Introduction to SVKEdit

Creating a new depot

svk depotmap --init

Creates a default depot at:


Mirroring a remote repository

An SVK mirror is more than just a static mirror (a copy) of a remote repository. It is dynamic in the same way that a real, physical mirror is; that is it "reflects" any changes you check in to it back to the remote repository.

svk mirror svn+ssh:// //mirrors/project_name


svk sync //mirrors/project_name


svk sync --all

You can list local mirrors as follows:

svk mirror --list

For a real-world example of remote repository mirroring see "Mirroring the Growl repository with SVK".

Checking out

From the mirror (like checking out from the central Subversion repository):

svk co //mirrors/project_name/trunk

From the local branch (see below):

svk co //local/project_name/trunk

Telling SVK to forget about a working copy:

svk co --detach

Telling SVK to forget about all working copies that no longer exist:

svk co --purge

Telling SVK about a moved working copy:

svk co --relocate DEPOTPATH|PATH PATH

Getting a list of all existing, known working copies:

svk co --list

Creating a branch

A branch which will be visible in the main repository:

svk cp //mirrors/project_name/trunk //mirrors/project_name/branches/foobar

A local-only branch:

svk cp //mirrors/project_name/trunk //local/project_name/foobar

For more examples see "Branching" and "Microbranching".

Setting up default merge editor

For example, on Mac OS X, you could add the following to your ~/.bash_profile:

export SVKMERGE=FileMerge

Other environment variables and their effects are described on running:

svk help environment

Replacing svn:externals dependencies

Typical work cycle

Using SVK like Subversion

Update local mirror:

svk sync

Update working copy:

svk up

Or both updates in a single step:

svk up -s

Or checking for conflicts (not actually updating):

svk up -C

Using SVK to maintain local-only branches

Pushing changes to another repository (pushing changes back to the branch which was originally copied to create the new branch):

svk push [DEPOTPATH | PATH]

Get changes from another repository (pulling changes into the branch from the branch which was originally copied to create the new branch):

svk pull [PATH...]
svk pull DEPOTPATH

Until you become familiar with the way push and pull work it is highly recommended that you use the -C (--check-only) switch to preview the results before proceeding.

See this mailing list thread for some very helpful clarification on the way push and pull work. Specifically:

  • Working on an SVK mirror is identical to working directly with the remote repository (apart from the extra layer of indirection) so you don’t need to use push and pull at all’ in that case.
  • svk push BRANCH merges all changes from BRANCH back into the stream that BRANCH came from.
  • svk pull is the reverse of svk push; in other words, it pulls all changes from the stream that the branch came from.

Consequently, if you check out a local working copy of a branch and then use push all of the changes made to the branch will be merged back onto the trunk (or wherever the branch originated). This may not be what you want. Here is another mailing list thread describing the unexpected merging that can take place as the result of push/pull if you don’t understand the way it works.

If you want to use push and pull without hitting the actual trunk you must create a local branch (using svk cp) from the mirrored remote branch. Then push and pull will only affect/interoperate with the mirrored remote branch (not the trunk).

See also