HowTo to handle SVN repositories creation and access control with Redmine » History » Version 2

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Jean-Philippe Lang, 2007-10-01 17:32

HowTo to handle SVN repositories creation and access control with Redmine


This setup is not required if you just need to browse your repositories and changesets from Redmine.

As of version 0.5.0, Redmine is able to handle Subversion repositories creation and access control.

Once you’ve done this extra setup, Redmine will create the repository for each of your projects. Users will be allowed to access the repositories using ssh+svn, according to their permissions defined in Redmine :

  • for public projects : read access to the repository for any user, write access for project members only,
  • for private projects : read/write access allowed to project members only.

User authentication is done with the same login/password as for Redmine access.



You need Redmine 0.5.0 or higher, running with MySQL1.

Your SVN repositories must be hosted on a *nix system. They don’t have to be on the same host you installed Redmine on.
Is required on your SVN host :

  • nss_mysql
  • pam_mysql 0.7pre2 or higher, compiled with SHA1 support2
  • perl with SOAP::Lite package

Scripts used in this HowTo can be found in the /extra/svn directory of Redmine.

Network considerations

The SVN host must be able to access both the redMine database and HTTP server(s). In many cases, they will all be located on the same host.


Preparing the Redmine database

Some views need to be added to the Redmine database. These views are used to authenticate users and retrieve their permissions.

1. Create the different views in your redMine database :

mysql --user=redmine_user redmine_database -p < db_views.sql

2. Grant privileges :

mysql --user=root
mysql> create user redmine_nss@localhost identified by 'averylongpassword';
mysql> grant SELECT on redmine.nss_groups to redmine_nss@localhost;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.03 sec)
mysql> grant SELECT on redmine.nss_users to redmine_nss@localhost;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> grant SELECT on redmine.nss_grouplist to redmine_nss@localhost;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
create user redmine_pam@localhost identified by 'averylongpassword';
grant SELECT on redmine.ssh_users to redmine_pam@localhost;

Configuring nss-mysql on your SVN server

3. Create the /etc/nss-mysql.conf as follows:

conf.version = 2; = inet:localhost:3306;
users.database = redmine;
users.db_user = redmine_nss;
users.db_password = averygoodpassword;
users.backup_database = nss_mysql_backup;
users.table = nss_users;
users.user_column = nss_users.username;
users.userid_column = nss_users.uid;
users.uid_column = nss_users.uid;
users.gid_column = 100;
users.realname_column = nss_users.realname;
users.homedir_column = "/false/path";
users.shell_column = "/usr/local/bin/svnserve.wrapper";
groups.group_info_table = nss_groups;
groups.group_name_column =;
groups.groupid_column = nss_groups.gid;
groups.gid_column = nss_groups.gid;
groups.password_column = "x";
groups.members_table = nss_grouplist;
groups.member_userid_column = nss_grouplist.username;
groups.member_groupid_column = nss_grouplist.gid;

4. Install the svnserve wrapper

sudo install svnserve.wrapper /usr/local/bin

5. Change /etc/nsswitch.conf

Add “mysql” to the two lines passwd and group like that :

passwd:         compat mysql
group:          compat mysql

6. Test that all this stuff works :

You must have users in some project to verify.

% getent passwd
user1:x:5002:100:user1 user1:/false/path:/usr/local/bin/svnserve.wrapper
user2:x:5003:100:user2 user2:/false/path:/usr/local/bin/svnserve.wrapper

% getent group
projet redmine 1:x:5001:
projet redmine 2:x:5002:

Authorize ssh pam to use mysql

7. Add the line :

auth sufficient user=redmine_pam passwd=averylongpassword host=localhost db=redmine table=ssh_users usercolumn=username passwdcolumn=password crypt=4

Juste before

@include common-auth


auth required nullok_secure

8. Test this against an existing Redmine user

Try to connect to the SVN host using your Redmine username and password:

ssh redmine_username@svn_host

Automating repository creation

Repository creation can be automated by running periodically the script.

It takes 2 arguments :

  • svn-dir : path to the directory where your svn repositories are located
  • redmine-host : host name of your Redmine install


$ sudo reposman --svn-dir=/var/svn
repository /var/svn/project2 created
repository /var/svn/project1 created
mode change on /var/svn/project3

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” and check “Enable WS for repository management”.

2 You must use "./configure --with-openssl" in order to add SHA1 support to pam_mysql

1 Other databases can’t be used because of various problems: no pam module, no sha1 handling, ...