Locking a File

A locked file allows you exclusive write access to a file from the repository, meaning that you are the only one who can modify and commit the file to the repository.

You can lock a file from the contextual menu of the Working Copy view. Note that you can only lock several files at once but no directories. This is a restriction of Subversion which is used to discourage the use of the lock-modify-unlock model at large scale or when unnecessary.

In the Lock dialog you can write a comment for the lock and if necessary steal (force) the lock. Note that you should only steal a lock after you made sure that the previous owner no longer needs it, otherwise you may cause an unsolvable conflict which is exactly why the lock was put there in the first place. The Subversion server can have a policy concerning lock stealing, it may not allow you to steal a lock if a certain condition is not satisfied.

The lock will stay in place until you commit the locked file or until someone unlocks it. There is also the possibility that the lock will expire after a period of time specified in the Subversion server policy.