Apache Subversion 1.14 LTS Release Notes

What's New in Apache Subversion 1.14

Apache Subversion 1.14 is a superset of all previous Subversion releases, and is as of the time of its release considered the current "best" release. Any feature or bugfix in 1.0.x through 1.13.x is also in 1.14, but 1.14 contains features and bugfixes not present in any earlier release.

Because 1.14 is the next LTS release following 1.10, these release notes describe major changes since 1.10, including changes released in 1.11.x through 1.13.x.

This page describes only major changes. For a complete list of changes, see the 1.14 section of the CHANGES file.

Compatibility Concerns

Older clients and servers interoperate transparently with 1.14 servers and clients. However, some of the new 1.14 features may not be available unless both client and server are the latest version. There are also cases where a new feature will work but will run less efficiently if the client is new and the server old.

There is no need to dump and reload your repositories. Subversion 1.14 servers can read and write to repositories created by earlier versions. To upgrade an existing server installation, just install the newest libraries and binaries on top of the older ones.

Subversion 1.14 maintains API/ABI compatibility with earlier releases, by only adding new functions, never removing old ones. A program written to any previous 1.x API can both compile and run using 1.14 libraries. However, a program written for 1.14 cannot necessarily compile or run against older libraries.

There may be limited cases where the behavior of old APIs has been slightly modified from previous releases. These are cases where edge cases of the functionality has been deemed buggy, and therefore improved or removed. Please consult the API errata for more detailed information on what these APIs are and what impact these changes may have.

New Feature Compatibility Table

New Feature Minimum Client1 Minimum Server Minimum Repository Notes
svnadmin rev-size n/a 1.13 any FSFS repo
svnadmin build-repcache n/a 1.14 FSFS format 4 see Filesystem Format in the output of svnadmin info /path/to/repo
Shelving (experimental) 1.12 any any shelves created by 1.10 are not compatible—see Upgrading 1.10–1.13 shelves to 1.14
Commit checkpointing (experimental) 1.12 any any
Viewspec output command (experimental) 1.11 any any
1Reminder: when using the file:// repository access method, the Subversion program is both the client and the server.

Upgrading the Working Copy

Subversion 1.14 uses the same working copy format as Subversion 1.8 through 1.13.

Before using Subversion 1.14 with an existing Subversion 1.7 or older working copy, users will be required to run the svn upgrade command to upgrade working copy metadata to the new format. This command may take a while in some cases, and for some users, it may be more practical to simply checkout a new working copy.

Note: Subversion 1.14 cannot upgrade working copies that a 1.6 client would have refused to operate upon before an svn cleanup was run (with a 1.6 client). In other words, before upgrading to 1.8 or newer, a 1.6 or older client must be used to run svn cleanup on all 1.6 or older working copies that require cleanup. Likewise, Subversion 1.14 cannot upgrade corrupt working copies. Unfixable problems can arise from missing or corrupt meta-data inside .svn directories. Such damage to the working copy is permanent, and cannot be fixed even if svn cleanup is run prior to the upgrade.

If your working copy does not upgrade cleanly, please check out a new one.

Changes to Experimental Shelving Feature

Since 1.10, Subversion provides an experimental "Shelving" feature aimed at addressing issue #3625. There is no promise of backward compatibility for features designated "experimental."

Shelving in 1.14 has changed significantly since 1.10 and is incompatible with shelves created by 1.10. See Shelving and Checkpointing (experimental) for the major changes and differences in commands. See its subsection, Upgrading 1.10–1.13 shelves to 1.14 to learn how to recover 1.10 shelves in an existing working copy.

Miscellaneous Compatibility Notes

There are some additional specific areas where changes made in this release might necessitate further adjustment by administrators or users. We'll cover those in this section.

Path-based authorization compatibility

A fix for Issue #4762 may change the way path-based authorization rules are applied in some circumstances. See r1882326.

Background: Subversion 1.10 introduced a new implementation of path-based authorization (authz) to deliver wildcard support and improved performance over that of Subversion 1.9 and earlier. From Subversion 1.10 through 1.14.0, the new implementation did not correctly combine global rules with repository rules: if a global rule and a per-repository rule were both present for a path, the global rule would be ignored and the per-repository rule would apply by itself. As a result, from Subversion 1.10 through 1.14.0, it was not possible to override per-path access rules for specific users (or groups) at the global level. Administrators whose authz rules rely on this incorrect behavior may need to adjust their rules accordingly.

