Edgewall Software

Installing Trac with Subversion on Ubuntu

The goal of this tutorial is to demonstrate how to setup a Subversion ↔ Trac environment on Ubuntu 14.04. The original version of this document was written for 10.04, please see the History link for more details.

A MySQL database and Subversion Python bindings are going to be used. Please note that only general instructions are provided, and it's assumed that you have basic knowledge on Linux administration.

Note: for a full installation tutorial on Trac, please read TracInstall

Installation Steps

  1. Installing the software and its dependencies
    1. Base packages
    2. Subversion
    3. Trac
  2. Configuring
    1. Creating the Subversion repository for the project
    2. Setup the MySQL database
    3. Initialise the Trac environment
    4. Explicit synchronization of trac and svn
    5. Instructing Apache to handle Trac
    6. Automatic reference to the SVN changesets in Trac tickets

Installing the software and its dependencies

Base packages

In order to get Trac and Subversion installed, you will need to get a few packages listed below. Also, make sure your system is updated.

sudo apt-get install apache2 libapache2-mod-python python-setuptools python-genshi mysql-server python-mysqldb


Installing Subversion (SVN) is pretty straight forward. Just run:

sudo apt-get install subversion


There are different ways of installing Trac. But since this tutorial is focused on Ubuntu, you'll do the Ubuntu way:

sudo apt-get install trac 


This part is maybe the most important section on this tutorial. You'll learn how to synchronize Trac and Subversion in order to be able to see on your Trac Project website what's going on in your repository and also how to automate some tasks.

Creating the Subversion repository for the project

You may already know how to do this, but let's make a review just in case.

Create a directory to store the SVN projects:

sudo mkdir /var/lib/svn

Create a the project directory:

sudo mkdir /var/lib/svn/YourProject

Use svnadmin to create a project in the previously created folder:

sudo svnadmin create /var/lib/svn/YourProject

In order to perform some changes to the project, Trac needs write access to it:

sudo chown -R www-data /var/lib/svn/YourProject

Start the Subversion server (or use your preferred method):

sudo svnserve -d

If you used the command above, you may choose to test that the process is running by issuing:

sudo lsof -i | grep svnserve

This should show something like:

svnserve  13418     root    3u  IPv4 675323469      0t0  TCP *:svn (LISTEN)

which means the process svnserve with PID 13418 was run by root and is listening on the svn port, which is by default 3690.

Also, checking out revision 0 should be possible:

svn co svn://localhost/var/lib/svn/YourProject

The above command will create a directory with the name YourProject within your current directory.

Note: until users and authentication have been set up, committing will not be allowed.

Setup the MySQL database

Before configuring your new Trac project, you'll need to setup the MySQL database.

Log into MySQL database, using the root credentials you've setup during the installation:

mysql -u root -p

Once logged in, create the database for Trac:


Now create the username which Trac is going to use to connect to the database:

GRANT ALL ON trac.* TO trac@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'yourpassword';

You can now exit the MySQL command line.

Initialise the Trac environment

Let's create a directory to contain all the Trac project (just like we did for SVN projects).

sudo mkdir /var/lib/trac

Create a directory where to store the Trac project in:

sudo mkdir /var/lib/trac/YourProject

As you did for Subversion, change the ownership of the project files to Apache's user www-data:

sudo chown -R www-data /var/lib/trac/YourProject

Use trac-admin to create the new project:

sudo trac-admin /var/lib/trac/YourProject initenv

This command starts a script that requests some information, like the project name and the MySQL connection string.

The MySQL connection string should look like the following (according to the way we set up the MySQL database in step 2.2).


Once this is done, you may check the setup by running tracd:

tracd --port=12345 /var/lib/trac/Apollo

Your browser should show a basic trac install on http://localhost:12345/Apollo.


You might run into an error when running trac-admin initenv, ending in:

AttributeError: 'NullTranslations' object has no attribute 'add'

For me, making this patch in the listed file solved it.

