Create a local SVN repository for your design files in 1 minute

Published September 23rd, 2009 by Anatoly

Did you know that you can set up a Subversion repository on your machine for your personal use in 1 minute? This post will help you create your own SVN repository on your hard drive.

Subversion repository is the central storage of all your versioned files, and it’s the main thing that you need to start using Subversion for your design work. If you are familiar with SVN you might have already used some existing repositories.

However, it is really easy to create your own repository on your hard drive, and there are certain advantages to it.

  • It doesn’t cost you a penny - you don’t need to pay monthly subscription fees for online storage
  • You have the full control over access to the repository - since repository is just a folder on you machine you know exactly who has access to it
  • You are fully in control over the back ups - you will have to backup the repository yourself, and if you do it properly (i.e. regularly and fully) then you can be sure that your files are safe and secure.

So if you decide to keep all your files to yourself, here is a step-by-step guide on how to create a repository.

IMPORTANT: The repositories created using the instructions below should only be accessed from one machine, i.e. they should never be accessed from other computers in your network in a shared mode! Using a local repository in a shared mode may result in the repository being corrupted. If you need to share a repository between multiple machines you will need to set up access to the repository via an Apache server or use an online repository.

We will start with the instructions for Mac OS. If you have a Windows machine please jump here

Instructions for Mac OS

1) First you will need some command line SVN client. On Mac OS X you can use the official ColabNet binaries. Download the DMG file and start the installation package inside:
Installing Subversion command line client on Mac

2) Once you have installed your command line SVN client, open up Terminal.app.
If your SVN installation was successful you should be able to start typing SVN commands. To check type

/opt/subversion/bin/svnadmin

You should see

Type 'svnadmin help' for usage.

3) Next you will need to choose where your SVN repository will reside. Let’s say we will save our repository into /work/design_repo
So we type the command to create a repository at this location:

/opt/subversion/bin/svnadmin create /work/design_repo/

Now you have a repository at the specified path. If you are curious you can take a look at the subfolders created inside the repository folder, but please don’t modify anything manually as this would corrupt the data format.

4) If you already have the Standalone version of Timeline, you can start Timeline Project assistant from the Timeline menu:
Invoking Timeline menu on Mac
If you don’t have the Standalone version you can download it from http://pixelnovel.com/timeline/download/

In Timeline Project Assistant select “Connect to local repository”, then press the Browse button and go to select the folder where you have created your repository:
Connecting to a local repository on Mac
Press next and then select “Create a new project”. Choose a folder where you have the .psd files related to your project and type the name for your project.
Now you can open any of the project files in Photoshop and press “Submit” in the Timeline panel - the current version of this file will be saved in the local repository.

Instructions for Windows

1) First you will need some command line SVN client. For Windows you can use the official Tigris binaries. Download and run the setup wizard:
Installing Subversion command line client on Windows

2) Once you have your command line SVN client, open up the command line prompt. To start the command line prompt on Windows XP, go to the start menu, then select Run and type cmd. On Vista or Windows 7, go to your desktop or any other folder, then hold down the “Shift” key and do a right-click and select “Open Command Window Here” from the menu.
If your SVN installation was successful you should be able to start typing SVN commands. To check type

svnadmin

You should see

Type 'svnadmin help' for usage.

3) Next you will need to choose where your SVN repository will reside. Let’s say we will save our repository into c:/work/design_repo. So we type the command to create a repository at this location:

svnadmin create c:/work/design_repo

Now you have a repository at the specified path. If you are curious you can take a look at the subfolders created inse the repository folder, but please don’t modify anything manually as this would corrupt the data format.

4) If you already have the Standalone version of Timeline, you can start Timeline Project assistant (either from the Start Menu->Programs->PixelNovel->Timeline Project Assistant or from the Timeline menu):
Invoking Timeline menu on Windows
If you don’t have the Standalone version you can download it from http://pixelnovel.com/timeline/download/

In Timeline Assistant select “Connect to local repository”, then press the Browse button and select the folder where you have created your repository:
Connecting to a local repository on Windows
Press Next and then select “Create a new project”. Choose a folder where you have the .psd files related to your project and type the name for your project.
Now you can open any of the project files in Photoshop and press “Submit” in the Timeline panel - the current version of this file will be saved in the local repository.

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