Tag Archive for 'shallow checkout'

Subversion Tip of the Week

An Apache Subversion working copy can be created quite simply by running the ‘svn checkout’ command. However, sometimes you’ll want to have more control over the contents of your working copy; for example, when you’re working on a large project and only need to checkout a single directory.

In this post, we share two ways to get greater control over your checkout commands.

1. Checkout a particular revision

By default, Subversion performs a checkout of the HEAD revision, but in some instances you may wish to checkout a previous revision, for example when you’re recovering a file or directory that has been deleted in the HEAD revision.

To specify a revision other than HEAD, add the -r switch when performing your checkout:

svn checkout (URL) -r(revision number) (Location)

In this example, we are performing a checkout of the project as it existed at revision 10.

customizing working copy

2. Performing Shallow Checkouts

A standard Subversion checkout copies the entire directory, including every folder and file. This can be too time-consuming if you’re working on a large project, or too complicated if your project contains many different branches, tags and directories. If you don’t require a copy of your entire project, a ‘shallow checkout’ restricts the depth of the checkout by preventing Subversion from descending recursively through the repository.

To perform a shallow checkout, run the ‘svn checkout’ command with one of the following switches:

  • –depth immediates: checkout the target and any of its immediate file or children. This is useful if you don’t require any of the children’s contents.

  • –depth files: checkout the target and any of its immediate file children.

  • –depth empty: checkout the target only, without any of the files or children. This is useful when you’re working with a large project, but only require the contents of a single directory.

In this example we are performing a shallow checkout on a ‘bug fix branch’ located within the branches folder, and specifying that only the immediate file children should be included (–depth files):

customizing working copy 2

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