SVN on BlueHost

UPDATE 2010-04-15: Due to recent changes at BlueHost, the instructions below will no longer work. You’ll get SVN installed, but you won’t be able to check out your repositories. See No SVN on BlueHost for the details.

I’m in the process of migrating most of my sites from DreamHost to BlueHost. Putting the reasons for the move aside (<cough>uptime</cough>), DreamHost has one major advantage over BlueHost: easy-to-setup SVN. On BlueHost, SVN isn’t installed, so it took a bit of research to figure out how to do it. I found installation instructions in a few places, but (1) they were all for version 1.4.6 (1.6.4 is the current version) and (2) they didn’t quite work for me. So, here’s how I went about it:

cd ~/src
tar xzf subversion-1.6.4.tar.gz
tar xzf subversion-deps-1.6.4.tar.gz
cd subversion-1.6.4
./configure --prefix=$HOME
make install
cd ~
mkdir svn
cd svn
svnadmin create MyRepository

Pretty simple, overall. Subversion handles all of the dependencies automagically. The only non-standard bit there is the --prefix=$HOME to install it in my home directory (where I have write permission).

Now I can check out my repository with:

svn co svn+ssh://[email protected]/home/myUserName/svn/MyRepository

Notice the use of the svn+ssh protocol. BlueHost doesn’t have mod_svn enabled for Apache, so you can’t connect using HTTP.

Thanks to the Subversion / TortoiseSVN SSH HowTo and these instructions for remembering SSH passwords, I was able to save a session in PuTTY and use those settings to connect using a public key, so I don’t have to enter a password 400 times to check out the repository.

4 thoughts on “SVN on BlueHost”

  1. Thanks for the post. I followed these steps, but I can’t seem to import into my repo. I created $HOME/svn/test1. And I’m having trouble importing into it. I get the black terminal window asking me for my password. But I always get the message (which turns up in red in the tortoise import progress window): Error Network connection closed unexpectedly

    If I try to do a repo browse, it just repeatedly asks me for my passwd.

    Any ideas?

  2. Just for clarity, I’m directing tortoiseSVN too:
    where is what I get if I am in that directory and I type “pwd”. I also tried changing “home7” to “home” in the path.

  3. I just finished getting subversion 1.6.11 up-and-running on Bluehost. I followed your directions, but also had to add –without-apxs to my ./configure command so that it wouldn’t install the Apache modules.

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