Thursday, September 24, 2009

Using shared SVN working copy on samba

Part of deployment procedure for PHP applications in company I work for is to update the code on a staging server through a samba share. The code is then replicated to production machines.

We use Subversion as our VCS of choice so we simply kept working copies on staging server and used TortoiseSVN to do an svn update. Later on we would e.g. migrate the database, update configuration files etc. This proved to be very simple and effective technique.

However,when our administration changed authentication procedures and gave every developer separate account (we used a single user name to log in to our samba share before, now we authorize through NT domain) - it suddenly stopped being so effective.

As soon as one developer updated the staging working copy, he started "owning it". Anyone else trying to update it later on got access denied errors. The reason? Subversion client created files in .svn that are read-only and these could not be deleted and recreated by anyone else (and Subversion client does this during svn update).

Luckily, there is an easy solution, found here and also mentioned in SVN FAQ. In our case, inserting:
delete readonly = yes
in smb.conf solved our problem. Any developer that is authenticated to use our staging share may now update the working copy.

Disclaimer: Although using working copy on samba share is not recommended by Subversion team, we use this technique for years now with different server and client versions and this was our first problem. However - we don't do development on this working copy, we only update it, so it's not a real full-blown multiuser working copy.

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