subversion repositories using the following paramenters:
<VirtualHost *:8181>
<Location /svnrepos>
Order allow,deny
Allow from
DAV svn
SVNParentPath /tmp/dav
AuthType Basic
AuthName wandisco
AuthUserFile /etc/httpd/conf/htpasswd
Require valid-user
AllowOverride None
This tells Apache to ignore any .htaccess files that it finds on the file system.
Order allow,deny
Allow from
Sets default access state and tells Apache the order in which to processes permissions
Following the Order allow deny with an Allow directive, so that only localhost is allowed access.
tip"Locking down the backend
It's important that access to Subversion is locked down to ensure that users don't bypass the Access Control proxy. To this end we configure Apache to deny requests by default, but allow from localhost.
AuthType Basic
AuthName wandisco
AuthUserFile /etc/httpd/conf/htpasswd
Require valid-use
Setting AuthType to basic ensures that authentication is required for Subversion acess.
AuthName is used as a label on the authentication prompt telling the end-user what it is they're authenticating.
AuthUserFile sets the location of the subversion password file.
Require valid-use is used isntead of specifying valid user groups - it allows access to any user who exists in the password file who correctly enters their password.

 System memory

Ensure RAM and swapping containers are at least four times larger than the largest Subversion file.

Minimum: 2GB RAM; 4GB swapping container

** Alert! **Minimum isn't Recommended
By default, Access Control's Java process is allocated the following heap space: -Xms128m -Xmx1512m
If you need to reduce the heap size you're probably not going to have a comfortable margin. Consider increasing your server's system memory. In case of problems getting Access Control running, you may need to alter the heap. Read Changing the default Java heap size

If you need to reduce the heap size you won't be operating with a comfortable margin: consider increasing your server's system memory.

Recommended: 4GB; 4GB swapping container

** Alert! **Running with other apps
In production you must always ensure that your system operates with a comfortable margin.
The above memory recommendations don't take into account other applications that you may need to run on the server, notably when running Access Control with uberSVN. We recommend that you complete load testing and specify your server's memory based on peak usage.

 Disk space

Subversion: Match to projects and branches.
Checkouts: You need sufficient disk space to handle large, in-transit checkouts which may get buffered to a tmp directory beneath the replicator installation until that checkout has been completed. The required space can be calculated using the following guideline:

Recommended storage = Number of clients checking out files(N) x average checkout sizes (Kilobytes)

 File descriptor limit

Ensure hard and soft limits are set to 64000 or higher. Check with the ulimit or limit command.

 Journaling file system

Replicator logs should be on a journaling file system, for example, ext3 on Linux or VXFS from Veritas.

    ** Alert! **Alert
    NTFS is not a journaling file system: ext4 is a journaling file system, although its use of deferred writes makes it incompatible with Subversion MultiSite.

 Max. User Process Limit

At least three times the number of Subversion users.


Install JDK 6 (previously referred to as 1.6) or higher.

** Alert! **Alert
Important: JDK 7 (AKA 1.7) is not compatible with Subversion Access Control. The problem may be fixed with the release of the first JDK 7 update, although this hasn't yet been confirmed.


Install version 5.6.1 or later. For Access Control: Perl::DBI module for Audit Reports other than Users and Groups.

** Alert! **Alert
Windows users: Use the 32bit edition of ActivePerl 5.8, even if you are running a 64bit Windows server.

** Alert! **uberSVN Access Control
When running Access Control through uberSVN, Perl is no longer a system requirement.

 Audit reports

For reports other than Users and Groups, you'll need to use a database such as MySQL, and php.


Optional but recommended. See Access Control - Using the Authz Module. Module may be bundled with your version of Apache.

2.2 Installation Procedure

Once you've checked through the deployment checklist and you're confident that your system meets all the requirements, run through the following section to get Subversion Access Control installed.

tip" Tip
If you run into difficulties, be sure to check out our Knowledgebase before raising contacting Support.


This guide runs through the how to install the demo version of WANdisco's Access Control 4.1.

