Home / Short tutorial on svn propset for svn:externals property edit

Subversion has a way of including the content of one repository in another repository.

This is useful e.g. when you have a repository with common code useful in multiple projects.

Using property svn:externals you can tell subversion to fetch content of external repository into a given directory.

You set svn:externals property on an existing directory.

The value of this property is a space-separated list of: directory and repository.

Here's an example with 2 external repositories: http://svn.my.com/path/to/repo_one and http://svn.my.com/path/to/repo_two

You want repo_one in directory dir_of_repo_one and repo_two in dir_of_repo_two.

Create a text file with the value of svn:externals property.

Each list item is in it’s own line, dir name is separated from repo path by whitespace e.g.:

$ cat >svn_ext_val.txt
dir_of_repo_one http://svn.my.com/path/to/repo_one
dir_of_repo_two http://svn.my.com/path/to/repo_two

Now set the property on a directory that is already managed in subversion. In our example it’s the current directory:

svn propset svn:externals . -F svn_ext_val.txt

From now on svn update will create directory dir_of_repo_one with the content of repo_one and dir_of_repo_two with the content of repo_two.

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