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Free Subversion® Client Guide

Reviews, Download Links, and Guides for Subversion Clients

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Every SVN Client has advantages and disadvantages. We've taken the most popular subversion clients and written reviews on each one to help you weigh your options and select the right SVN client for you.

Some are merely GUI wrappers for the command-line client that comes bundled with the Subversion Server, while others are geared to assisting with specific types of projects.

To get started choosing the right tool for you, use the links below to jump to the list of SVN clients for your Operating System.

Displaying All SVN Clients At-a-Glance

Name Operating System License Cost Integration Rating
Tortoise SVN Windows GPL Free Windows Shell Integration
SmartSVN Windows Apple Linux Commercial Free, Commercial ($50/user), and Enterprise Standalone Gui, Windows Shell and Mac Finder integration
Versions Apple Commercial $59 USD
(Free Trial Available)
Standalone GUI
Cornerstone Apple Commercial $59 USD
(Free Trial Available)
Standalone GUI
Syncro SVN Windows Apple Linux Commercial $59 USD
(Free Trial Available)
Standalone GUI
Cascade Windows Apple Linux Commercial $200 USD per user per year File System Driver
RapidSVN Windows Apple Linux GPL v3 Free Standalone GUI
Qsvn Windows Apple Linux GPL v2 Free Standalone GUI
Subcommander Windows Apple Linux GPL v2 Free Standalone GUI
Workbench Windows Apple Linux Apache License v1.1 Free Standalone GUI

Displaying All SVN Client Reviews

Tortoise SVN

Tortoise SVN

Platforms Windows
License GNU GPL, Open-Source
Cost Free
Rating

This free SVN Client is open-source and integrates directly with yur Windows Shell giving you access to all Subversion Commands directly from Windows Explorer. Tortoise SVN is by far the most widely-used and perhaps the most versatile SVN Client for Windows. It can be configured on a project-by-project basis, can integrate with virtually any web-based bug ticketing systems, and even features the super slick TortoiseDiff tool to allow you to view changes from one version of an image to the next.

TortoiseSVN Website | Download TortoiseSVN | User Guide

SmartSVN

SmartSVN

Platforms Windows, Mac OS X, Unix/Linux
License Commercial, Closed-Source
Cost

SmartSVN Foundation (Free), SmartSVN Professional ($50/user) SmartSVN Enterprise for an Entire Organization (Contact for Pricing)


Rating

SmartSVN is a powerhouse SVN Client available for all major Operating Systems. Built to run on top of Java, this super-slick commercial client comes in three flavors: Foundation (the Free version), Professional (available for 30 days at no charge with 30 days of professional support) and Enterprise. You can view the major difference between the various versions here.

The built-in Diff Tool is clean and uses color highlighting to point out the differences between the Repo and Working copy just like you would expect. The Working Copy File Browser is your standard 2-pane file explorer but one major difference compared to other SVN Clients is the way it displays working copy files for the current directory and all of its subdirectories in the main window at once. It is sortable on sortable on 8-different columns, and pretty easy even for a novice to get the hang of in just a few minutes.

If you ever get stuck while trying to figure out how to do something in the software, this is where the benefits of choosing a commercial SVN Client really kick in. The Documentation and FAQ on their site is head and shoulders above any documentation you'll find for the open-source SVN Clients out there.

The current version is compatible with the Subversion 1.7 binaries, although the xMerge add on only works with SmartSVN releases up to version 6.6. If you want something small and lightweight, SmartSVN might not be for you, but with a highly-polished interface and tons of great features, you should definitely consider giving it a try.

SmartSVN Website | Download SmartSVN | User Guide

Versions

Versions

Platforms Mac OS X
License Commercial, Closed-Source
Cost ~$59 USD
Rating

Winner of the 2009 Apple Design Awards for "Best Mac OS X Leopard Developer Showcase," when it comes to Mac OS compatible SVN Clients, Versions is the cream of the crop. Suitable for graphic designers, developers, and project managers, the slick intuitive user interface and robust feature-set of Versions has something for everyone.