This issue is fixed in 1.14.1, making it possible once again to override per-path access rules for specific users (and groups) at the global level. Such global rules are overridden by repository-specific rules only if both the user and the path match the repository-specific rule.

As an example, consider the following rule set:

company = developer1, developer2, developer3
customer = customer1, customer2

# company can read-write on everything
@company = rw

@customer = r

Does developer1 have rw access to "/trunk" in project1?

Subversion servers running 1.10.0 up to 1.10.6 or 1.14.0, without the fix for issue #4762, will only apply the repository-specific part of the rule set:

@customer = r

The answer in this case is that developer1 has no access at all because the global rule which grants rw access to the @company group is ignored.

Subversion servers running 1.14.1 or later match the behaviour of Subversion 1.9, meaning they will apply both the global and the repository-specific part of the rule set:

# company can read-write on everything
@company = rw

@customer = r

The answer in this case is that developer1 has rw access to any path in project1. Global rules are overridden by repository-specific rules only if both the user (developer1) and the path ("/", including child paths for which no specific rules exist) match the repository-specific rule. While the repository-specific rule matches "/trunk" it does not match developer1, and hence the global rule will be used.

New Features

New svnadmin rev-size command

This change was first introduced in 1.13.

Add an svnadmin rev-size command to report the total size in bytes of the representation on disk of a revision, including rev-props, but excluding FSFS indexes. For example:

    $ svnadmin rev-size /path/to/repo -r1
            1337 bytes in revision 1

(See r1857624.)

New svnadmin build-repcache command

Representation Sharing (also called rep-sharing) is a data storage de-duplication feature first introduced in Subversion 1.6. It reduces the disk size of a repository by storing duplicate data only once. (See issue #2286.)

This optional feature is enabled by default. It relies on a rep-cache database, which Subversion automatically maintains with the repository, to identify duplicate pieces of data.

Over time, some administrators have disabled and/or re-enabled rep-sharing, which has the effect of excluding from the rep-cache any revisions that were committed while the feature was disabled.

Subversion 1.14 introduces a new svnadmin build-repcache subcommand, which administrators can use to populate any missing entries in the rep-cache database for a specified revision range (or all revisions). (See r1875921.)

For example, to process revisions 20 through 25, inclusive, and ensure that their data is known to the rep-cache:

    $ svnadmin build-repcache /path/to/repo -r20:25
    * Processed revision 20.
    * Processed revision 21.
    * Processed revision 22.
    * Processed revision 23.
    * Processed revision 24.
    * Processed revision 25.

If only one revision argument is given, svnadmin build-repcache will process that revision only:

    $ svnadmin build-repcache /path/to/repo -r20
    * Processed revision 20.

If no revision argument is given, svnadmin build-repcache will process all revisions.

Enhancements and Bugfixes

Command-line client improvements (client)

svn log improvements

svn log --quiet and --diff options are no longer mutually exclusive. This makes it easier to display only the differences in a range of revisions. (See r1871916.)

svn info improvements

New changelist argument to svn info --show-item (r1869481).

Escaping/quoting of pathname arguments to the user-defined editor

When invoking the user-defined editor, such as during interactive conflict resolution, Subversion now performs escaping of any special characters in the pathname of the file to be edited. This corrects a problem that would occur previously when the file to be edited (and/or the path leading to it) contained spaces or other special characters. (See r1874057, r1874093, and r1875230.)

Note that escaping is performed only on the pathname argument. As before, the editor itself is invoked through the shell and the user must properly quote/escape the command line used to launch it. This is intentional, as it allows the user to construct a shell command which itself contains command line arguments. See the related FAQ entry for more on spaces and/or command line options in the editor path.

The user-defined editor can be specified in the following ways, in this order of precedence:

  • The --editor-cmd command-line option
  • The $SVN_EDITOR environment variable
  • The editor-cmd runtime configuration option
  • The $VISUAL environment variable
  • The $EDITOR environment variable

The escaped pathname of the file to be edited is passed to the editor as its last command line argument.

For example, suppose that $SVN_EDITOR is set as follows:

SVN_EDITOR='vim -N --'

Furthermore, suppose 'svn up' finds a text conflict in a file called foo bar.txt:

$ svn up
Updating '.':
C    foo bar.txt
Updated to revision 2.
Summary of conflicts:
  Text conflicts: 1
Merge conflict discovered in file 'foo bar.txt'.
Select: (p) Postpone, (df) Show diff, (e) Edit file, (m) Merge,
        (s) Show all options: e

When Subversion launches the editor, the spaces in vim -N -- will not be escaped, allowing vim to be invoked with -N and -- as its first two arguments, but the space in foo bar.txt will be escaped.

