Adding git-svn support from source

Having workstations where you don’t have root access either means contacting support for installation or building your own software from source to get the latest version.

I started using git for code produced in my work. The build was successful with a simple “./configure; make ; make install” series of steps except for supporting access to subversion repositories. It was looking for the perl module SVN::Core to be able to function successfully. Googling about it will land you to the Alien::SVN CPAN module page. Its dependencies can be installed with the standard “install Module::Name” invocation in the CPAN shell. But the main package does not properly install in this environment. It is probably because of the tarball not containing the standard Makefile.PL. It has Build.PL instead. This script generates the Build that compiles the subversion library and its bindings. Then it generates a Makefile from Makefile.PL in the src/subversion/subversion/bindings/swig/perl/native directory. Below is the output of the script:

[Alien-SVN-1.4.6.0]$ ./Build
Running make
Running make swig-pl-lib
make: Nothing to be done for `swig-pl-lib'.
Running /usr/bin/perl Makefile.PL INSTALLDIRS=site
Writing Makefile for SVN::_Core
Writing Makefile.client for SVN::_Client
Writing Makefile.delta for SVN::_Delta
Writing Makefile.fs for SVN::_Fs
Writing Makefile.ra for SVN::_Ra
Writing Makefile.repos for SVN::_Repos
Writing Makefile.wc for SVN::_Wc
Running make
gcc -c  -I$HOME/local/include/apr-0
...

The command /usr/bin/perl Makefile.PL INSTALLDIRS=site generates a build environment to install in /usr. This is not favorable for installation in userspace since you do not have permission to write on that directory. So this command will be rerun /usr/bin/perl Makefile.PL PREFIX=$USERDIR, where $USERDIR is the destination directory you want to.

Now you can successfully clone subversion repositories!

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