from :http://www.jroller.com/erAck/entry/building_subversion_on_debian_etch

The OpenOffice.org Subversion repository‘s CWS handling relies heavily on the Subversion merge feature. You need at least a SVN 1.5.1 client, probably the current latest 1.5.4 will do best. Debian/Etch comes with 1.4.2, lenny (testing) has 1.5.1, and only experimental has 1.5.4, see package search. As I try to avoid pulling in mixed libraries from different suites I prefer to build from source in such cases.

To build Subversion 1.5.4 from source on Debian/Etch using the already installed libapr1, libaprutil1, libneon26 you need to

apt-get install libapr1-dev libaprutil1-dev libneon26-dev

Because libneon26-dev on Debian does not come with the libneon.la file needed by libtool (which seems to be fixed for libneon27-dev) you’d get a link error when building Subversion:

libtool: link: cannot find the library `/usr/lib/libneon.la' or unhandled argument `/usr/lib/libneon.la'

Apply the following patch to Subversion’s configure file before running configure:

--- orig.configure	2008-11-22 19:58:16.000000000 +0100
+++ configure	2008-11-22 20:17:57.000000000 +0100
@@ -4860,7 +4860,9 @@
            test "$svn_allowed_neon" = "any"; then
             svn_allowed_neon_on_system="yes"
             SVN_NEON_INCLUDES=`$neon_config --cflags | sed -e 's/-D[^ ]*//g'`
-            NEON_LIBS=`$neon_config --la-file`
+            #NEON_LIBS=`$neon_config --la-file`
+            # erAck: on Debian/Etch there's no libneon.la
+            NEON_LIBS=`$neon_config --libs`
             CFLAGS="$CFLAGS `$neon_config --cflags | sed -e 's/-I[^ ]*//g'`"
             svn_lib_neon="yes"
             break
@@ -5240,7 +5242,9 @@
            test "$svn_allowed_neon" = "any"; then
             svn_allowed_neon_on_system="yes"
             SVN_NEON_INCLUDES=`$neon_config --cflags | sed -e 's/-D[^ ]*//g'`
-            NEON_LIBS=`$neon_config --la-file`
+            #NEON_LIBS=`$neon_config --la-file`
+            # erAck: on Debian/Etch there's no libneon.la
+            NEON_LIBS=`$neon_config --libs`
             CFLAGS="$CFLAGS `$neon_config --cflags | sed -e 's/-I[^ ]*//g'`"
             svn_lib_neon="yes"
             break

Btw, for external source packages I prefer a simple user-local installation instead of a system wide .deb, and have $HOME/usr/bin in $PATH before others. My configure call in this case was just

./configure --prefix=$HOME/usr

Compiled and linked fine. Runs as well 😉

Don’t forget to run make check before make install to be sure that your copy of SVN does what it is supposed to..

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