Improvements to the interactive conflict resolver

Since its introduction in 1.10, the new interactive conflict resolver has received various improvements.

Starting in 1.11, the interactive conflict resolver supports more conflict situations which involve moved files and directories. Specifically, many tree conflicts which report a "locally missing" item, as a result of an item having moved on the merge source branch, can now be resolved automatically.

For example, when a file edit is cherry-picked from a branch on which the edited file has been renamed, the edit will now be applied to the file's location in the merge target branch, provided it has not been renamed on that branch as well. For details, see issue #4694, "Unresolvable tree conflict when cherrypicking a file-edit after file was moved on source branch".

Furthermore, since 1.12, the interactive conflict resolver supports some cases where items were moved to disparate locations. Support for unversioned items in the working copy has been improved as well. The table below lists these cases and available resolution options for each.

local change incoming change operation resolution options
  • move file
  • move file
update, merge
  • merge
    (applies textual changes only and leaves the tree structure of the working copy as it is)
  • move and merge
    (changes the file's location in the working copy to match that of the merge source before merging changes)
  • move directory
  • move directory
  • merge
    (applies changes to the corresponding directory and leaves the tree structure of the working copy as it is)
  • move and merge
    (changes the directory's location in the working copy to match that of the merge source before merging changes)
  • unversioned file
  • add file
update, switch
  • merge
    (merges the unversioned file with the incoming file)
  • unversioned directory
  • add directory
update, switch
  • merge
    (re-adds directory to working copy but leaves any on-disk files as they were)

During svn update, the deletion of a directory which contains unversioned items but is otherwise unmodified no longer causes a tree conflict. This avoids tree conflicts caused by software build artifacts in the working copy, for example.

Several bugs have been fixed in the conflict resolver, including:

  • Issue #4744 "assertion failed (start_rev > end_rev)"
  • Issue #4766 "resolver adds unrelated moves to move target list"
  • A problem where the resolver mistakenly searched back through the entire history of the repository
  • A case where text conflicts were created with the incoming changes theirs) and local changes (mine) swapped within text conflict markers. This caused unexpected results when the svn resolve command was used with the --accept theirs or --accept mine options. This is fixed as of 1.12.

Fixes for conflict resolver bugs found during the development of Subversion 1.11 and 1.12 have been backported to the Subversion 1.10 release series as well.

Additions to svn info --show-item

This change was first introduced in 1.11.

Add 'schedule' and 'depth' items to 'svn info --show-item' (r1827032).

Allow the client cert password to be saved

This change was first introduced in 1.11.

Allow the client cert password to be saved (r1836762).

svn help hides experimental commands by default

This change was first introduced in 1.13.

By default, svn help no longer lists experimental commands. To show experimental commands, use svn help -v or svn help --verbose. (See issue #4828.)

Improved performance for working copy commands like svn status

This change was first introduced in 1.13.

Some local operations, such as svn status on a large working copy, now perform more quickly as a result of reduced I/O. This is achieved by disabling SQLite's WAL (write-ahead logging) feature, which Subversion does not use, but which introduces more I/O when left enabled. (See r1865523.)

Server-side improvements

svnadmin dump shouldn't canonicalize svn:date (issue #4767)

This change was first introduced in 1.11.

svnadmin dump no longer attempts to canonicalize the svn:date revision property value in its output. The dump output will now contain the value exactly as it exists in the repository.

Empty group definitions in authz rules

This change was first introduced in 1.12.

Subversion servers will now ignore empty group definitions in their path-based authorization rules. The svnauthz command will print a warning if it detects empty group definitions.

Provide a hint about a possible mod_dav_svn misconfiguration

This change was first introduced in 1.13.

Add a hint about a possible mod_dav_svn misconfiguration: When warning about an overlapping configuration, if two configuration blocks are for the same URL, then hint that the problem may be including the same configuration twice. (See r1866738.)

Client- and server-side improvements

Plaintext passwords on disk disabled by default

This change was first introduced in 1.12.

On Unix-like systems, client-side storage of passwords in plaintext on disk is now disabled by default at compile-time. Password caching mechanisms based on Gnome Keyring, Kwallet, or GPG-Agent, are recommended instead.

