Quick guide to setting up TortoiseCVS / TortoiseSVN

2009-06-23 windows / ssh
probably out of date now, but these are really handy and I think TortoiseGit works pretty much the same way.

TortoiseCVS and TortoiseSVN are nifty tools for using CVS and Subversion from Windows. From time to time I have to deal with The Beast Of Redmond in its various forms, and this makes it a lot easier …

Throughout, this example will refer to repohost, meaning the machine you’ve got the repository on.

PuTTY and Pageant

  1. Install PuTTY
  2. Copy your private key for repohost somewhere
  3. Use PuTTYgen to import your private key and save it as a PuTTY .ppk file
  4. Run Pageant and check that you can select that key and put in your passphrase and it works.
  5. Run PuTTY and make a session for your repo host:

    • Host Name: repohost.example.com
    • Port: 22
    • Connection>>Data>>Auto-login username: yourlogin

    then put ‘repohost‘ under “Saved Sessions” and hit “save”.

  6. Check that you can open this session now without a password (because pageant is caching your private key)

TortoiseCVS / TortoiseSVN

  1. Install TortoiseCVS and/or TortoiseSVN
  2. From the directory where you want to check out the project, right click and select CVS / SVN checkout
  3. Properties:
    • Protocol “Secure Shell (:ext:)”
    • Server “repohost“
    • Repo Folder “/home/cvs” (or whatever)
  4. Then hit Fetch List down on the bottom right, and a list of repos should appear. Select the one you want, then OK.
  5. It’ll now create a directory for that repo, you can access CVS/SVN commands with right click.

Hope that helps!

There’s also a TortoiseGit and a TortoiseHG, but I haven’t used them.


It seems that the helpful dialog box used to set up the repo is gone, and now you just have to enter in a URL. Something like:


seems to work …