My old subversion server (Fedora 10, Apache with mod_dav_svn) crashed and the only thing I have is a backup of the filesystem.

I've configured the new server (now CentOS 5) exactly the same way and copied the files from the backup, but I get this error: "Could not open the requested SVN filesystem" (New repositories are working...)

What could I try to get the repositories working again?


Unfortunately CentOS 5's subversion is quite old, 1.4.2, whereas Fedora 10's is newer, 1.5.4. The fsfs format must have changed between the two (look for a version file in the repository directory) and your older subversion on CentOS can't read the newer version generated on 1.5.4.

You have two options:

  1. Install a temporary copy of 1.5.4 or later (or e.g. set up a Fedora 10 VM to use the copy there), use svnadmin dump from 1.5.4 to back up the repository then load this into a new repository using svnadmin load with the 1.4.2 tools. This may be slow, and you'll also have to copy over any hooks etc. You'll also lose the server-side support for svn:mergeinfo attributes.

  2. Install a newer version of subversion on your machine. You can either build this yourself - getting a Fedora SRPM is a good start, although it will usually need a few fix-ups - or you can set up your system to update from RPMForge, either in its entirety or just for subversion and its dependencies - and install their up-to-date builds of 1.6.x. You'll get all the improvements of 1.6 and keep the svn:mergeinfo attribute support, but you'll no longer have a strictly-RHEL-5-compatible system (if you're bothered about that). For future note: as in the discussion below you must restart apache, e.g. /sbin/service httpd restart, after updating the installed subversion.

Good luck!

  • Thank you for your very fast answer! I've updated subversion using RPMForge to version 1.6.12, but the error is still there. – Dani31 Sep 30 '10 at 17:28
  • Oh :-/ Sorry for encouraging you to upgrade then when that wasn't the answer. Could it be a server permissions problem somehow - are you seeing the error in apache-hosted SVN or with command-line svn ls file://etc or both? I often get bitten by SELinux permissions so if it's broken through apache only then I'd try turning SELinux off. Or it may be necessary to svnadmin upgrade the repository before it'll work with 1.6, but I've encouraged you do to enough drastic things already I'm not really sure about suggesting that – Rup Sep 30 '10 at 17:36
  • Oh, you're using a BDB repository not FSFS? In which case I might have given you bad advice: you might need to be using the exact version of Berkley DB to read it - I don't know the compatibility between BDB versions. Or maybe you can do some sort of BDB upgrade? I don't know. The 'Expected FS format' is 2 for 1.4.x, 3 for 1.5.x and 4 for 1.6.x so it looks to me that at least your apache is still running the 1.4.2 mod_dav_svn and libraries - did you restart it with /sbin/service httpd restart or similar? The simplest option now might be to set up a Fedora 10 VM and check that still reads it. – Rup Sep 30 '10 at 18:30
  • Oh sorry, I haven't restarted the Apache... :/ Now it works fine! Thank you very much for your good help! – Dani31 Sep 30 '10 at 18:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.