This change does not affect Windows or Mac OS platforms, where passwords have always been stored in an encrypted representation.

Improved copying from repository source to working copy target

This change was first introduced in 1.12.

Behaviour of copy operations with a repository source and a working copy target has been improved:

  • Existing parent directories are now handled correctly.
  • Peg and operative revisions are now handled correctly (see issue #4785 for details).

svn list improvements

This change was first introduced in 1.12.

The svn list command now avoids truncation of long author names by dynamically adjusting the width of columns displayed.

The svn list command now supports a --human-readable (-H) option which will display sizes in human-readable units (Bytes, Kilobytes, Megabytes, Gigabytes, Terabytes and Petabytes).

svn info improvements

This change was first introduced in 1.12.

The svn info command can now display the size of files in the repository. The file size is only displayed if the target of svn info is a file URL.

svn cleanup improvements

This change was first introduced in 1.12.

The svn cleanup command, when asked to remove unversioned or ignored items, will now remove directories even if they are write-protected.

API changes, improvements and language bindings (client and server)

Support for Python 3.x

Some optional features of Subversion utilize the Python scripting language.

Subversion's SWIG Python bindings and Subversion's test suite now support Python 3.x (and newer).

Of course, we welcome contributions that extend Subversion's Python support to include other versions, subject to the project's other needs. See the section Enthusiastic Contributors Welcome below.

Support for Python 2.7 is being phased out

Python is Optional. Read more below.

As of 1 January 2020, Python 2.7 has reached end of life. All users are strongly encouraged to move to Python 3.

As Subversion 1.14 is a Long Term Support (LTS) release with planned support into 2024, well beyond end-of-life for Python 2.7, the core Subversion developers cannot commit to supporting and testing with Python 2.7, or to fixing bugs that affect Python 2.7 only, for the duration of this support period.

This means that although Subversion 1.14.0 still technically works with Python 2.7, any later 1.14.x point release may drop this support if it becomes too difficult to maintain.

If you must continue using Python 2.7, our previous Long Term Support release, Subversion 1.10, is supported until 2022. Python 2.7 support will not be removed from Subversion 1.10.

Of course, we welcome contributions that extend Subversion's Python 2.7 support, subject to the project's other needs. See the section Enthusiastic Contributors Welcome below.

Python is Optional

Subversion does not require Python for its basic operation. Python is only required for building Subversion and for using Subversion's SWIG Python bindings. If you do not do either of these things, then this change does not affect you.

The Python bindings are used by:

  • Third-party programs (e.g., ViewVC)
  • Scripts distributed with Subversion itself in the tools/ subdirectory.
  • Any in-house scripts you may have.

In more detail, Python is required for doing any of the following:

  • Use the SWIG Python bindings
  • Use the ctypes Python bindings
  • Build Subversion on Windows
  • Build Subversion from a tarball on Unix-like systems and run Subversion's test suite
  • Build Subversion from a working copy checked out from Subversion's own repository
  • Build the SWIG Python bindings
  • Build the ctypes Python bindings

Python is not required for doing any of the following:

  • Use the core command-line binaries (svn, svnadmin, svnsync, …)
  • Use Subversion's C libraries
  • Use any of Subversion's other language bindings
  • Build Subversion from a tarball on Unix-like systems without running Subversion's test suite

New Build-Time Dependency: py3c

Subversion's support for Python 3.x SWIG bindings introduces a new optional dependency on the Python 3 Compatibility layer for C extensions (py3c).

You need py3c to build the SWIG Python bindings, regardless of the version of Python. As py3c is a header-only library, it is needed only to build the bindings, not to use them.

The convenience script that downloads Subversion's minimal build-time dependencies, get-deps.sh, has been updated to download py3c. This script is found in the source distribution's root directory. For the full list of Subversion's dependencies, see the INSTALL file in the same directory.

Support for building with SWIG 4 on Python 3.x

This section only affects those who build Subversion from a working copy. If you build Subversion from a tarball or zip file, you may skip this section.

Subversion's SWIG Python bindings can be built with SWIG 4 on Python 3. The bindings can be built with SWIG 3.x on Python 3 as well (the -modern argument to SWIG is automatically used). (See r1869853.)

JavaHL Updates

This change was first introduced in 1.11.

The JavaHL bindings have been updated to be compatible with Java 10. Due to required build changes, JavaHL now requires at least Java 8 to compile.

