Welcome to Helix Agile Development Virtual Appliance

The primary goal of Helix is to enable agile software development by providing the right tools to facilitate a team to build software quickly and collaborate and communicate with each other effectively. It brings together two best of breed tools in Subversion and Trac in one easy to use package.

Subversion provides excellent source code revision control with access to the repository via http,file or svn protocols. Trac simplifies the tracking and handling of software issues, enhancements and overall progress. It also provides a simple but extremely effective way of communication via the built-in wiki. This help page you are reading is also part of the wiki!!!

Why would you want this appliance

  • You have heard a lot about Subversion as the source code revision control of the future and would like to try it out without spending days trying to set it up and administer it.
  • You are looking for ways to improve communication between team members and facilitate the flow of information.
  • You want to be able to manage the project issues in one place.
  • You want to look at the source code in your repository from any computer without having to bring up all the different editors.
  • You have a personal project that you are working on that can use some structure.
  • You are a system administrator and want to practice different configurations/options before making those changes on a production server.

How was this appliance built

Helix is running on the server version of Ubuntu Breezy 5.10.

  • Apache was installed along with Subversion and Trac.
  • Subversion repositories were created and configured.
  • Trac project was set up and initialized.
  • All the required apache modules - mod_python, mod_svn were installed and apache configured.
  • Apache, Subversion and Trac were then configured to work together.
  • A custom kernel was built from the latest kernel sources and used to replace the Ubuntu kernel. All the unused modules along with the restricted modules were removed.
  • Several packages, libraries and init scripts that were not being used were removed.
  • The size of the install is about 225 MB.

How to use the appliance

  • Start VMware player or Workstation.
  • Open Helix.vmx.
  • Click "Start this Virtual Machine".
  • The os will boot up, get a dhcp address, start the web server, and show a login prompt. A message will also be printed out with the url to use to access the help page (which is this page).
  • Log in as helix with password helix. Add users as you like and change the password ! Since this is ubuntu, you cannot login as root. You can either su or use sudo. The root password is helix.
  • The subversion repository is setup under /var/svn. You can use username helix and pw helix to access the repository via the  http://ipaddress/svn/helix webpage.
  • The trac project root directory is /var/trac. There is one trac project already setup. It is called helix. This web page that you are reading is part of helix.
  • You can type helix anytime in the shell to redisplay the help message that was printed after boot up.
  • Vim is available as the text editor.

How to create a new Subversion project

  • sudo -s -H
  • mkdir /var/svn/proj
  • mkdir ~/proj
  • mkdir ~/proj/branches
  • mkdir ~/proj/tags
  • mkdir ~/proj/trunk
  • svnadmin create /var/svn/proj
  • svn import ~/proj  file:///var/svn/proj -m "initial import into repository"
  • rm -rf ~/proj
  • chown -R www-data:www-data /var/svn/proj
  • apache2 -k restart
  • You can now browse the project at  http://ipaddress/svn/proj
  • A user 'helix' with password 'helix' is setup as the svn user
  • You can either use the svn command line client or get a gui client from one of the links below.
  • Please refer to the Subversion pages for other configuration options and a full list of features.

How to create a new Trac project

  • sudo -s -H
  • trac-admin /var/trac/proj initenv
  • Enter project name
  • Accept the default db connection string unless you have changed the db
  • Path to repository is /var/svn/proj (This is the SVN repository you set up in prev section)
  • Accept the default for the location of trac templates
  • chown -R www-data:www-data /var/trac/proj
  • apache2 -k restart
  • You can now browse trac for the project at  http://ipaddress/proj
  • A user 'helix' with password 'helix' is setup as the admin user
  • Please refer to the Trac pages in this wiki for other configuration options and a full list of features.

Virtual Machine Configuration

  • Memory : 256MB
  • Hard Drive : One IDE disk expandable to 1 GB
  • Networking : Bridged
  • Processors : 1

Links and Resources


For a complete list of local wiki pages, see TitleIndex.