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What is svnmerge and why use it?

When you have multiple branches of the same project in SVN, you probably want to keep these branches in sync, at least to a certain extend.

One example of this would be feature branches, i.e. a branch were a bigger feature is developed. You usually want to keep that feature branch in sync with trunk by merging all commits from trunk into that feature branch. Once the feature branch is ready to be merged back to trunk, you want to do just that with as little work as possible.

Another example are the KDEPIM enterprise branches. All changes from the enterprise branches are merged to trunk, but only some changes from trunk are merged back to the enterprise branches.

In both situation, will help you by keeping track of the merges and assisting you in the process of merging.

It has the following useful features:

  • Keeping a list of merged and unmerged commits, so you never forget to merge a single commit
  • Ability to block commits from merging
  • Automatically generating commit messages
  • Merging many commits at once

See also the svnmerge wiki page.

Note that should not be confused with svn merge. The later is a normal SVN command, which is used, among others, by When refering to svnmerge on this page, I always mean Also, when referring to svn merge, I mean the built-in subversion command.

Installing svnmerge

where to download (other links to tutorials) chmod +x in /usr/local/bin

Initializing merge tracking for a branch init help no need to if already done

Merging Changes

getting available/unmerged revisions svnmerge --avail --log -b -S bla > avail trick (takes a lot of time!) open in text edit

block, merge or merge -M revisions from list merging more than one revision - when and when not to do

edit commit message: SVN_SILENT, small explaination sometimes svn ci -F svnmerge-commit-message

clean dirs

Problems & Solutions

conflicts on . -> svn resolved + use mergediff to confirm (!) problems with korganizer/views problems with kcal in e3->e4

Helpful Scripts

mergediff mymerge