Experimental Features

The Subversion 1.14.x release includes several "EXPERIMENTAL" features. These are released in an early form for purposes of testing, feedback, and to entice interested users to contribute to their further development.

WARNING: Features and APIs which are designated "EXPERIMENTAL" are considered incomplete and may change significantly during and after the 1.14.x series. There is no promise of backward compatibility, even from one point release to another, while they remain experimental.

Shelving and Checkpointing (experimental)

Shelving (issue #3625), first introduced in Subversion 1.10, has been developed further to handle more kinds of changes more robustly. Two different versions of shelving CLIs, each with different pros and cons, are available for experimentation. Also, changes have been made under the hood to support a related feature, Commit Checkpointing (issue #3626).

You can read a review of the development of experimental support for shelving to find out more about the differences between the versions, and the further work that would be needed in Subversion to make shelving a first-class feature.

Shelving in 1.14 is incompatible with shelves created by 1.10. See Upgrading 1.10–1.13 shelves to 1.14 to learn how to recover 1.10 shelves in a working copy.

Shelving commands (see their help for details):

  • svn x-shelf-diff
  • svn x-shelf-drop
  • svn x-shelf-list, x-shelves
  • svn x-shelf-list-by-paths
  • svn x-shelf-log
  • svn x-shelf-save
  • svn x-shelve
  • svn x-unshelve

Differences in the main shelving commands since 1.10:

Subversion 1.10 command Subversion 1.14 equivalent
svn [x-]shelve [--keep-local] SHELF [PATH...] works similarly; saves a new version each time it is used
svn [x-]unshelve [SHELF] svn x-unshelve --drop [SHELF]
svn [x-]unshelve --keep-shelved [SHELF] svn x-unshelve [SHELF]
svn [x-]shelve --delete SHELF svn x-shelf-drop SHELF
svn [x-]shelves or svn [x-]shelve --list svn x-shelves or svn x-shelf-list

Choosing and Enabling a Shelving CLI

Because shelving is a work-in-progress, the shelving CLI is disabled by default. Users who wish to experiment with shelving should enable one of the two available shelving CLI implementations by setting an environment variable (see r1875037 and r1875039.)

The two implementations are "Shelving-v2" as introduced in 1.11, and "Shelving-v3" as introduced in 1.12. These are incompatible with each other, but both are offered because they have substantially different pros and cons. (See the review.)

The shelving CLI implementation is selected by an environment variable, SVN_EXPERIMENTAL_COMMANDS, as follows:

environment variable shelving CLI implementation
SVN_EXPERIMENTAL_COMMANDS=shelf3 Shelving-v3, as introduced in 1.12
SVN_EXPERIMENTAL_COMMANDS=shelf2 Shelving-v2, as introduced in 1.11
Environment variable not set No shelving CLI

The following table summarizes the kinds of changes that can be shelved by the two implementations:

WC State or Change Shelving-v2 Shelving-v3
file text, file delete/add, most properties yes yes
mergeinfo changes yes yes
copies and moves no as copies1
directories (mkdir/rmdir/...) no yes
binary files & properties yes yes
1On shelving, a move is converted to copy-and-delete, just like it is on commit.


Shelving-v2, first introduced in 1.11, improves upon the initial shelving feature introduced in 1.10. The main improvements and changes are:

  • checkpointing support: a shelf stores multiple versions of a change; shelving adds a new version to the named shelf; you can unshelve an older version instead of the newest—see the commit checkpointing feature
  • 'binary' files (and property values) are fully supported
  • patch files are no longer used as the storage mechanism; limitations and bugs due to patch file format are gone, such as handling svn:mergeinfo properties, binary data, and end-of-line characters
  • shelving and unshelving both warn and refuse to run if they detect states that they cannot handle (e.g. copies or moves)
  • unshelving applies the changes to the WC using a mechanism similar to merging, so that changes can be more robustly applied when the WC has been modified (e.g. updated) since the shelf was saved

Shelving-v2 can shelve committable changes to files and properties, except the following kinds which it does not support:

  • copies and moves
  • creating and deleting directories

Shelves created by Shelving-v2 are stored under <WC>/.svn/experimental/shelves/v2.


Shelving-v3, first introduced in 1.12, can handle more kinds of changes than Shelving-v2. In particular, it supports shelving of all committable changes. However, it performs much more slowly than Shelving-v2 and uses more disk space, especially when used with large working copies.

This version of shelving represents a series of significant refactorings under the hood to eventually support better shelving, commit checkpointing, and the possibility of future client-side features for manipulating and sharing committable changes.

