Friday, October 29, 2010

Subversion and SSH setup in Netbeans 6.7 RC3 on Mac OS X

Netbeans has been making a lot of progress since version 6 and the latest 6.7 RC3 is even better. For those Eclipse fans, I strongly suggest that you check out Netbeans. It feels much faster and consumes less memory. The plugins are more organized and easy to manage (I think the plugin management in Eclipse is really messy).

The PHP plugin for Netbeans is out of beta and it is quite user friendly and versatile. So, I decided to switch from PDT to Netbeans for my PHP development.

Netbeans comes with Subversion support. However, it is not so smooth to set up Subversion over SSH on Mac OS X due to the ssh-askpass problem. This is a Mac OS X issue, not a Netbeans issue.

  1. Download and install Netbeans 6.7 RC3 (as of June 25, 2009).
  2. The subversion that comes with Mac OS X (/usr/bin/svn, 1.4.4 (r25188)) is quite outdated and it has problems working with newer versions of the SVN server, probably due to different format of the metadata. You need to use MacPorts to install a more recent subversion (if you don’t know how to install MacPorts, check out this). Just type this in your terminal: port install subversion, it might take a white. The subversion from MacPorts is installed in /opt/local/bin, so make sure you put /opt/local/bin before /usr/bin in your PATH environment variable.
  3. Add SVNROOT and SVN_SSH environment variables to your .bashrc:

    export SVNROOT=svn+ssh://your_svn_server/
    export export SVN_SSH=/usr/bin/ssh

  4. Launch Netbeans, go to preferences->Miscellaneous->Versioning->Subversion, for “path to SVN executable file”, enter /opt/local/bin
  5. Now, it seems like everything is ready. However, when you try to do update/diff and other operations, you get error: ssh_askpass: exec(/usr/libexec/ssh-askpass): No such file or directory. I did some Yahoo! search and the problem is that Netbeans wants to communicate with SVN server over ssh without asking your password using ssh-askpass, but it is not available. This is a general ssh issue on Mac OS X.

    I found two solutions: solution 1 and solution 2. I only tried solution 2 and it worked perfectly for me. Here are the simple steps:

    a) download script from here (note that I had to add .jpg since blogsome only supports image upload) and save it in /usr/libexec. Change ssh-askpass script to executable:
    wget wget -O ssh-askpass
    sudo cp ssh-askpass /usr/libexec/ssh-askpass
    sudo chmod a+x /usr/libexec/ssh-askpass

    b) add two more environment variables:

    export SSH_ASKPASS=macos-askpass
    export DISPLAY=:0

  6. Finally, you can use subversion actions from inside Netbeans. You will be asked for password for the first time, then it will be remembered for future activities.

    Enjoy the Netbeans! ;-)

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