Setting up subversion over ssl and nginx on debian

Subversion supports DAV protocol access only with Apache server. To get it running with nginx, apache has to be installed on the same system.

To start, install apache and svn support

apt-get install apache2 libapache2-svn

For apache and nginx web servers to coexist on the same computer and running at the same time, they would have to listen on the different ports. Standard ssl port is 443, lets set apache ssl to 8443. To prevent ports exposed to Internet, set apache to listen on port 8443 only localy.

Configure apache ports in /etc/apache2/ports.conf to be


Activate SSL and the DAV modules on Apache

$ a2enmod ssl
$ a2enmod dav
$ a2enmod dav_svn

Restart apache

service apache2 restart

add DAV stuff

nano -w /etc/apache2/mods-available/dav_svn.conf

LoadModule dav_svn_module modules/

LoadModule authz_svn_module modules/

# Example configuration:

       DAV svn
       SVNPath /var/svn/my_repos
       SVNListParentPath on

       AuthType Basic
       AuthName "Subversion repository"
       AuthUserFile /var/svn/conf/svnusers.conf
       Require valid-user


Link default ssl configuration

cd /etc/apache2/sites-enabled
cp ../sites-available/default-ssl.conf svn-ssl.conf
nano -w svn-ssl.conf

And also set Listen in svn-ssl.conf

Create password files

htpasswd -cm /var/svn/conf/svnusers.conf user1
htpasswd -m /var/svn/conf/svnusers.conf user2

Check permissions. Debian apache should use www-data user and group. You can double check it in /etc/apache2/apache2.conf and /etc/apache2/envvars files, or just by doing ps aux | grep apache.

Make sure the same user/group are owners of the repository.

chown -R www-data:www-data /var/svn/

Restart apache and check if it works, for example with links


Create nginx conf file, or add proxy pass in existing config

server {
    listen 80;
    return 301 https://$host$request_uri;

server {
    listen       443 ssl;

    ssl on;

    ssl_certificate /etc/nginx/ssl/nginx.crt;
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/nginx/ssl/nginx.key;

    access_log /var/log/nginx/svn.access.log;
    error_log /var/log/nginx/svn.error.log;

    location / {

Restart nginx and check in your web browser.

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