If you do a svn copy the file history of the new location shares the history of the old location. This is way subversion supports svn move and branches. Restoring a file’s history is only a matter of copying the right file. Given the file $A_FILE to restore, the new file location $B_FILE and the last revision $A_REV of $A_FILE (before $A_FILE was removed) the operations to restored the history of $A_FILE are:
svn delete $B_FILE svn cp $URL/$A_FILE@$A_REV $B_FILE svn cat $URL/$B_FILE > $B_FILE
After you restored $A_FILE’s history all changes directly to $B_FILE are lost. Only the content of the file $B_FILE survives.
Here’s a commented script demonstrates the problem and show how to fix it:
#!/bin/bash -ex #do everything in a working directory that's removed after the script ran mkdir -p work WORK=$(readlink -f work) cd "$WORK" trap 'rm -rf "$WORK"' EXIT SIGINT SIGTERM #setup a repository REPOSITORY=$(readlink -f repo) svnadmin create "$REPOSITORY" URL=file://$REPOSITORY #checkout the local workspace svn co $URL workspace cd workspace A_FILE=a.txt B_FILE=b.txt #create the file to restore echo $A_FILE content > $A_FILE svn add $A_FILE svn commit -m"initial version of $A_FILE" svn update A_REV=$(svnversion) #history of the file is lost svn delete $A_FILE svn commit -m"deleted $A_FILE" #the new file echo $B_FILE content > $B_FILE svn add $B_FILE svn commit -m"initial version of $B_FILE" svn update B_REV=$(svnversion) #restore the file history and keep the file content svn delete $B_FILE svn cp $URL/$A_FILE@$A_REV $B_FILE svn cat $URL/$B_FILE > $B_FILE svn status svn commit -m"history from $A_FILE in new path $B_FILE" #check the result svn update && svn info svn log --diff $URL/$B_FILE svn cat $URL/$B_FILE svn diff $URL/$B_FILE $URL/$B_FILE@$B_REV