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From Ryan Schmidt <>
Subject Re: mod_dav_svn and symbolic links
Date Thu, 17 Dec 2020 09:59:30 GMT

On Dec 16, 2020, at 13:13, M.Eng. René Schwarz wrote:

> I am using mod_dav_svn with Apache2 in combination with a SVN repository containing symbolic
links. When a URL pointing to a symbolic link is accessed, the web server does not follow
this link, but provides a text file with the content "link [path to file or directory]".
> I was wondering if there is a possibility to make mod_dav_svn actually not providing
this text file but the contents of the linked file directly?
> Background:
> An installer is downloading several files for installation from the repository over the
web server whereas the flexibility to specify a certain repository revision via the "!svn/bc/"
special syntax is used, without the need for the installer to be aware of the SVN repo itself.
For the installer, this address is just an ordinary URL. This worked well for a couple of
years, but now symbolic links have been used in the repository which is causing the trouble
for the installer now as it gets not the actual file, but the text representation of a symbolic

As far as I know, mod_dav_svn does not have this capability.

mod_dav_svn is a server process, and symlinks are a client-side-only feature. The server has
no knowledge of symlinks and just stores the files and their properties. The Subversion client
stores symlinks in the repository exactly as you're experiencing: as a text file with the
contents "link [path to file or directory]" and a property "svn:special" set to the value

In this case, your installer is acting as the Subversion client, so you would have to modify
your installer code to get it to notice when a file it's accessing is a symlink and to make
it send another request to get the real file from its actual location. If you want to do it
right, you should consider that there could of course be multiple levels of symlink indirection,
and any of the directories leading up to the file you want could be symlinks.

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