Automating repository creation


As of version 0.5.0, Redmine is able to handle Subversion repository creation. This is done by reposman.rb a script found in extra/svn/. With a recent version of Redmine (0.6.0 or re. 860 and later), reposman.rb can register the new repository in Redmine for you and set the owner of repository to who you want. If you have an older version, you will have to register repositories by yourself.

Projects are retrieved from Redmine using a SOAP web service. This web service is disabled by default in Redmine. To enable it, go to « Administration -> Settings -> Repository » and check Enable WS for repository management.

Before going further, we need to choose some names, I will use as the redmine hostname and my.svn.server as the svn server... You must create the directory where you want to put all your repositories, the owner must be root with your apache user as the group (e.g. www-data on Debian/Ubuntu). I will use /var/svn :

mkdir /var/svn
chown root:www-data /var/svn
chmod 0750 /var/svn

We must also choose the directory apache will use to serve repositories to users, I choose /svn, so repository URL will look like http://my.svn.server/svn/PROJECTID/ and a last one, the directory apache will use for Redmine browsing, I will use /svn-private/.

And eventually, you need to know the name of apache user, as it's www-data on debian/ubuntu. I will use this one.


Notice that reposman.rb before re. 916 has a problem. You don't need to update redmine but just use the latest reposman.rb located in extra/svn.

The Perl reposman version is deprecated for new installation as it can't register and set the owner.

Command line arguments

It takes 3 mandatory arguments:

  • svn-dir: path to the directory where your svn repositories are located
  • redmine-host: host name of your Redmine install
  • key: The key generated from GUI when enabling Repository management WS option. (Version 0.9 onwards)

And two optional arguments (added in re. 860):

  • owner: the owner of repositories
  • url: the base url Redmine will use to access your
    repositories. With this option, reposman will register the new
    repositories so that you will have nothing to do

The Perl reposman version is deprecated for new installation as it
can't register and set the owner.

Question you should answer before going further

If Redmine and your svn repositories are on the same server, you may use the file:/// protocol of svn to browse them, but even if it seems a good idea, if you later want to move repositories on another server, you will have a problem because you can't change repository path in redmine.

The best approach to take is to set it up as if the repositories and redmine are already on two different servers and using network subversion to allow Redmine browsing.

If you want to use local browsing (the file:/// protocol), use --url file:///var/svn/ instead of.

Automating repository creation to authenticate with apache/webdav and mod_perl

Before going further, we will check that reposman can find the Redmine Web Service. Do this as an unprivileged user that can't write in /var/svn :

ruby reposman.rb --redmine --svn-dir /var/svn --owner www-data --url http://my.svn.server/svn/ --key=my_api_key --verbose
querying Redmine for projects...
retrieved 2 projects
treating project myproject
svnadmin: Repository creation failed

It's normal that the creation failed, you have no account rights, but the point is that reposman can find the Web Service and projects.

If this doesn't work, make sure you have checked the Enable WS for repository management option.

Now that you know everything is ok, you just need to invoke reposman.rb as root with the right options :

  reposman.rb --redmine --svn-dir /var/svn --owner www-data --url http://svn.server/svn/ --key=my_api_key

Be careful with the --url option, you can't change it if you later change your mind.

You can now add this line in your crontab :

cat /etc/cron.d/redmine
10 * * * * root ruby reposman.rb --redmine --svn-dir /var/svn --owner www-data --url http://my.svn.server/svn/ --key=my_api_key >> /var/log/reposman.log

It's allmost done.

Web Service and Security

For improved security (in addition to the registered API key), you can block access to the WS with apache (if you don't use apache, you'll have to do your homework...) with the Location apache directive like this :

   <Location /sys>
      Order deny,allow
      Allow from
      Deny from all

So if you are using apache and mongrel, you will have something like that :

<VirtualHost *:80>
   ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost

   <Location /sys>
      Order deny,allow
      Allow from
      Deny from all

   ProxyPass / http://localhost:3000/
   ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:3000/

You can now go to Repositories_access_control_with_apache_mod_dav_svn_and_mod_perl to enable apache access for your users

See also SCM Creator plugin.

Updated by Giovanni Toraldo over 11 years ago · 26 revisions