The SVN system always has two components: a server and a client. You can think of this like a web server and a web browser. The client is the the browser that accesses the data on the server. The server manages the central master copy of your projects in a database that is referred to as the "repository".
Subversion itself is the server component. It manages your central project storage repository and is normally installed on a central server computer, which can be accessed via your local network or the Internet. It can be installed on the same computer where you do your work, but that is not recommended.
Your SVN server does not have to be a Windows computer. There are versions available for Linux, Unix and Mac OS X servers as well as for Windows. Windows versions are available from several sources, including Collabnet and Visual SVN.
This is the software that each user installs on their computer to communicate with the SVN server. It provides the interface that Help+Manual interacts with and some clients also include integration in Windows Explorer so that you can perform operations there directly. Here too, they are all free and open source. Currently, Help+Manual supports the Tortoise SVN, Collabnet and Visual SVN clients. The client for the older UberSVN distribution is also supported, but that distribution has now been discontinued by its producer and so we can no longer recommend it.
Please use Tortoise SVN as your Subversion client
We recommend using Tortoise SVN as your client unless you have a special reason for using one of the other clients. It is the best client for use on Windows by a very wide margin. It provides the best interface for Help+Manual and excellent integration in Windows Explorer. Note also that only versions 1.6 and above support the functions that are necessary for proper communication with Help+Manual.
For the moment, do not use a version of Tortoise SVN higher than 1.9.2!
Current versions of Tortoise no longer install some needed runtime components automatically, and versions later than 1.9.2 have radically changed their program structure without documenting it, and this has caused serious problems in the communication with Help+Manual. If you are currently using a higher version you need to downgrade to version 1.9.2 for it to work with Help+Manual. We are working with the Tortoise developers to resolve this problem.
See section further below on this page for details on resolving these problems with Tortoise.
Current versions of Tortoise SVN no longer install some needed runtime components automatically, and versions later than 1.9.2 have radically changed their program structure without documenting it, and this has caused serious problems in the communication with Help+Manual. If you are currently using a higher version you need to downgrade to version 1.9.2 for it to work with Help+Manual. We are working with the Tortoise developers to resolve this problem.
Downgrading Tortoise to version 1.9.2
The optimum version for working with Help+Manual at the moment is Tortoise SVN 1.9. 2. You can get the installer from the Tortoise repository on SourceForge:
Installing the missing runtime components
On 64-bit versions of Windows, you also need to install the missing runtime components from Microsoft manually, because Tortoise no longer installs these for you. You can download them on this page:
Restart Windows after installing. After that, Tortoise should work fine with Help+Manual.