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Yet another svn and ssh methodology

From: John Peacock <jpeacock_at_rowman.com>
Date: 2004-05-18 19:28:06 CEST

Last night, I wanted to do a little work on a server which is too slow and old
(Cobalt RaQ-3 upgraded to 550 software) to really justify installing the entire
suite of files necessary to run Subversion locally. So I built just the client
and then I had to decide how I would connect to a repository.

I had just set up another much more powerful server (Quad Xeon/2GB RAM), with an
svnserve instance running on the loopback interface. I've decided I'm not going
to use file:// any more if I can help it, and I didn't want to load the DAV
module. I am only storing local apps in the repository, so I don't need any
network access.

But, how could I use that repository from some other box? Easy - ssh port
tunneling! The following recipe shows one way to do this. "xeon" is the big
box containing the repository and svnserve process and "cobalt" is the
client-only box.

[xeon]$ ssh -R 3690: cobalt
user@cobalts's password: xxxxxxxx

[cobalt]$ svn ls svn://user@localhost/

There are several advantages to this style:

1) Only a single session is required; some of the other ways of setting up
tunnels wind up requiring two sessions (one for SSH and one to work in);

2) The port is available until the session ends; I wound up su'ing to some other
account, yet could still use the connection (by specifying the username);

3) If you are already using ssh to connect to the remote machine, you can just
piggyback your svn traffic on the same connection.

I hope this helps someone; I'll try and write up a FAQ entry if it seems useful
to people...


John Peacock
Director of Information Research and Technology
Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
4501 Forbes Boulevard
Suite H
Lanham, MD  20706
301-459-3366 x.5010
fax 301-429-5748
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Received on Tue May 18 19:28:23 2004

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