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From Eric Johnson <>
Subject Re: How to control access of a subversion repo subfolder via AD groups
Date Wed, 09 Jul 2014 21:33:57 GMT
I'll add that where we've deployed Subversion access controls, we use
mod_authz_svn, and generate its contents from other sources. Not that hard
to scan AD, and generate group information that can be stuffed into the
access file.


On Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 12:56 PM, Ben Reser <> wrote:

> On 7/7/14 3:56 AM, Ankush Grover wrote:
> > I am trying to setup Subversion authentication through Active Directory
> > authentication and authorization through Active Directory
> groups.Everything is
> > working fine but the issue I am facing is when I want to restrict access
> to
> > subdirectorys of a subversion repository. For ex: there is a repo with a
> name
> > "ankushtest" and it has a subdirectory "test", now I want some users
> which are
> > in AD group to be able to read or commit to subdirectory "test" only.
> This
> > access is working fine through SVN clients like Tortoise etc.. but when
> I try
> > to open the same on a browser, the user which has access only to
> subdirectory
> > "test" is able to see the all the directorys or files under repo
> "ankushtest".
> > How this is working is like that, if a user types the complete url for
> the
> > "test" directory like" then
> browser
> > is showing the all the files & directorys of a repo.
> >  In the Apache logs I see the below warning whenever I click on the url
> >" and this test directory on
> the
> > browser shows all the files & directorys whereas this directory has only
> 1 file
> > and a sub-directory in it.
> >
> > Mon Jul 07 14:21:47 2014] [warn] mod_dav_svn: nested Location
> > '/src/ankushtest/test' hinders access to 'test1' in SVNPath Location
> > '/src/ankushtest'
> You should only have a single Location block for your repository.  That
> warning
> message is telling you as much.  When you use multiple Location blocks like
> this then the "/src/ankushtest" and the "/src/ankushtest/test" both are
> Locations that point at the root of the repository.
> The reason you're seeing this work with a Subversion client is because the
> Subversion client often accesses things under the root of the repository
> with
> opaque URLs which still go through the "/src/ankushtest" Location block
> rather
> than the "/src/ankushtest/test" Location.
> If you want to do path based access control within the repository you must
> use
> mod_authz_svn to do this.  It knows how to handle the opaque URLs and
> properly
> provide access control.  Beyond opaque URLs there are also requests that
> provide details for child paths other than just the path the request uses
> in
> the HTTP request-line, which is all that would be matched by Location.
> Setting up mod_authz_svn is generally described in the SVN Book here:
> Unfortunately, using mod_authz_svn is complicated by your desire to use AD
> groups.  The group membership that Apache httpd uses is not available to
> mod_authz_svn, this is just a limitation of the way Apache httpd
> authentication
> and authorization works.
> So in order to do what you want you need to provide the group membership
> information to mod_authz_svn separately.  This is done by adding the
> [groups]
> section to the AccessFile.  Obviously maintaining this by hand is tedious
> so
> people usually automate this.
> It's popular to use this tool to do that automation:
> Though there are also commercial products that can do this and much more
> such
> as WANDisco's Access Control product:
> I suspect there are other commercial products that can manage this for you
> as
> well though I'm not as familiar with their features (full disclosure I
> work for
> WANdisco).
> If you don't go the route of a commercial product to manage this I'd
> suggest
> that you do the following things beyond just using mod_authz_svn.
> * Include the "SVNPathAuthz short_circuit" directive in your Location
> blocks
> for SVN.  This avoids running authentication/authorization processing as
> sub-requests for paths that aren't in the request-line but that must be
> accessed to service the request.  The default uses much more expensive
> sub-requests, which while secure for any configuration are much more
> expensive.
>  Almost not configurations actually need the default setting.
> * You mention that you're using Subversion 1.7, but Subversion 1.8 adds the
> AuthzSVNGroupsFile directive that permits this group data to be in a
> separate
> file from your access configuration.  This should make it easier to
> configure.

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