Installation Requirements

Read the Access Control Deployment Checklist before starting the installation. You will also benefit from running through uberSVN's requirements - UberSVN Installation Requirements


** Alert! **Perl
UberSVN Access Control no longer requires that Perl be installed on your server in order to work. Note that where such a requirement is stated in the documentation, it applies to Access Control that is stand-alone or bundled with Subversion MultiSite.

** Alert! **Installing Access Control on OSX
When installing Access Control on Apple's OSX, after an upgrade from uberSVN 12.04 you may not be able to view the Access Control tab over a network connection.

Currently the installer picks up "localhost:9890/ubersvn" as the server's hostname, which will only work when viewing Access Control locally.

To work around this problem, manually update the uberSVN Server Hostname (Base URL) on the UberSVN Server screen to ensure that it contains a suitable IP address.

** Alert! **Disable SSL before Installation
When run as an uberSVN plugin Access Control isn't compatible with uberSVN's SSL implementation. Before starting installation, ensure that SSL is disabled on the SVN Server screen. Once Access Control has been installed, use ProxyPass to re-enable SSL         encryption - Read about ProxyPass in the uberSVN uberGUIDE.


1. Installing uberSVN

2. Get the Access Control trial from uberAPPS

3. Download and install the Access Control package

Starting Access Control Manually

In the event that Access Control doesn't appear in your new tab, you can start it manually from the command line:

Installing the Stand Alone version of Subversion Access Control

1. Download the Access Control installation file "svnsec.tar.gz" from the WANdisco File Distribution website.

2. Create a home directory for the installation, e.g. /wandisco.

3. Extract the "svnsec.tar.gz" file to the wandisco folder.

4. The installation files are now in place, they are arranged in the following directory structure:

drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2010-08-12 13:54  audit
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 2010-08-12 13:42  bin
drwxr-xr-x 8 root root 4096 2010-08-13 13:04  config
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 2010-08-12 13:10  lib
rw-r--r-   1 root root 16237 2010-05-21 15:03 license.txt
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2010-08-12 14:29  logs
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 2010-08-12 13:54  systemdb
rw-r--r-   1 root root 24 2010-07-21 13:05    version.txt

5. Copy your Subversion Access Control license.key file into the config directory.

-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  26165 2010-08-13 13:04 backup.xml
-rw-rw-r-- 1 User User    512 2010-08-12 15:46 license.key
drwxrwxr-x 2 User User   4096 2010-08-12 13:37 licenses
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   3327 2010-05-21 15:03 log.properties
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    366 2010-08-12 14:28 mailconfig.properties
drwxr-xr-x 5 root root   4096 2010-08-12 13:42 membership
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root   4096 2010-08-12 18:27 passwd
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root   4096 2010-08-12 13:42 prefs
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   3047 2010-05-21 15:03 prefs-template.xml
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   2813 2010-08-12 14:26 prefs.xml
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  92160 2010-07-21 13:05 reports.tar
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root   4096 2010-08-12 13:42 scm
drwxr-xr-x 7 root root   4096 2010-08-12 14:29 security

6. Enter the bin directory and run the setup, using the command:

perl setup

You'll be directed to the browser based setup screen:
******* Start WANdisco Logging **************
 version : unknown build unknown
 Default member id : 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000
 current time : Fri Aug 06 12:20:03 CEST 2010
******* End Log header **********************

1281090002964 org.nirala.communication.transport.DConeNet.ListenReactor setupListener
INFO:  [listen-1] Listening on port :

Point a web browser to to configure the product.

7. From a browser, enter the setup URL (http://<Server IP>:<port>). From the welcome screen, click Continue.
SVN Access Control 01

8. Read the WANdisco End User License Agreement, then click I Agree.
SVN Access Control 01

9. The next two screens introduces you to the notion that Access Control works as a proxy between the clients of Subversion users and the Subversion server. Subversion users can continue to connect using the the default HTTP port (80).
SVN Access Control 01

Click Next

SVN Access Control 01
Click Next.

