Subversion and file permissions

I’ve been assigned to a new project at work today. It was decided to use Subversion for version control. I haven’t used Subversion before, though I’ve read a lot about it.

Few minutes into it, I’ve got my first question: “How can I make Subversion store file permissions and ownership?”. Googling for two seconds didn’t turn out any results, so I went straight to Subversion’s IRC channel (#svn @ Here’s the answer that I got:

Subversion does not version permissions. There exist 2 wrapper scripts which you can use instead of “svn” for commit, checkout, update, etc., and store permissions in properties. They are: asvn and svn+perms. Last but not least there is a patch which adds the functionality into the svn core.

(I edited it a bit for the better linking).

Also, I’ve also been pointed to this blog.

14 thoughts on “Subversion and file permissions”

  1. I haven’t used VSS, CVS or Subversion. I’ve been assigned the task to determine if Subversion can restrict permissions on files without creating a Unix account. The users don’t like VSS, don’t know why at this time, bu VSS is able to do the restrictions they need through their admin for the product. Do you know if we can accomplish something like this in CVS or Subversion?

    Help or refer. Thanks!

  2. Hi Nancy,

    Unfortunately, I can’t help you myself due to my very limited knowledge of both CVS and Subversion. Try asking in the appropriate IRC channels (#cvs and #svn at People on FreeNode network are usually fast responding and know what they are talking about.

  3. I know that might be kind of late for this comment, but I went through the same issue with subversion last month and I wrote a piece of software to help me with that.
    I’ve published the code at

    I hope it can be usefull for you folks.

  4. Thank you Rafael, and thank you additionally for making the source code so straightforward. It compiled without a flaw, and my server’s file properties are now tucked safely away in svn.

    I plan to add a feature or two, if you’d like to get in touch my email address is ivolucien over yonder at g mail. I’m also curious to hear if you haven’t seen spor run into any limits or unusual error conditions yet.

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