In this course we will use Subversion for collaboration, version control, and homework submission. This guide will show you everything you’ll need to use Subversion in this course.
Subversion is a version control system that keeps versions of your files in a "repository", which we will provide for you on a server. The repository will enable you to retrieve ("checkout", "update") and store ("commit") your files from multiple locations, and it will enable us to easily access your code for grading. It also provides a backup mechanism for you in case you ever need to revert to older versions of your code.
The Subversion client may be downloaded at:
Binaries for several systems such as Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux are available. If you have Windows, for example, you should the follow the link to “Windows binaries”. If you have Linux or Mac OS X, Subversion is likely pre-installed.
You can confirm your Subversion installation by running it at your system’s command prompt:
$ svn help
usage: svn <subcommand> [options] [args]
Subversion command-line client, version 1.6.5.
You will use Subversion to (1) keep track of revisions as you work on your assignments, and (2) submit your assignments for grading. If you are in pair number P, then your repository is located at
To make things easier on the graders this semester, we will be enforcing a strict directory structure in your Subversion (aka svn) repository. This may be different from what you set up in the lab in week 2, so consider this page to be the official, canonical way to set up your repository. For each partner pair, the layout in Subversion will look something like this:
The important thing to note is that your Eclipse workspace should be called "EclipseWorkspace", and it should be located directly below the pairXYZ directory (in other words, at the root of your Subversion repository).
Additionally, each homework problem directory will look something like this:
The main thing is to make sure all of your *.java files are under src, and that src and everything under it gets checked in. However, be sure to read each assignment carefully in case there are any changes to this structure.
There’s an easy way to check what you actually have in Subversion: just open your repository URL in a browser. That will show you the exact layout the graders will see when they’re looking at your code. (Note: some browsers seem to have trouble with this. Try this on Google Chrome if you run into issues).
You only need to create the above structure in Subversion once, but you will need to check out a new working copy of the repository on each different machine you work on (with the exception of CCIS machines that use your same home directory). You can use the instructions below for both cases: if you’ve already set up an EclipseWorkspace folder in Subversion, just skip the steps that create and check in that folder.
Open the file explorer and navigate to the Z: drive. If you’re not on a CCIS machine (and therefore don’t have a Z: drive), just navigate to your home folder. Right-click on a blank area in the folder and select "SVN Checkout...". This will bring up the checkout dialog. Here you need to enter your repository URL (where the repository lives) and the checkout directory (where your local copy of the repository will be stored). For the repository directory, type: https://trac.ccs.neu.edu/svn/cs2510spring2012/pairXYZ
where "XYZ" is your pair number. For the checkout directory, enter "Z:\classes" (the folder doesn’t have to be called "classes", but this matches what we did in the lab). Click OK. You may have to enter your CCIS username and password.
The classes folder will be your working copy of your svn repository. You can think of this folder as mapping directly to your "pairXYZ" folder in svn - everything that’s under pairXYZ in svn will be checked out under this folder.
Now, open up the classes folder and create a new folder inside it called "EclipseWorkspace" (all one word). This will be your Eclipse workspace, where Eclipse stores all of your projects throughout the semester. Right-click the folder and select "Tortoise SVN" > "Add...". Make sure the folder is checked and hit OK. Right-click the folder again and select "SVN Commit...". Type in a commit message like "Added Eclipse workspace" and click OK.
Finally, to change your Eclipse workspace to point at this new folder, see the instructions below.
Open up a terminal (On Macs, it’s typically under Applications > Utilities). This should start you at your home directory, but if not, just type "cd" and hit enter. Then, to check out a working copy of the repository, type the following:
svn co https://trac.ccs.neu.edu/svn/cs2510spring2012/pairXYZ classes
where "XYZ" is your pair number. This will create a directory called "classes" to act as your working copy of your svn repository. You don’t have to call it classes, but that’s the name we used in the lab. You can think of this folder as mapping directly to your "pairXYZ" folder in svn - everything that’s under pairXYZ in svn will be checked out under this folder.
Next, we need to create the Eclipse workspace, which is where Eclipse stores all of your projects throughout the semester. We want to create the Eclipse workspace in the new classes folder, so type each of the following commands:
svn add EclipseWorkspace
svn ci -m "Added folder for Eclipse workspace."
This navigates to the classes directory, creates the workspace directory, adds it to Subversion, and checks in your change. The final step is to update your Eclipse workspace (see the next section).
To set your Eclipse workspace, open Eclipse and select "Switch Workspace" > "Other..." from the File menu. Select the EclipseWorkspace folder you created in the working copy of your repository. Eclipse will automatically restart once you hit OK. That’s it!
For more help on Eclipse and Subversion, check out their websites:
As always, your tutors and TAs are available for further assistance.