If you are using SVN (Subversion) for configuration management then you might already be aware that some SVN has properties. A property is kind of a meta-data/attribute applied to your files and folders. These properties change the behaviour of your subversion client and the way you work with the files.

Important Properties

Some of the important properties are as under.

  1. svn:eol-style

    Using this property you make file using line ending of your files when you check it out.

    • LF - Line Feed. Linux as in Linux
    • CRLF - Carriage Return / Line Feed. As in Windows
    • native
      • If you check out on Linux, this will be LF
      • If you check out on Windows, this will be CRLF
  2. svn:executable

    This property helps so that when you checkout a file, it will have executable permissions.

  3. svn:needs-lock

    This property helps so that when you checkout a file, it will read only by default. And if you want to modify it, you need to acquire lock.

  4. For more proprities, and their description, see the SVN Book

Setting the properties

There are multiple ways to set the properties.

Via svn propset command.


2# Needs lock on just one file
3svn propset "svn:needs-lock" "*" my-file.docx
5# Needs lock on just one many files
6svn propset "svn:needs-lock" "*" *.docx *.xlsx
8# Svn executable
9svn propset "svn:executable" "*" myAwesomeScript.sh

This approaches a limitation. You need to do it every time when you add a new file. Let’s move on to another approach.

Via SVN configuration file

In the file ~/.subversion/config or %APPDATA%\Subversion\config, there is a section called [auto-props]

Just extend the [auto-props] section with the properties that you want to set automatically.

3*.sh = svn:eol-style=LF;svn:executable

So now when you add and commit a new shell script, the new file will have executable properties, and the file will always end with LF.

This approach has one limitation. If you work on multiple computers then you have to do it on all to computer said you work on. If you collaborate in a team then your colleagues may also have to follow the same process.

Set Auto properties

Subversion 1.8 and later adds this picture. You just said the property at the directory level.

 1$ svn propset svn:auto-props '
 2### src
 3*.css = svn:eol-style=LF
 4*.html = svn:eol-style=LF
 5*.js = svn:eol-style=LF
 6*.json = svn:eol-style=LF
 7*.svg = svn:eol-style=LF
 8*.xml = svn:eol-style=LF
 9*LICENSE* = svn:eol-style=LF
10' .  -R
12svn commit -m "Added auto props"

With this trick, if anyone adds a new file with the listed extensions they will get the properties that we have listed. auto-props is a property that we apply to a directory. Any files are we add to this directory would inherit these properties.