Shelves created by Shelving-v3 are stored under <WC>/.svn/experimental/shelves/v3.

Upgrading 1.10–1.13 shelves to 1.14

The presence in the working copy of any shelves created by Subversion 1.10 has no effect on a Subversion 1.14 client. Subversion 1.14 will ignore them; it cannot interoperate with them nor even list their presence.

The svn upgrade command has no effect on shelves, as the working copy format is formally unchanged.

To recover a shelf created by 1.10, either

  • use a 1.10 client to find and unshelve it, or
  • as 1.10 shelves are stored as patch files under <WC>/.svn/shelves/, find the patch file and use any 1.10–1.14 or later svn patch to apply it.

To access shelves created by 1.11, first select Shelving-v2 by setting the environment variable SVN_EXPERIMENTAL_COMMANDS=shelf2.

To access shelves created by 1.12–1.13, first select Shelving-v3 by setting the environment variable SVN_EXPERIMENTAL_COMMANDS=shelf3.

Commit checkpointing (experimental)

This change was first introduced in 1.11.

Since 1.11, Subversion provides an experimental first cut at solving some of the use cases envisioned in issue #3626 named "Commit checkpointing".

It provides the ability to save a snapshot of an uncommitted change from time to time, and later restore one of those previous versions of your change back into the working copy.

It does not provide the kind of exact WC state roll back that is also discussed in that issue, that could make it possible after a messy update to roll back to the exact WC state that existed just before. This remains a future possibility.

The ability to checkpoint and roll back an uncommitted change is provided within the shelving feature, by letting a shelf hold multiple versions of your change. Therefore, see also Shelving.

The main checkpointing operations are accomplished by the following commands, as also listed in the Wiki page:

Save a checkpoint and continue svn x-shelf-save foo copy the local changes into a new version of shelf 'foo';
doesn't revert the changes from the WC
Save a checkpoint and shelve svn x-shelve foo move the local changes into a new version of shelf 'foo'
and revert the changes from the WC
Restore / roll back first revert your unwanted changes; then
svn x-unshelve foo 3
apply version 3 of shelf 'foo' to the WC
and delete any newer versions
Review checkpoints svn x-shelf-log foo list all the versions of shelf 'foo'
svn x-shelf-diff foo 3 show version 3 as a diff

Further information can be found in the Subversion Wiki under Shelving and Checkpointing, including internal design and development notes.

Viewspec output command (experimental) (issue #4753)

This change was first introduced in 1.11.

There is an experimental command to write out a view spec describing the current WC shape.

A view spec describes whether each subtree is at a limited depth, excluded, switched to a different URL, or updated to a different revision number, compared with its parent directory. This information is sometimes referred to as the shape or the layout of a WC.

'svn info --x-viewspec=classic' writes in the format used by the old script tools/client-side/svn-viewspec.py.

'svn info --x-viewspec=svn11' writes a series of 'svn' command lines. You can create a new WC of the same layout by running these commands.

Known Issues in the Release

There are some known issues in the Subversion 1.14 releases. These may be fixed in later 1.14.x releases.

Python 3 support is incomplete

Some Python scripts that are included in Subversion's release distribution do not support Python 3 yet.

For an exhaustive list of all Python scripts and files that use Python, categorized by their Python 3 support status as of the 1.14.0 release, see Subversion's Python 3 Support Status wiki page.

The latest version of that page reflects changes made after the release, which may be included in future releases.

The build system prefers Python 2 to Python 3

Although Python is not required for building Subversion, it is required for running the test suite, and therefore, on Unix-like systems, Subversion's build system looks for a Python executable.

The build system checks the environment variables $PYTHON, $PYTHON2, and $PYTHON3 in this order, followed by the command names python, python2, and python3 (in $PATH) in this order. The first of these that is an executable implementing Python version 2.7 or greater is used.

Since support for Python 2.7 is being phased out, we expect to change this to prefer Python 3 to Python 2.7 in a 1.14.x patch release. When we do, we will mention the change in the CHANGES file and update this section of the release notes.

This affects both tarball builds (using configure) and working copy builds (using autogen.sh). The release rolling scripts are also affected.

As a workaround, the environment variable PYTHON may be set to the full path of a Python 3 executable prior to running configure (or autogen.sh, if you build from a working copy).

