Best practices for development with multiple machines and version control

I'm just getting into the practice of version control (I'd like to use Eclipse and SVN), and I'm not sure the best setup for my scenario.

I'm currently a lone developer and I have two computers (a work desktop and a home office laptop) that I like to use for development (mainly web-based stuff). I have access to a Linux-based and a Windows-based remote server, and I seem to always have files scattered between the two machines based on where I conduct the work.

Are there any instructions or best practices about how to set up a development environment so that when I sit down at either machine I have the same files to work with and the ability to utilize version control?


Some things I have used between my laptop/workstation/server.

  • If the paths are exposed create a local svn repository, and then use the network path to the repo from the second machine. Works well if you dont want to run a server but just use local files. My laptop and workstation have the same credentials, so pass through works great with the hidden paths '\machine\c$\etc'

  • I also like to use Unison for managing the files between my laptop and workstation. Its not versioning, and with date time hints it does rather well at 'which is newer'. Also, if you're the only one using both, conflicts are really low. I use this to manage my 'my documents'

  • Of course you can create an SVN server, and I have found Visual SVN to make this almost too easy. I started using this for my personal projects after the need to 'launch' to the server came up. Having the svn server on the remote server had a few benefits when it came to launching and working from home. (Or inviting other developers)

Just install SVN on one of your computers (preferably on the Linux server). I guess administrators will install SVN for you and create needed repositories.

Integration of SVN with Eclipse is really easy through plugin.

If you are new to source control (or even if you are not), reading Eric Sink's Source Code HOWTO will give a good introduction and expose you to some best practices.

I would consider a distributed version control system as well as Subversion. Even if you do go with Subversion in the end, it's good to understand all the options available to you. Personally, I'm a single developer and work in multiple locations, and have found the DVCS concept to work much better than SVN.

Git, Mercurial and Bazaar are three options. Here's a good video by Linux Torvalds which explains some of the conceptual differences.

I am implementing Bazaar as my source control solution for handling this scenario. I have used Subversion for years, but it simply does not really fit this distributed usage scenario. Bazaar does.

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