Computer Laboratory

Updating your working copy

For more details on using Subversion visit the Subversion online instruction book


Periodically, you should ensure that changes done by others get incorporated into your local working copy.

The process of getting changes from the server to your local copy is known as updating.

Updating may be done on single files, a set of selected files, or recursively on entire directory hierarchies.

To update:
$ svn update
U index-b.html
U newfile-b.html
Updated to revision 2

By running svn update we see that someone has checked in modifications to the files index-b.html and newfile-b.html since the last time you updated, and Subversion has updated your working copy to include these changes.

Resolving conflicts

Sometimes conflicts will occur when you are updating. This is caused by other authors changing the same lines in the same file and thus the changes do not match. The resolving conflicts page will show you how to fix this issue.

Local File Already Exists

Sometimes when you run update, it will fail with a message to say that there is already a local file of the same name.

This happens when Subversion tries to checkout a newly versioned file, and finds that an unversioned file of the same name already exists in your working copy.

Subversion will never overwrite an unversioned file. If you get this error message, the solution is simply to rename the local unversioned file.

After completing the update, you can check whether the renamed file is still needed.