Hosted Subversion (SVN) Services

I've been using a dedicated, hosted server to host my subversion repository, so that I always have an off-site backup of my source code. I used to need the server anyway, so this seemed the simplest solution.

But, I really don't need to be paying for a dedicated box anymore when there are so many online services that offer low-cost subversion hosting. So, I did a bit of research and found this thread, among others.

I'm a bit limited in my choices, since the first project I want to migrate is currently using 262MB of disk space by itself, and I want to use the hosted service for multiple projects.

My priorities;

  1. Regularly backed up
  2. Enough disk space
  3. Cheap
  4. Ability to create additional repositories
  5. Reasonable limits on the number of projects and users
  6. Add-ons (e.g. Trac, Wikis) are a bonus

So, I decided to try SvnRepository.com Their Level 2 pricing plan is excellent value for money - 2GB of storage, Trac and unlimited repositories and developers for $7/month.

But, Matt Raible was so not kidding about their slow response time.

The first thing I want to do is to migrate my existing repository into my shiny new hosted service. As per their website blurb, the new service was set up in 5 minutes, and they offer "Free Migration services for your Subversion repositories". Unfortunately, that doesn't mean they have a nice system set up for you to migrate your repository into their service - they have an easy way for you to migrate out of it.

I figured a quick posting to their support site would have this sorted out in no time. After all, this has got to be the single most common thing a new customer wants to do, no?

So, I opened a support ticket;

Hi there

I would like to migrate my existing SVN repository into my new, hosted

I've created a tarball via "svnadmin dump". How can I load this into
my new svnrepository.com repository?



Four hours later, I get this response;


Please place the .dump file somewhere that I can download it to our
server, as well as the repository name you wish it to be imported to
and I will take care of it for you.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Danny Vigil

OK - four hours is a bit slow, but helpful enough. An hour or so later, I post this response;

Hi Danny

You can download the tarball from this URL;


I'd like it loaded into the repository at;


Please let me know when you've done this, so that I can stop the web server
that's serving that tarball.



That was about 12 hours ago. Since then, no response at all, despite chasing them twice.

Now, this is a cheap service - $7/month - so I'm not expecting them to be super-efficient, or to keep a dedicated support person on call to cater to my every whim, despite having "Free 24/7 personal technical support" as one of their standard features, apparently.

But, this is an internet business, providing a service to developers, so I can't understand why;

  • They haven't built a web interface to allow developers to upload their old repositories. This has got to be the first thing that most of their customers want. Failing that, at least a tutorial or a faq entry would be something.
  • They built a system to automate leaving their service instead. Sure, I want to be able to take my repository with me when I leave (which could be really soon), but how does it make business sense to invest your effort in making it easier for customers to leave than to join?
  • Their customer support is so incredibly slow. This is the Internet, after all. Taking this long to handle a simple, common request for a new customer just seems unacceptable. This is especially true since, now that I've provided a dump of my SVN repository, there's no point checking anything into the old one, because I'll just have to check it into the new one all over again. So, right now, I'm effectively without version control.

So, I'm just venting here, while I'm waiting for them to get me up and running. In the meantime, I think I'll go and re-visit a few alternatives, and remind myself why I chose SvnRepository.com in the first place;

  • Unfuddle - a good service, and I use their free plan for one small project. But, you don't get enough storage space for a large project, even if you get one of their more expensive plans.
  • CVS Dude - A bit pricy, and you don't get Trac unless you pay $30/month
  • SourceHosting.net - very expensive
  • Wush.net - not too pricy, but only 500MB of storage, and a single repository, unless you stump up more cash.
  • DevGuard - Looks good, if only my project were smaller
  • AVLUX - pricy
  • ProjectLocker.com - really expensive, and their opaque pricing system puts me off
  • Code Spaces - Looks pretty good. Not quite as cheap as SvnRepository.com, but not bad.
So, the moral of this rant is that, surprise surprise, the cheapest is not always the best option.

I'm going to give SvnRepository.com another day or so to sort me out and, if I'm still not happy, give Code Spaces a try.


  1. How'd it go? I'm looking at subversion hosting as well, and the price is certainly right with svnrepository... And I like being able to get my repository back out for free too.

  2. Hi William

    I'm up and running with SvnRepository.com now, as per this follow-up post.

    The repository itself is working just fine, I'm glad to say.



  3. Contrast the original story with Unfuddle.com's response when I emailed them with a query after authentication stopped working on a project that I host with one of their free accounts.

    Within 4 minutes, I had this response;

    "I apologize for the inconvenience. In the past hour we have been experiencing some difficulties with the HTTP authentication mechanism in Unfuddle. However, we are currently taking steps to correct the problem and expect Subversion access to be restored in approximately 5 to 10 minutes from now."

    So, a 4 hour response from SvnRepository.com to a query from a paying customer, versus a 4 minute response from Unfuddle.com to a freeloader!

    It's a pity Unfuddle.com's feature set and pricing is not a match for my needs, because that's pretty impressive.

  4. @Anonymous

    I looked at Code Spaces. It's in the list, near the bottom of the original post.

    Not bad, but a little more expensive, and a little more limiting, than I wanted. Nice site though.