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Repository and Working Copy

Subversion has two key concepts that must be mastered: the repository and the working copy. The repository represents the central copy of your files. The user copy is located in client machines in what is called the working copy. Users make changes to their working copy files, and these changes are later transmitted under user control to the repository.

The repository is thus the central location or database in which the single copy is maintained, and from which other users can receive changes. Typically, the repository is located on a network server to which all clients have read and write access privileges. But this arrangement isn’t mandatory. You can quite happily create a repository and working copy on a single machine and check files in and out as required. No network element is required.

My own use of Subversion has a central repository on a network server with two working copies: one on the network server and the other on a laptop. So I can make offsite changes on the laptop and then commit them to the repository when I reconnect to the network.

Let’s get started by seeing how to create a repository.

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