Table Of Contents


A resource defines the desired state for a single configuration item present on a node that is under management by Chef. A resource collection—one (or more) individual resources—defines the desired state for the entire node. During a chef-client run, the current state of each resource is tested, after which the chef-client will take any steps that are necessary to repair the node and bring it back into the desired state.

Use the subversion resource to manage source control resources that exist in a Subversion repository.


This resource is often used in conjunction with the deploy resource.


The syntax for using the subversion resource in a recipe is as follows:

subversion "name" do
  attribute "value" # see attributes section below
  action :action # see actions section below


  • subversion tells the chef-client to use the Chef::Provider::Subversion provider during the chef-client run.
  • "name" is the location in which the source files will be placed and/or synchronized with the files under source control management
  • attribute is zero (or more) of the attributes that are available for this resource
  • :action identifies which steps the chef-client will take to bring the node into the desired state

For example:

subversion "CouchDB Edge" do
  repository ""
  revision "HEAD"
  destination "/opt/mysources/couch"
  action :sync


This resource has the following actions:

Action Description
:sync Default. Use to update the source to the specified version, or to get a new clone or checkout.
:checkout Use to clone or check out the source. When a checkout is available, this provider does nothing.
:export Use to export the source, excluding or removing any version control artifacts.
:force_export Use to export the source, excluding or removing any version control artifacts and to force an export of the source that is overwriting the existing copy (if it exists).


This resource has the following attributes:

Attribute Description
destination The path to the location to which the source will be cloned, checked out, or exported. Default value: the name of the resource block. (See “Syntax” section above for more information.)
group The system group that is responsible for the checked-out code.
provider Optional. Use to explicitly specify a provider. (See “Providers” section below for more information.)
repository The URI for the Subversion repository.
revision The revision to be checked out. This can be symbolic, like HEAD or it can be a source control management-specific revision identifier. Default value: HEAD.
svn_arguments The extra arguments that are passed to the Subversion command.
svn_info_args Use when the svn info command is used by the chef-client and arguments need to be passed. (The svn_arguments command does not work when the svn info command is used.)
svn_password The password for the user that has access to the Subversion repository.
svn_username The user name for a user that has access to the Subversion repository.
timeout The amount of time (in seconds) to wait for a command to execute before timing out. When this attribute is specified using the deploy resource, the value of the timeout attribute is passed from the deploy resource to the subversion resource.
user The system user that is responsible for the checked-out code.


Where a resource represents a piece of the system (and its desired state), a provider defines the steps that are needed to bring that piece of the system from its current state into the desired state.

The chef-client will determine the correct provider based on configuration data collected by Ohai at the start of the chef-client run. This configuration data is then mapped to a platform and an associated list of providers.

Generally, it’s best to let the chef-client choose the provider and this is (by far) the most common approach. However, in some cases specifying a provider may be desirable. There are two approaches:

  • Use a more specific short name—yum_package "foo" do instead of package "foo" do, script "foo" do instead of bash "foo" do, and so on—when available
  • Use the provider attribute to specify the long name as an attribute of a resource, e.g. provider Chef::Provider::Long::Name

This resource has the following providers:

Long name Short name Notes
Chef::Provider::Subversion subversion This provider work only with Subversion.


The following examples demonstrate various approaches for using resources in recipes. If you want to see examples of how Chef uses resources in recipes, take a closer look at the cookbooks that Chef authors and maintains:

Get the latest version of an application

subversion "CouchDB Edge" do
  repository ""
  revision "HEAD"
  destination "/opt/mysources/couch"
  action :sync