Hostmonster Provides SVN

Good news to those who use hostmonster and want to use SVN for a source code version control!

If you are looking for web hosting, I would strongly recommend hostmonster, one low price, all the features, no limits! (Take THAT GoDaddy!)

My email to Hostmonster:

It has come to my observation that both of the programs “svn” and “svnadmin” are installed and openly available to hosted users while using ssh access. This does not seem to be a highly publicized feature or benefit provided by hostmonster over other providers, which leads me to question the availability of such programs.

All of my websites are developed and hosted through hostmonster, I use svn to manage the website files durring development and deployment. So having a hosting provider also provide me with SVN tools truely cements my loyalty to that provider. The reason I ask about these tools is to verify that they were not installed by ‘mistake’ and that I can rely on them being persistently in place. I don’t want to start using the SVN tools you provide and then have them stripped away with a comment such as “they were not supposed to be there in the first place”.

Also, I am not sure if the use of an SVN repository would constitute as a form of backup and thus mark my account for termination.

I am a fan of hostmonster and have several clients go through me for hosting, and several others have started hostmonster due to my referrals. So I do want to stay on good terms with you guys!

Thanks much, Andy

Response from Hostmonster:

That service is made available to our customers, it is not a loophole or anything. You are able to use it for websites you have on the server. We do allow you to keep 1 backup of your websites on the server, and I believe this falls in that category. I don’t foresee us removing this feature but I can’t make any guarantee that it will always be available.

Thank you, Zachary

Terms of Service Compliance Department
1958 South 950 East
Provo, UT 84606
P: 866.573.4678 Option 5 | F: 801.765.1992

(Did you notice that it is Utah support? Based in the US? Another thing I like about Hostmonster. I can call them up, talk to them, understand them, and they don’t treat me like an idiot for the first half hour running me through a bunch of basic tests to which I have already tried before I contacted them in the first place.)

There ya have it folks… Can anyone say SCORE!! I was so excited when I found this out! Saves me money and gives me the ability to setup private SVN repositories!

And please, if you do decide to sign up, do it through this link here: Sign up for

Yes, it is an affiliate plug. But it is not a reason for bias. I would not use (and then promote) a service that I disliked. It helps keeps the lights on around this place, doesn’t hurt you any, especially if you were going to sign up for a host(monster) account anyways!

SVN dump, rsync, and restore

This script will dump the repository, as a form of complete backup. This is one of the safest ways to ensure you have all of your revision history, and that it is restore-able . Using svnadmin’s ‘hotcopy’ is only really good for backing up that server at that instance. It is faster, but lets say you ditch that server/repo and want to, lets say, upload it to a hosted svn service. Well your hotcopy is gonna do you no good, whereas the dump is essentially an understood format snapshot.


svnadmin dump centerorbit.svn | gzip | split -d -b 20M – backups/centerorbit.svn/backup.

Great! Now you have a backup of your repo! Where is it? Oh its still on the same server/computer as the repo is. So in the case your computer gets lost/stolen/dropped of a cliff, your backup will do you no good.

No worries though! The reason we split it into 20 Meg chunks in the last script was so that we could easily use rsync to transfer our backup elsewhere! Just use this script:


rsync -e ssh* ./

In this script we tell rsync to go through ssh:
” -e ssh”

and to go to “”, but the ‘’ part could also be an IP address:

and once we are there (at the remote computer, this is the folder that we want to copy all of the files to the other computer:

Note: The above command will start its folder reference from wherever your ssh session starts you. Usually this is your users home directory. If you want to start from the root of the filesystem, put a ‘/’ at the beginning of your folder location (right after the ‘:’).

Lastly, here is where we want rsync to place them on this computer:

Note: Which means “Put all the files in the exact same folder that the terminal is currently at”. You can see where this is by typing the command “pwd” which stands for “print working directory”. 

Now if we want to get the dump file extracted from the archive, in case we want to actually restore the dump:

cat backup.* | gunzip > dump.svn

and this command will produce a dump.svn file which can then be restored to an svn repo by using:

svnadmin load dump.svn