backup subversion fsfs with rsync

I use Subversion for source control, and it’s great. I recently migrated my repository to use the new FSFS backing store, which stores the repository directly on the filesystem, instead of in Berkeley DB.

One of the many advantages of FSFS is that it’s very easy to backup. The repository files can be copied directly. The only tricks are to copy the db/current file first, and not to copy the transactions/ directory. I backup my repository with rsync, like so:

rsync ... /path/to/repo/db/current backup:~/repo/db
rsync ... --exclude transactions/ --exclude db/current \
          /path/to/repo backup:~/

5 thoughts on “backup subversion fsfs with rsync

  1. You really dont want to do this. You can corrupt your svn database if rsync only gets part of a tranction. A better way is to script backing up the svn repository manually

  2. Agreed about the corruption.  I would instead recommend first making a hotcopy of the working repository and then doing an rsync on that.

  3. The svn “Note: Backup” section seems to agree with this article …

    the repository will not be corrupted as you don’t copty transictions and copy current before the rest …

    “So, if you are using standard backup tools to make backups of a FSFS repository, configure the software to copy the “current” file before the numbered revision files, if possible, and configure it not to copy the “transactions” directory.  If you can’t do those things, use “svnadmin hotcopy”, or be prepared to cope with the very occasional need for repair of the repository upon restoring it from backup.”

  4. I’d like to say that I’ve been using a very similar strategy for backing up my FSFS Svn Repository (going on about 2 GB total data, 4800+ revisions).  I’ve restored this from backup, and it works fine.  No corruption issues that anyone is complaining about, even with a “live” system that I’ve TRIED to corrupt – ie making a large (~1500 files) checkin while the backup was in process.  Yes, when I restored the backup (to a third server), the latest update (the ~1.5k files) wasn’t there, but I expected that to happen.  re-synching after the update, however, did give me the files I was expecting, and the update I expected.

    Since my SVN repo is running on a windows machine, I can’t use rsync.  But I CAN use winscp’s scripting capability.  The commands are essentially the same:

    === begin winscp scriptfile ===
    option batch on
    option confirm off
    option transfer binary
    option include current
    synchronize remote c:\mytemprepo /backup/location
    option include clear
    option exclude transactions
    option exclude current
    synchronize remote c:\mytemprepo /backup/location
    === end winscp script ===
    called with: <session_id> /script=winscpscript > logfile

    Now a backup takes a whopping < 5 minutes to run (well, the first one was very long).

  5. I found this article when looking for information on backing up a repo using rsync. It took my a while to find the source of the above claim (that rsync-based backup is safe if copying “current” before the revisions). For other people’s benefit, the source is a note in SVN’s source code. The most current version of it is here:

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