GitHub Sunsets Subversion Support
Written by Janet Swift   
Tuesday, 14 February 2023

GitHub has announced that it will remove support for Subversion on in January 2024. A release of GitHub Enterprise Server shortly afterwards will also remove Subversion support. How much will this hurt?

The centralized version control system Apache Subversion, often abbreviated to SVN after its command name, was released in 2000, five years before Git, which was authored by Linus Torvalds in 2005 for development of the Linux kernel.

GitHub, which was founded in 2008, introduced support for Subversion in April 2010 to provide developers with a path to transition gradually to Git. At that time Git was already the version control system of choice for over half Linux developers and three out of four Mac Developers but Subversion was still favourite for Windows developers with a share of 37% compared to 24% for Git, see Git and GitHub Top In Popularity Stakes for details.

Subversion's popularity steadily declined and by the time of the Eclipse Community Survey 2014 we quoted Ian Skerrett reporting:

Git has finally surpassed Subversion to be the top code management tool used by software developers. A third of developers (33.3%) report they use Git as their primary code management tool compared to 30.7% using Subversion ... 9.6% claim GitHub is their primary code management tool so the prevalence of overall Git usage is becoming dominant.

The 2022 Stack Overflow Developer Survey reported that 94% of developers and 97% of Professional developers use Git compared to 5% and 6% using Subversion:


Matt Cooper, who announced Sunsetting Subversion support on the GitHub blog, commented 

Our traffic numbers inside GitHub back this up: fewer than 0.02% of requests made to the Git backend come through a Subversion endpoint, and only about 5,000 repositories see even a single Subversion request each month. It’s clear that Subversion support is no longer helping people migrate to Git.

Cooper refers to maintenance costs as one reason to cease Subversion support and on the plus side he notes that Git now caters for some workflows that it hadn't been able to support until the recent addition to Git of sparse checkout, sparse index, and partial clone.

To prepare users for the shut-off on on  January 8,2024 GitHub is planning to run a few hours-long and then day-long brownouts to help flush out any remaining users.

 subversion sq


More Information

Sunsetting Subversion support - GitHub blog

Related Articles

Git and GitHub Top In Popularity Stakes (2011)


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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 February 2023 )