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Hi, I need some information about starting a SVN server. I'm working in a project where we have used SVN quite a while for development, but it's been a bitch to say the least to keep the server up and running. Now the server has died completely and new one has to be configured. I was wondering, what's the easiest way to get a server up and running when security and stability are both important and there also has to be a way to remotely control the server? Which (specific) OS would be most suitable?

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When security and stability are issues, I always find myself installing Linux.

I'm a bit baffled about the remark about your troubles to keep the SVN-server up and running. Subversion has been running on my system for a little while now (ca. 50 days), and has never crashed.

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Yesterday I set up my SVN server on OpenBSD (3.7), piece of cake.
This depends of course on how familiar you are with a *nix OS.
Anyway, if security and simplicity (not ease) of configuration and maintenance is an issue, I'd suggest OpenBSD. (But please don't try to use it as a desktop machine)

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It won't even have a screen so not using it as a desktop machine is no prob ^^

I was afraid that people would suggest linux; the last server we had was on gentoo I think, and it apparantly was extremely hard to get it to work as it should. Even though the servercrash was a hardware issue, we had to restart the SVN process nearly every day because it kept freezing. I'm not very found of tools that are more trouble than they're worth; but maybe OpenBSD is better.

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Hrm, a prob with OpenBSD: we'd also want to set up a permanent ventrilo server, but it seem like there's no OpenBSD server binaries available (however there are for NetBSD and FreeBSD - how many BSD's are there anyway!?), so I guess that one is no option.

Any alternatives?

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In that case I'd give FreeBSD a try. Should run pretty stable and is quite maintainable + good documentation. I've no experience with netBSD.
(there's a high propability you'd be able to run ventrilo on openBSD using the linux compatibility layer, but it'd be the wrong tool for the job anyway)
Or.. you could try Solaris, there are binary packages of svn for x86 solaris 10 on www.sunfreeware.com

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Okay, FreeBSD looks fine and dandy, gonna check it out some more. One more question: is it safe to use apache (with my demands in mind) or should I go with something else? We didn't use it before because it was "unsuitable" - what are your opinions?

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I don't really know what your demands are but I don't think there's a reason to consider apache as being especially unsafe (provided it's well-configured). If it's for internal use only (I presume you know svn can work both as a standalone server and as an apache module) then I don't see a problem at all. If you're going to use it to serve web-content to the outside world, then be sure to double check your config.
In general, you've nothing to worry about, apache is a very robust product.

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If you're just looking for a small internal svn, then use svnserve. This works fine for me, on Linux or win32.

If you want to run a bigger server, for example, you need fine-grained permissions, then you need to run Apache I'm afraid - that's the only way of doing it.

You don't need to use it on the standard port number, so it can coexist with some other web server if you like.

You can also use HTTPS if you want more security.

Mark

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