Subversion svnsync post-commit hook work around

Just a quickie for future reference. Svnsync is a tool that comes with Subversion that allows to create read-only mirrors of Subversion repositories.

Creating a mirror is quite easy and usually involves the following steps:

  • First we create a standard subversion repository.

     mkdir mirror
     svnadmin create mirror
  • Now we have to create a pre-revprop-change hook that only allows the svnsync write access to it. Remember that the mirror is read-only. Put the following contents in mirror/hooks/pre-revprop-change.

     if [ "$3" = "svnsync" ]; then exit 0; fi
     echo "Only svnsync user may edit revision properties through svnsync" >&2
     exit 1
  • To activate the hook we need to give it executable permissions.

     chmod +x mirror/hooks/pre-revprop-change
  • Configure the synchronization

     svnsync init --username svnsync \
         file:///path/to/mirror \
  • Finally perform the synchronization! You can put this command in the cron system for example to ensure the mirror is kept up-to-date.

     svnsync sync file:///path/to/mirror

There is a problem though with this setup if we want to use a post-commit hook. svnsync works by first committing a synced revision with its own user and then, in a second step, modifies the revision properties to change the author and date to those of the original repository. This means that post-commit hooks which need to obtain the revision author or date cannot be property run, since the reported author and date will be wrong.

The solution is to use a different hook, post-revprop-change, which is triggered each time a revision property is changed. We can have something as the following script to emulate a normal post-commit hook.



  # Only do actual work when the "svn:date" property is modified, which seems
  # to be the last revision property modified by the svnsync process.
  if [ "$ACTION" = "M" -a "$PROPNAME" = "svn:date" ]; then
    AUTHOR=`svnlook author $REPOS -r $REV`
    DATE=`svnlook date $REPOS -r $REV`
    LOG=`svnlook log $REPOS -r $REV`

    echo "$REPOS@$REV: $LOG by $AUTHOR at $DATE"