Pay attention to the question about the location of the Subversion project. This fills the variable repository_dir in trac.ini. Enter the path as discussed before:


If the MySQL default engine wasn't InnoDB, you might need to convert the tables that trac-admin has just created. Issue the following within your MySQL client:

USE trac; \
ALTER TABLE `attachment` ENGINE = InnoDB; \
ALTER TABLE `auth_cookie` ENGINE = InnoDB; \
ALTER TABLE `cache` ENGINE = InnoDB; \
ALTER TABLE `component` ENGINE = InnoDB; \
ALTER TABLE `milestone` ENGINE = InnoDB; \
ALTER TABLE `node_change` ENGINE = InnoDB; \
ALTER TABLE `permission` ENGINE = InnoDB; \
ALTER TABLE `report` ENGINE = InnoDB; \
ALTER TABLE `repository` ENGINE = InnoDB; \
ALTER TABLE `revision` ENGINE = InnoDB; \
ALTER TABLE `session` ENGINE = InnoDB; \
ALTER TABLE `session_attribute` ENGINE = InnoDB; \
ALTER TABLE `system` ENGINE = InnoDB; \
ALTER TABLE `ticket` ENGINE = InnoDB; \
ALTER TABLE `ticket_change` ENGINE = InnoDB; \
ALTER TABLE `ticket_custom` ENGINE = InnoDB; \
ALTER TABLE `version` ENGINE = InnoDB; \

Explicit synchronization of trac and svn

Note: For more information about the Explicit Synchronization method, please read TracRepositoryAdmin#ExplicitSync

First, edit the trac.ini file, located in /var/lib/trac/YourProject/conf/. Modify the repository_sync_per_request directive and set it to an empty value.

Now you need to create the Subversion hooks. First, create the post-commit hook in the /var/lib/svn/YourProject/hooks/ directory, with the following content:

export PYTHON_EGG_CACHE="/path/to/cache/dir"
/usr/bin/trac-admin /var/lib/trac/YourProject changeset added "$1" "$2"

Make sure you give the script execution permissions:

sudo chmod +x /var/lib/svn/YourProject/hooks/post-commit

Another important hook script to have is post-revprop-change. The procedures are similar, but the script is slightly different:

export PYTHON_EGG_CACHE="/path/to/cache/dir"
/usr/bin/trac-admin /var/lib/trac/YourProject changeset modified "$1" "$2"

Again, make sure you give exec permissions to the script.

Now Trac will be notified about changes you make to your repository and will make them available in the timeline.

Instructing Apache to handle Trac

Create a new site for your Trac setup.

sudo cp /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf /etc/apache2/sites-available/trac.conf

Apache needs to know how to handle Trac. Use the following block to set up Trac handling:

<Location /projects> #set up Trac handling
    SetHandler mod_python
    PythonHandler trac.web.modpython_frontend
    PythonOption TracEnvParentDir /var/lib/trac
    PythonOption TracUriRoot /projects

Note that it's pointing to the main Trac directory. It means it will expose all of your Trac projects. You may need to apply this configuration to Apache, then reload the server:

sudo a2ensite trac
sudo service apache2 reload


Make sure that the apache2-utils package is installed to use htpasswd.

In order to allow users to log in to Trac, you will need the following section in your Apache configuration:

<LocationMatch "/projects/[^/]+/login">
    AuthType Basic
    AuthName "Trac"
    AuthUserFile /var/lib/trac/.htpasswd
    Require valid-user

You should now create the .htpasswd file, with an admin user:

sudo htpasswd -c .htpasswd admin

Go ahead and restart Apache:

sudo service apache2 restart

Finally, you must grant admin rights to the user you've just created:

sudo trac-admin /var/lib/trac/YourProject permission add admin TRAC_ADMIN

Automatic reference to the SVN changesets in Trac tickets

Something useful is to reference tickets on your commits. That way you can keep a better track of them and also easily access them from the timeline.

Make sure you have the following lines in your trac.ini configuration file:

tracopt.ticket.commit_updater.* = enabled

Now, whenever you commit some change related to a ticket, use Refs #tn to reference this changeset in #tn ticket. For example:

svn commit -m "Refs #123 - added this and that"

In order to mark a ticket as fixed, use the following:

svn commit -m "Fixes #123 - Removed an infinite loop which was causing the application to freeze"
Last modified 8 years ago Last modified on Oct 8, 2014, 6:47:44 AM
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