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SVN: Restricting Access

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SVN:    Introduction | Installing | Portable Cient | RapidSVN Basics | Restricting Access

 

MPG

Contents

Uniform Server 5.0-Nano.
Subversion (SVN)

Restring Access

With the current configuration putting SVN on-line means anyone can access and modify your subversion repositories. In terms of data loss this is not an issue, all modification to a repository are captured and can be reverted.

That said it’s a good idea to restrict access to individuals who are allowed to commit to a repository. Your project data may be particularly sensitive in this scenario restrict access and encrypt all transaction.

This page covers the above scenarios.

Password file

First requirement is to create a password file containing a list of names and passwords for all users allowed access to repositories.

UniServer has a simple convention all password files are contained in folder UniServer\htpasswd this contains sub-folders that match the path to the folder being protected.

Finally inside this folder is the password file .htpasswd.

  • Create the folder C:\a_svn\UniServer\htpasswd\svn
  • Copy an existing .htpasswd password file to the above folder. Windows is a pain if a file has no name!  
  • Edit the file copied. Add name and passwords pairs accordingly, example on right:
  mike:root  
  john:123
  fred:pas123  

Note: All the following examples use this file.

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Basic Authentication

Basic authentication is very easy to set-up, its not indented to be secure but more of a deterrent to prevent casual users modifying repositories. This basic configuration will be secured later using SSL.

Note: Passwords and data can be sniffed and access gained.

Apache configuration

Edit file C:\a_svn\UniServer\usr\local\apache2\conf\httpd.conf Add the four lines as shown to the location block.

<location /svn>
 DAV svn
 SVNListParentPath on
 SVNParentPath C:/a_svn/UniServer/svn

 AuthType Basic
 AuthName "Subversion repositories"
 AuthUserFile C:/a_svn/UniServer/htpasswd/svn/.htpasswd
 Require valid-user
</location>
  • AuthType Basic - Type of authentication is basic
  • AuthName - Name displayed a browsers challenge pop-up box
  • AuthUserFile - Path to the password file
  • Require valid-user - Informs Apache all users must supply a name and password.

Test 1

Browser:

  • Restart servers
  • Type into browser
    • Either http://localhost/svn/
    • Or http://localhost/svn/myproject/
  • Challenged for a name and password.
    • Enter one of the name/password pairs in the above list
  • You can now browse the repository

  

Client:

  • Restart servers
  • Start PortableRapidSVN (C:\a_svn\UniServer\svn_portable\PortableRapidSVN.exe)
  • In bookmarks click on http://localhost/svn/myproject
  • Challenged for a name and password.
    • Enter one of the name/password pairs in the above list
  • You can now browse the repository
  • Or commit any changes

Note: All repositories are protected.

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Basic Authentication - Less Draconian

The above is draconian, only authorised users can view the repository. Generally for an open source project you want users to have the ability to brows a repository and download working copies. Only developers have the additional capability to commit (write) to a repository.

Selectively target

Replace the above line Require valid-user with this block of code. The line has been wrapped within a LimitExcept directive. This targets any requests other than a read and forces authentication.

# For any operations other than these, require an authenticated user.
# Hence this block limits write permission to list of valid users.
<LimitExcept GET PROPFIND OPTIONS REPORT>
Require valid-user
</LimitExcept>

Edit file C:\a_svn\UniServer\usr\local\apache2\conf\httpd.conf and add the above as shown below:

<location /svn>
 DAV svn
 SVNListParentPath on
 SVNParentPath C:/a_svn/UniServer/svn

 AuthType Basic
 AuthName "Subversion repositories"
 AuthUserFile C:/a_svn/UniServer/htpasswd/svn/.htpasswd

# For any operations other than these, require an authenticated user.
# Hence this block limits write permission to list of valid users.
<LimitExcept GET PROPFIND OPTIONS REPORT>
Require valid-user
</LimitExcept>

</location>
  • AuthType Basic - Type of authentication is basic
  • AuthName - Name displayed a browsers challenge pop-up box
  • AuthUserFile - Path to the password file


  • <LimitExcept></LimitExcept> Separate Require valid-user and target write requests.
  • Require valid-user - Informs Apache all users must supply a name and password.

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Test 2

Browser:

  • Restart servers
  • Type into browser
    • Either http://localhost/svn/
    • Or http://localhost/svn/myproject/
  • User can brows repository.

