Installing subversion on a DroboFS

DroboFSBefore I had my DroboFS I was using my local MSI Wind Desktop for my subversion repositories, but after some reading I found that you could install subversion on the DroboFS. The idea of having all of my repos on the DroboFS seems to be a great idea, after all its redundant while my server is not.
The README that comes with the subversion install for the DroboFS lacks a lot of detail for getting it up and running properly. I thought I detail my install process to hopefully help others get it up and running with little to no troubles.

First make sure to create a new share on your Drobo from the Drobo Dashboard. The subversion install requires that the share name begins with “svn” or “subversion“, I named mine svnrepos. Save the share and make sure its there before you install the subversion DroboApp else you will have to remove the app and reinstall it.

Next you need to download subversion for the Drobo from the following URL:

Copy the subversion app to the DroboApps folder on your DroboFS.
Install the app by either restarting the Drobo or connecting in via SSH and issuing the following command

/usr/bin/ install

Now that its installed change to the following directory


Create a new subversion repository with the following command, swapping out REPONAME for the new repo you are creating.

./svnadmin create /mnt/DroboFS/Shares/svnrepos/REPONAME

Now you need to setup the access levels for the repo that you just created. My DroboFS and repos are behind my firewall and only accessible from the LAN, so I used the simple setup that is shown below. I am sure there are many other ways to get this setup but for me this worked. Change into the following directory


Now you need to edit the the svnserve.conf file. Simply uncomment the following lines and save the file

anon-access = read
auth-access = write
password-db = passwd

Now you have to edit the passwd file which will hold the allowed users to this repo and their password. The format is really simple as shown below, save the file when done


Now to create the initial directories and the first import before connecting to the repo with your subversion client. I created a generic project folder with the basic, trunk, tags, and branches folder. You will only have to create the structure the first time through every other project you can just run the initial import

mkdir -p projects/{trunk,tags,branches}
./bin/svn import project file:///mnt/DroboFS/Shares/svnrepos/REPONAME -m "Inital Import"

And thats all you have to do to get subversion installed, configured and ready to connect on your DroboFS. Now you can fire up your subversion client of choice (I use on my Macbook) and setup the connection with the username and password and connect to the IP address of your DroboFS.

6 thoughts on “Installing subversion on a DroboFS”

  1. Do you know if this SVN for Drobo should work on a Drobo 5N? I have been trying to set it up with no luck and do not know if it is supposed to work at all.

      • Thanks Shelby. It does allow it but it is done through the Drobo’s Dashboard, what, according to Drobo’s cust. serv, is “done in a different way than it used to be in FS” (since I never dealt with the FS…) and that “not all FS apps will necessarily work on the 5N” as well as “Drobo does not offer support to third party apps”…
        I did follow the instructions but in the Dashboard the app appears as “status unknown” and nothing seems to work…
        I am trying to run SVN on the 5N but all (other) SVN apps do not allow locating the depositories in a network disk… and still stuck with Adobe’s VersionCue 3 in a 3Tb USB HD and having my Drobo 5N used as a “dumb” TimeMachine for the VC depositories… sad!

  2. Nice tutorial, however, I am getting error “210005 No repository found” everytime when I try to svn connect. I am able to telnet 3690 no problem and that i double checked if svnserve was running and it is running.

    Any suggestion why I can not find repository?


      • Hey Shelby, Thanks for the quick response! I just wanted to give you an head up, that theres in fact nothing wrong with your tutorial.

        As I mentioned on the forum drobospace

        After working on it for a bit few hours lol but I discovered that If I command line “killall svnserve”. Then, manually start svnserve by command

        (in subversion folder)
        ./bin/svnserve -d -r /mnt/DroboFS/Shares/svnrepos/

        And it worked! So, I think it might be to do something with auto start up with wrong commands however I dont know anything about DroboApps Development. I might be wrong although. Might be something else but I don tknow what else reason could it be.

        But this is the workaround I have found so far as that wouldn’t be rebooting drobo that much.

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