From the working copy browser you can easily modify file-specific svn properties, see which folders contain changes, filter views to only show changed files, and easy access to the history window and blame tool.

Using the timeline view you can get a complete overview of the recent changesets to your projects. Clicking a file in a changeset will bring up a DIFF comparison with the previous version, and you can filter revisions within a specified period or fixed amount. You can also link bug IDs in the commit logs to urls in your issue tracker if you choose to set that up.

With the Repository Browser you get drag-and-drop svn move and svn copy functionality, you can browse to a specific revision from within the commit logs, checkout and export from any revision, double-click to copy, and even browse repositories without having to check anything out.

Versions is compatible up to the latest release of Subversion server (1.6 as of this writing), supports all SVN Protocols and like you would expect from a commercially-supported SVN Client, has excellent documentation and support.

Versions Website | Download Versions (Trial) | User Guide

Cornerstone

Cornerstone

Platforms Mac OS X
LicenseCommercial, Closed-Source
Cost Free 14-Day Trial, $59 USD per user
Rating

Cornerstone may not have won the Apple Design Award like Versions, but it is a killer app. It is also priced to compete, and in terms of functionality is equally impressive. First off, Cornerstone has an integrated Diff viewer for both text and images, complete with syntax highlighting for many popular languages, and supports most image formats as well as Photoshop PSD's.(something I don't believe you get out-of-the-box with Version or other commercial SVN Clients).

Cornerstone has a linear timeline view that allows you to easily view changes to your project over time (including branches and merges). In addition to the Timeline view, there are working copy, repository, and commit views all with powerful filtering capabilities. Because of Cornerstones syntax highlighting for multiple popular programming languages and image-viewing capability you can quickly view the contents of most files with the integrated File viewer.

Cornerstone also has a dedicated Externals editor to provide a simple interface to adding externals to your project without forcing a user to go to the command-line and try their hand at the seemingly complicated svn-externals syntax. In addition to the externals editor, Cornerstone also allows you to upgrade or downgrade working copies of your repositories from Subversion 1.4 up to 1.6 and you can use repositories from differing Subversion releases at the same time.

Cornerstone is more than just another Mac-based SVN Client, its a serious competitor to the award winning Versions and though it's support section on their website is a bit lacking, they are super easy to get in touch with. If you're evaluating your options for a Mac OS SVN Client, don't make a decision without first giving Cornerstone a try.

Cornerstone Website | Download Cornerstone (Trial)

Syncro SVN

Syncro SVN

Platforms Windows, Mac OS X, Unix/Linux
License Commercial, Closed-Source
Cost $59 USD
Rating

One of the more affordable multi-platform compatible commercial SVN Clients, Syncro SVN sports a fully customizable yet surprisingly lean user interface. It is easy enough to use to be suitable for non-developer audiences, yet has enough features to still be useful for the seasoned subversion user. With a dockable visual studio style interface, compatibility up to Subversion 1.6, built-in DIFF viewers, revision log viewer, svn console, and handy revision graph, there are lots of tools to help this SVN Client stand out from the available open-source SVN Clients. It is also well documented with both pdf and online user-guides as well as several tutorial videos—another feature that sets it apart from the various open-source alternatives.

The main draw-back to Syncro SVN is that they only provide a 30-day trial license, so if you want the shine-and-polish of a commercially supported SVN Client, be prepared to purchase licenses after the trial license expires. Syncro SVN is definitely worth the investment, however their lack of a free version of their software puts them one step behind the equally impressive SmartSVN Client.

Syncro SVN Website | Download Syncro Svn (Trial) | User Guide

Cascade

Cascade

Platforms Windows, Mac OS X, Unix/Linux
LicenseCommercial, Closed-Source
Cost Free for Personal Use, $200/user/year USD
Rating

Another well-documented commercially supported SVN Client for all popular platforms, Cascade SVN Client is definitely worth giving a try. For those of you on developing with Subversion on Windows Machines that want a little more power than TortoiseSVN provides, Cascade comes bundled with both a proprietary Command-line client touted to be superior to the original Subversion CLI, and also comes with a windows shell extension that integrates with Windows explorer much like TortoiseSVN. It is important to note that the Windows Explorer extension is only available when browsing files stored on the Cascade created drive (Cascade File System).

