Plesk and SVN

Background: We host a very large organization that has chapters in all 50 states (of the United States that is). We choose to host these sites under Plesk because it offloads some of the more mundane support requests to the users, and trust me that is a good thing.

All the sites are in the format Now, we also manage the codebase for the content management system for these sites. It is my job to set these up. It is boring and I might throw myself in front of a large bus if I had to do this all by hand.

Enter one well crafted shell script:

for i in `find /var/www/vhosts -type d -name “*”`; do FOO=$(cat /etc/passwd |grep $i| sed ‘s/:.*//’); cd $i; rm -rf $i/httpdocs $i/sql $i/.svn; svn checkout ./; chown $FOO:psaserv $i/httpdocs; chown -R $FOO:psacln $i/httpdocs/*; done

Here is what this one does: Since we already have all the domains on the server (and this is a Plesk server) we are just going through the list of sites in the /var/www/vhosts directory and working with each of them. Now Plesk (particularly the latest version 7.5.x) can be very picky about ownership and permissions (especially on the httpdocs folder), so we need to correct them as we go along.

Also it should be noted that all of the sites were previously under SVN control, however that SVN was removed due to the wrong codebase being imported into the SVN originally. So…

This loop goes through and takes the full path for the domain and places it in the variable $i. We then parse the passwd file to find out which user owns that directory (important for FTP reasons) and place that information into a bash variable. Then we remove the previous httpdocs, .svn, and sql directories since SVN will not export if a directory of the same name already exists. Then we do an SVN checkout of the code to the current directory. Then using the previous bash variable we created by parsing the passwd file ($FOO) we correct the ownership of the httpdocs folder and the files contained within.

Simple huh?

I hope to write up a simple howto in the near future on how to manage your website using SVN. It is extremely handy when dealing with website revisions as well as revisions to many sites that use the same code.

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