Skip to content

About a year and a half ago we announced SVN client support, which could be used for limited access to GitHub repositories from Subversion clients.

Today we're launching new, improved SVN support.

What's New?


No need to use anymore, now your svn client can use the same URL as your git client. Repositories can still be accessed using the old URLs at but everyone should migrate as we'll be turning off soon.

$ git clone git-ds
Cloning into git-ds...
remote: Counting objects: 135, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (71/71), done.
remote: Total 135 (delta 65), reused 128 (delta 58)
Receiving objects: 100% (135/135), 31.19 KiB, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (65/65), done.

$ svn checkout svn-ds
A    svn-ds/branches
A    svn-ds/branches/shard_names
A    svn-ds/branches/shard_names/.document
A    svn-ds/branches/shard_names/.gitignore
A    svn-ds/trunk/spec/support
A    svn-ds/trunk/spec/support/factories.rb
A    svn-ds/trunk/spec/support/models.rb
Checked out revision 25.


Repos are mapped to a standard subversion layout, with your master branch in trunk/ and the rest of your branches in branches/

$ git ls-remote --heads origin
7523fabdfea89c38b10afde0ec2f07095de8c9a2    refs/heads/master
2ed6303f260abe2bd76d231fe173aeef833b1c9e    refs/heads/shard_names

$ svn ls

$ svn ls trunk

$ svn ls branches

Partial Checkouts

Checkout and update only the parts of the repo you need to work on.

$ svn co -N svn-ds
Checked out revision 25.

$ svn up -N branches
A    branches
Updated to revision 25.

$ svn up trunk
A    trunk
A    trunk/.document
A    trunk/.gitignore
A    trunk/spec/support
A    trunk/spec/support/factories.rb
A    trunk/spec/support/models.rb
Updated to revision 25.


Edit files, create branches, and push your changes.

$ svn cp trunk branches/wip
$ svn commit -m 'Created a topic branch'
Adding         branches/wip
Committed revision 26.

$ git ls-remote --heads origin
7523fabdfea89c38b10afde0ec2f07095de8c9a2    refs/heads/master
2ed6303f260abe2bd76d231fe173aeef833b1c9e    refs/heads/shard_names
7523fabdfea89c38b10afde0ec2f07095de8c9a2    refs/heads/wip

$ echo '# Important change' >> branches/wip/
$ svn commit -m 'Made an important change'
Sending        branches/wip/
Transmitting file data .
Committed revision 27.

What's Next?

We'll continue to improve Subversion integration so mixed teams can more easily work together. Upcoming changes include:

  • branch merging and rebasing
  • better mapping of Subversion <=> GitHub user names in commits
  • annotate/blame support
  • allow trunk to be mapped to a branch other than 'master'

Update: trunk now maps to the repo's HEAD ref (usually master), and tags are now supported.

Have feedback on this post? Let @github know on Twitter.

Need help or found a bug? Contact us.

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.