10. On the SVN Security Agent Proxy Settings screen, enter the following details

Node Name: A name you will use for the Access Control server.
Node IP: The server's IP address
Bind Host: By default, this uses the wildcard IP that binds to all network interfaces on the node. Read our Knowledgebase article about the benefits of using the wildcard IP
Client Port By default this is 80, allowing Subversion users to continue without making change to their client setup.

(Linux/Unix) In order to use port 80, Access Control must be run as root.

Admin Console Port 444 by default.

SVN Access Control 01

Click Next.

11. The next step automatically checks the Apache configuration. If the httpd.conf file isn't found, enter its path into the Configuration File entry box, then click Reload Configuration.

Look out for warning boxes for where setup finds a problem - like this one:

SVN Access Control 01

If a problem is highlighted, you'll need to manually edit the httpd.conf file, then click on Reload Configuration to have setup check your changes.

User: Owner of the file.
Group: The group in which the owner belongs.
KeepAlive: Setup will look to see that the Keep-Alive directive is set to On.
KeepAliveRequests: Setup will look for 0, which indicates that no maximum limit will be set for connection requests.
KeepAliveTimeout: Set very high (500,000 seconds) to ensure connections don't timeout.
Listening IP: For a node with multiple IPs, this will indicate the IP used for listening.
Listening Port: The default listening port for Apache is 8080.
Override Listen Directive with a virtual host: Tick this box if the Apache parser doesn't pick up the correct Listen IP/port, maybe as a result of setting up Subversion to be only accessible through a virtual host. If you tick the box you'll need to manually enter hostname/IP.

SVN Access Control 01
Click Next. To continue without the Apache config check, click Skip.

12. Setup now allows you to modify your Subversion settings. Watch for alerts that confirm the port and path that Access Control will associate with your Subversion repositories.

SVN Access Control - Setup Screen 9
Subversion Server Port: the port on which Access Control talks to Subversion,(8080 by default).
SVN Executable: the fully qualified path to the Subversion executable. Setup will try to fill this in automatically, otherwise enter it manually.
Use authz-based access control? Tick the box to use Authz. If you tick the box you'll need to locate the fully qualified path to the Authz file.
Authorization File: Enter the path to the Authz file.

You can add additional repositories by clicking Add Repository. To continue setup, click Next. If you click Edit to change Repository you'll be able to edit the following settings:

Editing repository settings:
Directory on File System: Repository location. This needs to be the fully qualified path to the repository directly, not the URL that clients use for remote connection.
Manage Password File: tick the box to allow your Subversion password file to be controlled by Access Control. If selected you'll need to provide the username and password of the Subversion user account that will be used by Access Control to browse the repository. The account will need read and write access to the whole repository. For more information about why recommend that you enable this, see 3.1 Managing Users.

Settings in Apache
DAV Location: You can specify the location of the DAV file.
Multiple SVN Repositories: click Yes if you are using SVNParentPath for multiple repositories, or No if using SVNPath.

Click Update to apply your changes, or Cancel to return to the previous screen without making changes.

SVN Access Control 01

13. The next screen is for your email settings. Entering email settings will allow Access Control to send out alert emails that can help you identify problems.
SMTP Authentication: If you select No, you'll need to provide your account username and password.
Username and PasswordEnter these if you select that Yes to SMTP Authentication.
Use SSL/TLS: Choose yes if you wish to send emails over a secure connection.
Host: Enter the address of your mail server.
Port: Enter the SMTP port, 25 by default.
From Address Set the email address from which notification emails appear to come.
Send Admin Notification To: Enter the email address to which all notification emails will be sent.

Email settings are optional. If you don't need alert emails, click Skip to continue. Otherwise, click Next.
SVN Access Control 01

14. The setup has finished gathering information, You can go back and make changes or click Complete installation with these settings to save them and complete the installation.

SVN Access Control 01

15. When you click Complete installation with these settings Access Control's SVN Security Agent will automatically start up.

SVN Access Control 01

3. Setting up Authz

This optional section introduced the Apache Authz (Authorization) file which can be used to store Subversion user group and permission data. You only need to refer to this if you're planning on using Authz with your installation.

Read more about how to use Authz - Authz basics