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Created August 10, 2010 20:20
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Color-Coded `svn status`

First there was:

Then there was:

A few days ago, I found a handy script online that colorized the output of SVN status. It worked pretty well, but needed a little polish and a couple of tweaks to make it use more common Python idioms. As I continued to use it and fix bugs and inefficiencies, I ended up replacing nearly every line in the original, but it was still a great starting point.

Additional changes include ANSI word-wrapping, a configurable tab expansion feature (for better code alignment), the 'colorizedSubcommands' sequence so that only applicable commands get colorized, use of proper subprocess module calls so that piping through less will work (for example, try svn-color diff | less -r to see colorized diff output).

To use, stick it somewhere, make executable (chmod 755), and then add this to your .profile:

alias svn=/usr/local/bin/

I hope you find my modifications useful. You can modify the colors used by looking up the ANSI color codes for your preferred color scheme and editing the 'statusColors' dictionary. Here's a useful reference for ANSI color values:

Requires Python 2.4 or greater.

#!/usr/bin/env python
Author: Saophalkun Ponlu (
Date: May 23, 2009
Modified: June 15, 2009
Additional modifications:
Author: Phil Christensen (
Date: February 22, 2010
import os, sys, re, subprocess
tabsize = 4
colorizedSubcommands = (
statusColors = {
"M" : "31", # red
"\?" : "37", # grey
"A" : "32", # green
"X" : "33", # yellow
"C" : "30;41", # black on red
"-" : "31", # red
"D" : "31;1", # bold red
"\+" : "32", # green
def colorize(line):
for color in statusColors:
if re.match(color, line):
return ''.join(("\001\033[", statusColors[color], "m", line, "\033[m\002"))
return line
def escape(s):
s = s.replace('$', r'\$')
s = s.replace('"', r'\"')
s = s.replace('`', r'\`')
return s
passthru = lambda x: x
quoted = lambda x: '"%s"' % escape(x)
if __name__ == "__main__":
cmd = ' '.join(['svn']+[(passthru, quoted)[' ' in arg](arg) for arg in sys.argv[1:]])
output = subprocess.Popen(cmd, shell=True, stdout=subprocess.PIPE)
cancelled = False
for line in output.stdout:
line = line.expandtabs(tabsize)
if(sys.argv[1] in colorizedSubcommands):
line = colorize(line)
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Awesome dude! This is super useful for status. I still like colordiff a bit better for diffs (it makes changed lines bold which is a nice touch) but this script is definitely how status should work.

One thing I noticed is there's no color on the output of merges. Does that make sense to you? Would be a nice-to-have as to me the output of merge and status are equivalent so my brain wants colors in both. Status is the most important though :)

Thanks for keeping this modern and putting it in all the right places. Perfect use of Gist.

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Hi Jeremy!

Thanks, glad it's useful to you. I had gotten a couple of other improvement requests, so I ended up moving this to a repo so I could use pull requests.

Feel free to send a pull request any time. I don't use SVN much anymore, and when I did I used merges very sparingly, but if I get a second I'll see about adding merge support myself...

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ghost commented Jun 23, 2013


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Great work

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yudjin87 commented Jul 27, 2016


Thnx for script. On my Ubuntu 16 output is a bit corrupted:

I changed from
return ''.join(("\001\033[", statusColors[color], "m", line, "\033[m\002"))
return ''.join(("\033[", statusColors[color], "m", line, "\033[m"))
and it works...

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Thanks for the gist and thanks to @yudjin87 for the fix!

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xergio commented Mar 2, 2018

thank you @yudjin87 and @philchristensen

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