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I've installed SVN on my Ubuntu 9.10 server - running on EC2.

What are the options for allowing access to SVN for a set of remote users? I was going down the path of svn+ssh but then does that mean that each user needs to have a user account on the box? If so, can I prevent them from logging onto the system interactively?

Is this any easier/different if I setup SVN access using webdav and apache?

Are there better options I haven't mentioned?

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3 Answers

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The main options are Apache or svn+ssh. svn+ssh does indeed require local users accounts. It also is more tricky to get permissions right.

I would definitely go the Apache way. With Apache's svn module and broad choice of authentication methods you'll have a flexible solution.

We're very happy with it. It performs well and was easy to set up.

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svn+ssh doesn't mean that everyone needs their own account (use key-based auth to a shared account) and yes, you can stop interactive login by means of the command option to the keys.

It's definitely different if you use webdav, but I wouldn't class it as definitely "easier". There's some annoying niggles that have to be overcome with webdav, but if you're more familiar with Apache it is probably easier than working out the intricacies of SSH, if you're not familiar with SSH.

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Yes, svn+ssh requires local accounts but then you don't have to setup svn accounts. We do use svn+ssh with users that already have ssh access to the server so I'm not sure if you could prevent them from login on. If you decide to go that way, take a look here: http://penguinapple.blogspot.com/2010/11/installing-svn-over-ssh-on-debian-and.html. The last section about using keys instead of passwords is particularly important if you don't want your users to go crazy.

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