Test suite broken when run with Python 3 on Windows

As of 1.14.0, Subversion's test suite does not run correctly with Python 3 on Windows due to differences in the way that Python 2.7 and Python 3 handle End-Of-Line (EOL) conversions, special characters in pathnames, escaping of backslashes used in Windows pathnames, and handling of UTF-8 character sequences.

Most of these issues are corrected in 1.14.1. See r1876707, r1876734, r1877318, r1877712, r1878141, r1878142, r1878143, and r1878144.

Cannot redirect test suite output to a log file with Python 3.6 or later on Windows

This issue affects Subversion 1.14.0 on Windows when using Python 3.6 or later due to changes in Python's handling of os.dup2().

When using win-tests.py to run Subversion's unit tests on Windows and redirecting the output to a log file, the following errors may occur:

Testing Release configuration on local repository.
[1/1] authz_tests.pyTraceback (most recent call last):
  File "win-tests.py", line 1126, in 
    failed = th.run(tests_to_run)
  File "build\run_tests.py",
line 590, in run
    failed = self._run_local_schedulers(testlist)
  File "build\run_tests.py",
line 536, in _run_local_schedulers
    failed = self._run_test(testcase, count, testcount) or failed
  File "build\run_tests.py",
line 947, in _run_test
    failed = testcase(progabs, progdir, progbase, test_nums, dots_needed)
  File "build\run_tests.py",
line 853, in _run_py_test
OSError: [WinError 6] The handle is invalid
Exception ignored in: <_io.TextIOWrapper name='' mode='w'
OSError: [WinError 6] The handle is invalid

Two workarounds are available:

  • Define the PYTHONLEGACYWINDOWSSTDIO environment variable as described in this Stack Overflow question, or:
  • Pass the --log-to-stdout switch to win-tests.py.

This issue is fixed as of Subversion 1.14.1. See r1883337.

Installed SWIG prevents building Subversion's Python 3 bindings

When building Subversion from a 1.14.0 distribution tarball, you may not be able to build Subversion's language bindings for Python 3 if configure detects an unsuitable version of SWIG on your system. This is a bug because the sources generated by SWIG for Python 3 bindings are included with the release.

For this situation, a workaround is available as of 1.14.1: pass the --without-swig option to configure.

See r1876662.

The workaround does not apply in the following situations:

  • building Subversion from sources checked out from the repository, where the SWIG-generated files are not included
  • building Subversion's SWIG bindings for Python 2.x, in which case SWIG is needed to regenerate the language bindings because the included ones target Python 3

In these cases, you will need a suitable version of SWIG:

  • To target Python 2: SWIG 2.0.0 through 3.x. (Note that configure will allow SWIG 1.3.24 through 3.x, but SWIG 4.0.0 or later are not supported for Python 2.)
  • To target Python 3: SWIG 3.0.10 or later.

This issue is fixed as of Subversion 1.14.3, and --with-swig and --without-swig for the configure script in the Subversion release tarballs are not supported any more. See r1878379, r1883719, r1883722, and r1884610.

Ruby bindings require swig 3.0.9

This change was first introduced in 1.11.

This section only affects those who build Subversion from a working copy. If you build Subversion from a tarball or zip file, you may skip this section.

The Ruby bindings are known not to build with swig version 3.0.8 (and only that version) due to swig issue #602. We recommend to use swig 3.0.9 or newer.

The failure is detected by the test suite. To test whether your version of swig is affected, run make check-swig-rb. (Some distros might have backported the swig patch into their swig-3.0.8 packages.)

The Perl and Python bindings are not affected.

JavaHL crash

Subversion 1.14.0 and earlier may crash when using the JavaHL bindings.

A crash is known to manifest when Subversion is built with GCC 10. The failure is detected by the test suite. This issue is fixed as of 1.14.1. See r1880886.

A crash is known to occur when using JDK14. The failure is detected by the test suite. This issue is fixed as of 1.14.1. See r1882115.

Several potential crashes in JavaHL TunnelAgent are known which are related to exception handling cleanup and garbage-collected Java objects. As of 1.14.1, new regression tests are introduced to detect these failures and the issues have been fixed. See r1886029.

Merge may fail when removing a folder

Subversion 1.14.0 and earlier could fail to perform a merge that removes a folder that has non-inheritable mergeinfo. The merge would fail with:

svn: E155023: Can't set properties on '...': invalid status for updating properties
(See issue #4859.)

This issue is fixed as of Subversion 1.14.1. See r1878997, r1879192, r1879474, and r1879959.

