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ViewVC is a browser interface for CVS and Subversion version control repositories. It generates templatized HTML to present navigable directory, revision, and change log listings. It can display specific versions of files as well as diffs between those versions. Basically, ViewVC provides the bulk of the report-like functionality you expect out of your version control tool, but much more prettily than the average textual command-line program output.

Here are some of the additional features of ViewVC:

  • Support for filesystem-accessible CVS and Subversion repositories
  • Individually configurable virtual host support
  • Line-based annotation/blame display
  • Revision graph capabilities (CVS only)
  • Syntax highlighting support
  • Commit metadata query facilities
  • Template-driven output generation
  • Colorized, side-by-side differences
  • Tarball generation (by tag for CVS, by revision for Subversion)
  • Localization support based on the Accept-Language request header
  • Ability to run either as CGI script or as a standalone server
  • Regexp-based file searching
  • INI-like configuration file (as opposed to requiring actual code tweaks)


To install ViewVC for Subversion, follow the steps below. These instructions assume that you have already created at least one Subversion repository using the DreamHost control panel.

  1. SSH to your DreamHost account
  2. Download the ViewVC distribution
  3. Extract the archive into a new directory
    tar -zxf viewvc-1.1.0.tar.gz
  4. Remove the archive
    rm viewvc-1.1.0.tar.gz
  5. Run the installation program
    • When prompted for the installation path, use /home/username/viewvc or whatever you prefer.
    • Leave DESTDIR empty
  6. Remove the archive directory
    rm -rf viewvc-1.1.0
  7. Edit the viewvc.conf file
    • Comment out the cvs_roots line
    • Add a new root_parents line
      root_parents = /home/username/svn : svn
      Replace username with your user name
  8. Copy the viewvc.cgi file to your Subversion domain directory
    cp viewvc/bin/cgi/viewvc.cgi
    This assumes that all of your repositories were installed to a domain called Replace with the appropriate domain for your configuration.
  9. (optional) Password-protect the Subversion domain.

You can now access ViewVC by visiting with a web browser.

External links