I'm trying to allow multiple users to access/commit to my repo and I'm running into permission issues (as expected). I followed the steps in the SVN book and I'm still getting this error:

svn: Commit failed (details follow):
svn: Can't create directory '/usr/home/peter/svn/db/transactions/16-1.txn': Permission denied

I've set the SUID bit on the db directory, wrote a wrapper script which sets the umask to 002 then executes the 'svn' command and set group permissions to rwx on all directories in svn/

My Script:

umask 002
/usr/local/bin/svn "$@"

What am I missing? Thanks.

2 Answers 2


Whatever user/group your svn server process runs as needs to have rwx permissions on everything in the /usr/home/peter/svn directory. So if your svn server runs as the svn user/svn group, you need to run:

chgrp -R svn /usr/home/peter/svn; chmod -R g+rwx /usr/home/peter/svn

The directory /usr/home/peter/svn/db is not writable by the user calling the script. You have the SUID bit set on the directory, but is it writable by a group that the calling user is a member of, or world writable?

  • Actually, /usr/home/peter/svn/db is writable by the users group, however the directories within are not. Should I manually change all directories and files to be group rwx?
    – lumberg55
    Sep 2, 2009 at 15:46
  • There are only a few directories that need to be writable: dav, dv, and locks. And you'll only need the dav directory to be writable if you plan on using the apache module for hosting content.
    – Tel Janin
    Sep 2, 2009 at 15:51

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