Subversion 1.4 adds Keychain Support

Update: Alert! Language Police Action in the Comments! (Which, btw, I totally dig. Thanks!)

Subversion 1.4 was released recently.

Among a whole bunch of bug fixes and enhancements comes a significant new feature for Mac OS X users.

Subversion 1.4 now supports the Mac OS X Keychain. But don’t go looking for useful documentation or information in the release notes. There isn’t any. It was covered by ticket #2339 and committed as revision 17619. svn log -r17619 reveals the details of the change.

Still, no information on how to use it. And that is because it “just works”. So, how to “upgrade” my existing authentication information to use the keychain (instead of storing the passwords in clear text in ~/.subversion/auth)?

Quite easy, but not automatic. If you remember all of your repository passwords, simply delete the ~/.subversion/auth/svn.simple directory.

Svn will recreate it and populate it as necessary.

Me? I can’t remember my damned passwords, so I moved the directory aside for reference and am deleting each entry from it as I re-authenticate with 1.4.

To verify if a repository is using the keychain, have a look in the appropriate server’s file within the ~/.subversion/auth/svn.simple directory. It will be named something like dd6654cecce24382249525337a2b0a4a (grep is helpful about right now).

For servers using the keychain, you’ll see something like this:

K 8
V 8
K 15
... more stuff deleted ...

For servers using the old-school, plaintext password in an unencrypted text file, you’ll see:

K 8
V 4
K 8
V 8
... more stuff deleted ...

8 Responses to “Subversion 1.4 adds Keychain Support”

  1. pjm says:

    Please: stop the madness!

    **MYRIAD**, not “a myriad of”. It’s an adjective. (Sorry; it’s one of two misuses that make my chair spin. The other winner is “is comprised of”, instead of “comprises”. Ah well, nothing a session or two of therapy shouldn’t be able to fix…)

  2. \TeX as bob says:

    “comprises” is one of those made up tech writer terms. yes, yes, yes, i know it is really a very old word, but no one but tech writers, linquists, and political theorists use it. google or ask comprises and you’ll see what i mean. anyway, tech writers learn to use it in tech writer school and now spread it around on tech writer blogs. too bad. it’s awkward, is better replaced with “consists of”–which is the source of “comprises” being misused as “comprised of”–or the usage should change to “is comprised of”. it sounds better anyway. you know, changing the usage of words is what keeps living languages living. it’s okay. so, ah, stop your chair from spinning.

  3. \TeX as bob says:

    and, actually, “a myriad of” is an noun. for example, “we brought dictionaries for a myriad of student” is perfectly acceptable with “a myriad of” serving as a noun. of course “myriad” is also an adjective and you can say, “we brought dictionaries for myriad students”. it’s another one of those, “use it however you want” words. let’s hear it for living languages.

  4. Daniel J. Luke says:

    Wikipidia quotes Merriam-Webster as saying that the noun form is actually the older form.

  5. pjm says:

    OK, thanks: that’s one neurosis I can happily lose! Apologies for the language maven-like tone of the first post. (Might still take a while to lose; I guess it’s a matter of stopping the mental substitution of 10,000 within sentences. “A ten thousand of…” etc etc. Translation was never my strongest point.)

    As for “comprises”: I think it’s not such a terrible term in that it conveys a positive sort of gathering action (ie, a pushing together) that’s not present in “composed of” or “consists of”.

  6. svn keychain support says:

    […] […]

  7. Words » Blog Archive » links for 2006-10-14 says:

    […] bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » Subversion 1.4 adds Keychain Support (tags: svn subversion mac apple osx macosx keychain security password authentication) […]

  8. greggT says:

    xcode can cache my credentials — but i’m not confortable merging with that — but not command line.
    i’d like to use my keychain instead of messing with public/private keys.
    i still have to type my pw every svn command, sometimes 2-3 times depending on the cmd.

    SYMPTOM nothing ever appears in my ~/.subversion/auth/svn.simple dir.
    no files, nothing… using

    i’ve tried checking out a whole new tree, ‘svn ls’, ‘svn update’, etc.
    svn client v1.6.5 on macosx 10.6.2:

    any ideas as to what i’m doing wrong?


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