Team Synchronization with Eclipse and Subversion

January 25, 2010 CollabNet VersionOne

Eclipse is a popular IDE initially created for Java, but which now has specific builds for most popular languages including, C, C++, PHP, etc. This article discusses how you can use Eclipse with Subversion.


In order to safeguard your precious source code, the old approach of simply cracking open Eclipse and starting coding, while saving everything to your local hard disk, just doesn’t cut it in today’s world. What happens if you break your build, your hard disk crashes, or you want to collaborate with two or more developers on the same project? You never need to worry about these issues when you store your code under hosted Subversion repositories. Fortunately Eclipse has a plugin that you can download and install and get cranking with Subversion in no time.

This guide was written using Eclipse 3.5.x.

Step 1: Install the Subversive SVN plugin

1.1 Fire up Eclipse and click on “Help” -> “Install New Software”.

1.2 Select “All Available sites” from the pull down, and check “    Subversive SVN Team Provider (Incubation)”.

1.3 Click “Next” and follow the steps to complete the plugin installation. Then restart Eclipse.

Step 2: Start a new project using Subversion.

2.1 Click “New” -> “Project”. Then select “SVN” -> “Project from SVN”

2.2 Install Subversive connector. Choose SVN Kit (latest). At the time of writing SVN Kit 1.3.0 is the latest.

2.3 Check the box beside SVN Kit 1.3.0, click finish and follow the steps (you may need to restart Eclipse again).

2.4 Enter your repository URL + credentials. We used a repository at Codesion., but you can use any Subversion repository URL, and click “Next”.

2.5 Eclipse will communicate with the remote Subversion repository, and then ask you which resource (we choose Head Revision) for our demo. Next click “Finish”. Eclipse will again communicate with the Subversion repository.

2.6 Next it will ask you to tie your checkout, “check out as”, to a local Eclipse project. We choose “Check out as a project as configured using the New Project Wizard”. Click “Finish” and follow the steps, and your new project will be “tied” to your remote Subversion repository.

Step 3: Saving changes to your remote Subversion repository.

3.1 After each time you create new, modify, delete. If you want those changes to be synchronized remotely, you must do so manually by right-clicking the file (or containing folder) in the project explore, and select the “Team” option.

3.2 You’ll see a bunch of options including:

Commit: Save changes remotely. Use this if you want to share, or save your changes to the remote SVN repository.

Update: Suck down any changes your colleagues may have made, and update your local working copy. Use this if you need to update your local copy with any changes other team members have made since you last did an update. As a rule of thumb, you should be performing an update a number of times each day, to avoid messy conflicts later on.

Synchronize with Repository: A Wizard for sending updates and receiving updates.

Happy Coding!

Check out the Eclipse doco for further reading and general use of Eclipse, or the Subversive home page.

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