Using svn+ssh with RapidSVN


After spending some time searching, I realized that this might help someone else.

Not being able to properly replace MS Visio in neither a Linux or OS X environment, I’ve been stuck with MS Office and a Virtual Machine for this sole purpose in my Linux and OSX environments. I keep my machine very light, I only install MS Office (Word+Excel+Visio), Firefox & Thunderbird, Putty and RapidSVN. This enables me to quickly access and edit a document, either using a web repository (e.g. BSCW), e-mail or SVN (don’t ask why, but some people like to use SVN to share documents in binary format).

My problem started when I needed to access an SVN repository in Windows through an SSH scheme…

My default installation of RapidSVN kept reporting:

Can’t create tunnel: The system cannot find the file specified.

The problem is that RapidSVN does not know how to handle SSH… So here is how to make it handle:

  • Create a session with Putty that connects to the desired server using public key authentication (without requiring you to input any password) more info
  • Download Plink.exe and save it in RapidSVN bin folder
  • Edit subversion configuration. It’s located inside your Windows Profile directory under Application Data\Subversion\config.
  • Look for the tunnels section
  • Edit the following entry (**notice the / instead of \ **) according to your setup (I present my default)
	ssh = $SVN_SSH C:/Program Files/RapidSVN/bin/plink.exe 
  • Now checkout your repository by using the following sintax
	svn+ssh://<name of the putty session>/<path to the repository>

That’s it!

written by Diogo Gomes