Java Programming

Disable SVN in NetBeans

September 21, 2009

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been doing some Java development using NetBeans and every couple of days my checked out copy of the project dies on me. I was getting very frustrated because each time it happened I had to check out an older revision to a new directory, then export the corrupted one into and from there I could check it in. This was not only time consuming but a very messy solution which had the potential mess up my repository. Yet after going through all this work I would again be presented with the following error:

“This client is too old to work with the working copy “C:\path\to\repository.” You need to get a newer Subversion client, or downgrade this working copy. See for details.”

This error was somewhat misleading, as the site it provided didn’t offer me any insight as to why it was happening. I had the newest version of TortoiseSVN and the error wasn’t happening with any of my Visual Basic or PHP projects, just the Java project. Eventually it dawned on me what was causing this. NetBeans IDE has built in support for Subversion which uses the CollabNet Subversion client. When I was working within the NetBeans IDE the CollabNet client was working behind the scenes and changing files within the .svn folder on my system. When the time came for me to check in my changes through TortoiseSVN I would get the not so helpful error message.

After a quick Google search I found the solution on the NetBeans Forums. In the NetBeans IDE go to Tools->Plugins then under the Installed tab check Subversion and hit Uninstall. The plugin will be removed and you will be prompted to restart the IDE.

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  1. I just updated to SVN 1.6, now Netbeans 6.8 gives errors saying the client is too old whenever I do any SVN operation. In Tools->Plugins->Installed, I have nothing called Subversion, or any plugin related to version control, so I can’t figure out how to disable it. The worst thing is Netbeans now thinks every line in every file has changed and show green bars for every line in the right vertical bar of a file window — very irritating.

  2. I solved my problem above. When looking at the Installed tab, the Details checkbox must be enabled to show the Subversion item. Checking older versions of Netbeans, I see the checkbox is enabled by default.

  3. Netbeans 7.2 now installs the in the base IDE. So the uninstall options is not an option. I am now hunting around for the proper way to disable .svn in netbeans.

    Oh, and before some one comments that I should just delete the .svn files, that is not an option. This repo uses .git to store a code base that has .svn repos in it. The .svn repos need to be managed separately.

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