Incorrect file sizes shown with svn list command

The svn list --verbose --human-readable command (svn ls -vH) shows file sizes with base-2 unit suffixes (Byte, Kilobyte, Megabyte, Gigabyte, etc.), limiting the number of digits to three or less.

In Subversion 1.14.0 and earlier, this command may produce incorrect output for certain file sizes. If built in Debug mode, the Subversion client may abort with an assertion failure:

    svn: subversion/svn/filesize.c:93: format_size: Assertion `absolute_human_readable_size < 1000.0' failed.

This issue is fixed as of Subversion 1.14.1. See r1878909, r1878918, and r1878950.

Path-based authorization doesn't combine global and per-repository rules

Subversion 1.10.0 through 1.14.0 did not combine global and per-repository path-based authorization (authz) rules: if a global rule and a per-repository rule were both present for a path, the global rule would be ignored and the per-repository rule would apply by itself.

This issue is fixed as of 1.14.1. See Issue #4762 and r1882326.

See the section Path-based authorization compatibility for compatibility notes relating to this change.

SQLite error when upgrading a SVN 1.7 working copy

Upgrading a Subversion 1.7 working copy could fail with a SQLite error under specific circumstances:

This could occur in Subversion 1.14.0 or older, if built with SQLite 3.29 or newer, and if SQLite is built without deprecated support for double-quoted string literals.

This issue is fixed in Subversion 1.14.1.

See r1879198.

Other issues

This section lists minor issues that do not fit well elsewhere.

C90 compatibility fixes

In 1.14.0, several variable declarations in mid-block were reported to prevent building Subversion with VC9 (Visual Studio 2008). This issue is fixed as of 1.14.1. See r1877259.

Restored support for building with APR 1.4

Subversion 1.14.0 increased the minimum required version of APR to 1.5. By request to support building Subversion on older operating system distributions such as CentOS 7, Subversion 1.14.1 restores support for building with APR 1.4 or newer. See r1881958 and r1882128.

Error building with SQLite 3.36

Building Subversion with SQLite 3.36 on Unix-like systems may fail with an undefined reference to unixFcntlExternalReader:

/usr/bin/ld: .libs/sqlite3wrapper.o: in function `unixFileControl':
subversion-1.14.1/sqlite-amalgamation/sqlite3.c:38131: undefined reference to `unixFcntlExternalReader'
collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status
make: *** [build-outputs.mk:530: subversion/libsvn_subr/libsvn_subr-1.la] Error 1

This appears to be caused by a bug in SQLite 3.36 only. Subversion builds successfully with other versions of SQLite, such as SQLite 3.35 and 3.37.

Support and Release Planning

Subversion 1.14.x is a Long-Term Support (LTS) Release

1.14 is a Long-Term Support (LTS) release. See Supported Versions and How We Plan Releases.

Subversion 1.13.x is end of life

The Subversion 1.13.x line is end of life (EOL). This doesn't mean that your 1.13 installation is doomed; if it works well and is all you need, that's fine. "End of life" just means we've stopped accepting bug reports against 1.13.x versions, and will not make any more 1.13.x releases.

Subversion 1.10.x is now the old stable version

The Subversion 1.10.x line is now the old stable version. This means that 1.10.x will still receive security relevant fixes as well as bugfixes. While we will evaluate any bugreport with regards to its severity, there might be issues with a lower severity which will only get fixed in 1.14.x, particularly if the patches would be invasive, destabilizing, and/or require a significant investment to get backported to the old stable version.

Therefore, if you are running into an issue with the old stable version which has already been fixed in the latest version, we might ask you to upgrade to that version to resolve the issue.

Subversion 1.9.x is end of life

The Subversion 1.9.x line is end of life (EOL). This doesn't mean that your 1.9 installation is doomed; if it works well and is all you need, that's fine. "End of life" just means we've stopped accepting bug reports against 1.9.x versions, and will not make any more 1.9.x releases.

Enthusiastic Contributors Welcome!

You can contribute to Subversion!

As Subversion is an open source project developed and supported by volunteers, we are always happy to welcome enthusiastic participants to the community.

Whether you'd like to see support for additional versions of Python, want to help finish Shelving and Checkpointing, or have ideas for some big new features, if you're willing to invest the effort, Subversion can be anything you imagine.

Join the conversation by email: For our mailing lists, see https://subversion.apache.org/mailing-lists.html

Or by IRC at irc.libera.chat:

Get the source:

Join us today!