  

Client:

  • Restart servers
  • Start PortableRapidSVN (C:\a_svn\UniServer\svn_portable\PortableRapidSVN.exe)
  • In bookmarks click on http://localhost/svn/myproject
  • Can browse repository and create a new working copy.
  • Make a change in the working copy and commit
  • Will be challenged for a name and password.
    • Enter one of the name/password pairs in the above list
  • After initial authorisation you will not be challenged again during this connection..

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Basic Authentication + SSL

I have show how easy it is to set-up basic authentication and securing this with SSL is just as easy, only requires the addition of a single.

Sounds to good to be true! Well yes because you do require a server certificate. If you have not already created a server certificate do so now as follows:

  • Left or right mouse click on UniTray Icon
  • Mouse-over Advanced and click Server Certificate and key Generator
  • Press enter at all prompts to accept the default values.
  • Restart servers.

Apache configuration

Edit file C:\a_svn\UniServer\usr\local\apache2\conf\httpd.conf Add add single line as shown:

<location /svn>
 DAV svn
 SVNListParentPath on
 SVNParentPath C:/a_svn/UniServer/svn

 AuthType Basic
 AuthName "Subversion repositories"
 AuthUserFile C:/a_svn/UniServer/htpasswd/svn/.htpasswd
 SSLRequireSSL
 Require valid-user
</location>
  • AuthType Basic - Type of authentication is basic
  • AuthName - Name displayed a browsers challenge pop-up box
  • AuthUserFile - Path to the password file
  • SSLRequireSSL - Informs Apache connection must be over a secure link using SSL
  • Require valid-user - Informs Apache all users must supply a name and password.

Test 3

Browser:

  • Restart servers
  • Type into browser
    • Either https://localhost/svn/
    • Or https://localhost/svn/myproject/
  • Challenged for a name and password.
    • Enter one of the name/password pairs in the above list
  • You can now browse the repository

  

Client:

  • Restart servers
  • Start PortableRapidSVN (C:\a_svn\UniServer\svn_portable\PortableRapidSVN.exe)
  • Select Bookmarks > Add Existing Repository enter https://localhost/svn/myproject
  • Challenged for a name and password.
    • Enter one of the name/password pairs in the above list
  • You can now browse the repository
  • Or commit any changes

Note 1: All repositories are protected.

Note 2: Remember to use https

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Basic Authentication - Less Draconian + SSL

Similar to the above only this time no need to create a server certificate (assumes you aready creadted one see above). We take the less-draconian solution and add a single line as show blow:

Edit file C:\a_svn\UniServer\usr\local\apache2\conf\httpd.conf and add the above as shown below:

<location /svn>
 DAV svn
 SVNListParentPath on
 SVNParentPath C:/a_svn/UniServer/svn

 AuthType Basic
 AuthName "Subversion repositories"
 AuthUserFile C:/a_svn/UniServer/htpasswd/svn/.htpasswd

# For any operations other than these, require an authenticated user.
# Hence this block limits write permission to list of valid users.
<LimitExcept GET PROPFIND OPTIONS REPORT>
SSLRequireSSL
Require valid-user
</LimitExcept>

</location>
  • AuthType Basic - Type of authentication is basic
  • AuthName - Name displayed a browsers challenge pop-up box
  • AuthUserFile - Path to the password file


  • <LimitExcept></LimitExcept> Separate Require valid-user and target write requests.
  • SSLRequireSSL - Informs Apache connection must be over a secure link using SSL
  • Require valid-user - Informs Apache all users must supply a name and password.

Top

Test 4

Browser:

  • Restart servers
  • Type into browser
    • Either https://localhost/svn/
    • Or https://localhost/svn/myproject/
  • User can brows repository.

  

Client:

  • Restart servers
  • Start PortableRapidSVN (C:\a_svn\UniServer\svn_portable\PortableRapidSVN.exe)
  • In bookmarks click on https://localhost/svn/myproject
  • Can browse repository and create a new working copy.
  • Make a change in the working copy and commit
  • Will be challenged for a name and password.
    • Enter one of the name/password pairs in the above list
  • After initial authorisation you will not be challenged again during this connection..

Summary

On this page I have shown restricting access to repositories is not difficult. Securing using SSL is just as easy requiring only a single line.

You can employ more selective authorisation although I have not covered this at least you have a working base to work from.

Basic authentication with SSL encryption is more than adequate for small teams and personal use.

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Related links

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Conclusion

This tutorial has covered installing Subversion (SVN) on UniServer 5.0-Nano cumulating in a portable version. Once copied to a USB memory stick remember to set the new paths in RapidSVN. Being a complete package it allows you to explore the whole process of version control. Once you have created a working server back it up. Use a copy to explore should you break it just delete the files and start again from a new copy of your back up.

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