Another standout feature is the browser-based "Cascade Manager" which allows you to configure, review, and administer several different repos from a simple locally hosted web application. In addition Cascade (optionally) creates it's own drive/file system on your computer during the installation project to centralize workflow and location of your various project's working copies.

While Cascade does take some time to get the hang of, it is definitely worth the effort, and it's license allows it to be used for free (even for commercial purposes) for one user per installation, and should prove to be quite a useful tool to intermediate to advanced developers using subversion.

Cascade Website | Download Cascade (Trial) | User Guide

RapidSVN

RapidSVN

Platforms Windows, Mac, Unix/Linux
License GNU GPL v3, Open-Source
Cost Free
Rating

RapidSVN is another standalone cross-platform graphical subversion client. Its standout features are its clean interface and its bookmarking feature that allows you to easily switch between repository and local working copy views. This particular SVN Client is simple enough that it can be used by beginners, yet robust enough to still be useful to even the most advanced SVN users. Whereas other tools like Tortoise and Subcommander come with built-in Diff tools, you will need to download and install your own Diff tool if you want to use that feature with RapidSVN. Overall though, for an SVN client only at version 0.12 as of this writing, it looks to be a promising addition to the growing number of cross-platform SVN Client GUIs.

TortoiseSVN Website | Download TortoiseSVN | User Guide

QSvn

QSvn

Platforms Windows, Mac OS X, Unix/Linux
License GNU GPL v2, Open-Source
Cost Free
Rating

QSvn is an open-source SVN Client that seems to also be in its early stages (pre 1.0 as of this writing) with a lot of promise. It is just as clean and simple to use as RapidSVN with an extremely accessible and easy to use interface. While it lacks some of the features that make Subcommander so nifty - like the ability to easily switch views between your repository and your actual working copy, novice SVN Client users will find this a very simple and straightforward tool to use. Some users will however find the output of the diff tool to the log window annoying in files where a large number of changes have occured since the last update.

QSvn Website | Download QSvn

Subcommander

Subcommander

Platforms Windows, Mac OS X Leopard and Tiger, Unix/Linux
LicenseGNU GPL V2, Open-Source
Cost Free
Rating

Subcommander is a cross-platform graphic subversion client supporting most SVN features. While it does not integrate directly with your Operating System's File Explorer, it is multithreaded so you can simultaneously run svn commands on multiple working copies, its integrated repository and working copy browsers allow you to switch quickly between views, and the included Submerge tool provides a clean and simple visual diff and merge tool for text files. A major drawback of working with Subcommander is that the latest stable version is only compatible up to Subversion 1.5.1. If your Subversion server is running the latest release (currently 1.6.6) you'll want to take a look at some of the other great SVN Clients out there.

Subcommader Website | Download Subcommander | User Guide

WorkBench

Workbench

PlatformsWindows, Mac OS X, Unix/Linux
License Apache Software License v1.1, Open-Source
Cost Free
Rating

Built on top of the pySVN Python Interface to Subversion, Workbench is not for the faint-hearted novice. While it does feature all the bells and whistle you'd expect from any good SVN Client. Workbench will most likely appeal to more advanced SVN users, and because of the sparse interface, even advanced SVN users may need to consult the getting started guide on the pySVN project site to set up their first SVN Project. It does come with a build in diff viewer, though again, the spartan interface can be confusing the first time you use it. One thing Workbench has going for it that other open-source projects seem to miss the mark on—is its documentation. It is one of the better documented open-source SVN Clients, however the necessity of having to consult the documentation to get started, points to the flaws in this SVN Client's poorly planned interface. Workbench ranks pretty low on the user-friendlyness scale and is probably not suitable for beginning users of Subversion or SVN Clients.

Workbench(pySVN) Website | Download Workbench(pySVN) | User Guide

Subversion Hosting at Assembla

Assembla provides the world's best subversion hosting in the the cloud. Our secure, reliable, and feature-rich subversion hosting is FREE and scalable with integrated task and issue management, social collaboration, and project management tools.