Installing Subversion (SVN) 1.4.6 Server on Windows Vista

In this post, I just want to cover how to quickly install Subversion 1.4.6 on Windows Vista. Subversion is a free source control system, easy to use and has a strong user base.

The first task is to download Subversion 1.4.6 from On this page you should find svn-1.4.6-setup.exe – Windows installer with the basic win32 binaries. I found this to be the easiest way to install svn.

Next, we need to setup the directory to store our source control repository. This will contain everything, including configuration and the revision database. On my E: drive, I have a folder called Source Control, in here I want a folder called svnrepos.

E:Source Control>mkdir svn
E:Source Control>cd svn
E:Source Controlsvn>mkdir repos
E:Source Controlsvn>

Next, we need to create our actual SVN database. We use the svnadmin create command which will take care of everything for us.

E:Source Controlsvn>svnadmin create “E:Source Controlsvnrepos”

The directory layout of our repos folder looks like this:

17/05/2008  13:35   

17/05/2008  13:35   
17/05/2008  13:35   
17/05/2008  13:35                 2 format
17/05/2008  13:35   
17/05/2008  13:35   
17/05/2008  13:35               234 README.txt

The next task is to create and start the Subversion service. Windows Vista includes a command called SC which we can execute to create our service. Sadly the first time I can this I got the error ‘SC’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file. Turns out the problem was because my command prompt wasn’t running as administrator.

Starting my command prompt as administrator, I could then enter the following command to create my service.

sc create svn binpath= “C:program filesSubversionbinsvnserve.exe –service -r “E:Source Controlsvnrepos”” DisplayName= “Subversion Server” depend= Tcpip start= auto

Notice, as part of the argument to the binpath, I include the repository directory I created before. I can then use ‘net start svn’ to start the service. From now on, it will start automatically with Windows.

C:Windowssystem32>net start svn
The Subversion Server service is starting.
The Subversion Server service was started successfully.

You can now use the command line or TortoiseSVN to connect to the repository.

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