Subversion 1.7 released: just one .svn directory per working copy

Yesterday saw the 1.7 release of Subversion, the widely used open source version control system. It is a significant release with many new features, bug-fixes and performance improvements, and I suggest reading the release notes or complete change log. One thing to highlight is that the default working copy metadata storage is now a single sqlite database per working copy, rather than a .svn direction containing metadata in sub-directory.

I upgraded my TortoiseSVN, which is already updated to 1.7, and tried upgrading one of my own projects. Here is the .svn folder before the upgrade:


and after


Those pesky .svn folders can be a nuisance so this is a welcome change, although there is a downside as the release notes warn:

It is not safe to copy an SQLite file while it’s being accessed via the SQLite libraries. Consequently, duplicating a working copy (using tar, cp, or rsync) that is being accessed by a Subversion process is not supported for Subversion 1.7 working copies, and may cause the duplicate (new) working copy to be created corrupted.

Subversion is less fashionable since the advent of distributed version control systems like git and mercurial; though for corporate development Subversion remains popular because a centralised system is easier to control.

WANdisco’s Jessica Thornsby has a helpful post on the new 1.7 features more details on the benefits of the new working copy metadata managements system.

4 thoughts on “Subversion 1.7 released: just one .svn directory per working copy”

  1. Didn’t the early version of SVN use Berkely DB as the storage mechanism?
    Didn’t they decide against a binary format because it was problematic and non transparent?

    Still, SQLite has more tools in case something goes wrong.

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