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From Ryan Schmidt <>
Subject Re: software distribution with subversion
Date Fri, 01 Feb 2013 02:13:39 GMT

On Jan 31, 2013, at 20:05, Jason Keltz wrote:

> On 31/01/2013 6:06 PM, Bob Archer wrote:
>> What you need to do could work. I assume this "software" in order to run can build
built or whatever during your nightly update on each client?
>> You keep saying "rsyncing" ... you wouldn't use that. You wouldn't use that of course,
you would use the svn client binary.
> Actually, maybe I wasn't clear..
> The software includes various packages like say, Matlab, or Maple, or whatever else,
already installed...  imagine a directory on the fileserver.. say, /local/software which includes
"bin", "lib", etc...    I'm not "installing" the software.   it's already been installed..
 I'm just syncing a directory between machines..
> As for rsyncing.. I would rsync the software from the "file server" to the "software
distribution" server, and then use svn from there to check in all the changes.
>> For you initial load... if the software is on the server where you will house your
repository you can just import the data into the repository from that file... there is no
need to send the data twice. In other words, you can have both a working copy and a repository
on your central server.
> Yes.  Initially I would do an import, but the problem is... the next day, the software
gets updated on the "real" file server... say, new version of Matlab or something...  in the
evening, I want the process to run that would rsync the data (with all the changes) from the
file server to the software distribution server,  do something to commit the changes, then
the 100 clients would eventually each "svn update".     However, to be able to commit the
changes, I need to have a working copy on the software distribution server....
>>> However, after the rsync happens, I now need to run a command that would
>>> update the repository with the state of the working directory.  However, it's
>>> exactly clear how this would work?  Running an "svn update"
>> "svn update" brings any changes in the repository to your working copy. "svn commit"
does the opposite... it puts any changes in a working directory into the repository.
> See, this is where I'm confused... I created a few directories including "bin" and "pkg"
for a test.  All committed fine... erased them from the working copy, did a commit then a
status and I see:
> !       bin
> !       pkg
> but when I go into a different directory and check out the current state..
> A    pkg
> A    bin
> Checked out revision 2.
> they're still there...

Correct. Subversion does not track your movements. You must tell Subversion what you are moving
and deleting by doing the moves and deletes using "svn mv" and "svn rm", not using regular
OS commands.

>> Hth...
>> That said, if this is actual software, wouldn't using one of the many package management
tools available in Linux be a better fit?
> The thing is, I'm moving around already installed software, and there's nothing that
great, as far as I can see, for doing that. The twitter guys are using something they wrote
called "murder" which uses torrent to do this kind of thing...  excellent idea, but it uses
Ruby and several other tools ...   and I don't want to get into that at the moment...

Subversion is not going to be a satisfactory solution for this use case. Besides all the issues
you're describing with setting up the server-side infrastructure for this, and as was already
mentioned, when you check out a working copy of this on your clients, there will be a "duplicate"
pristine copy of everything. So if you have 60GB of software, it'll take up 120GB of space
on the client machine.

Subversion is not a software distribution tool; it is a document and revision management system.
Use a different tool. As someone else said, rsync seems like a good tool for this job; I didn't
understand why you think using rsync directly between your file server and your clients won't

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