I have setup Subversion 1.6.5 on Ubuntu 9.10 using apt-get and have successfully created a repository with a project simply named 'data' and have added files using svn import. I have added the following to /etc/subversion/config:

anon-access = none
auth-access = write
password-db = passwd
realm = data

and have created a file /etc/subversion/passwd which contains:

tim = foo

Running sudo svnserve -d --foreground -r /drobo/repos on the server, from a client I can checkout the project using svn checkout svn://tsunami/data. This all seems to work fine. However when I try to make a commit, I get:

svn commit
svn: Commit failed (details follow):
svn: Authorization failed
svn: Your commit message was left in a temporary file:
svn:    '/Users/tim/data/svn-commit.2.tmp'

I've tried explicitly using the svn --username and --password options but same problem. Is there anything else I'm missing that would cause the authentication to fail?

1 Answer 1


It turns out that the conf file in the repository directory should be edited e.g. if you had a repository named /svn/repos then you would edit /svn/repos/conf/svnserve.conf - rather than /etc/subversion/config...

  • 1
    I think you should say 'repository directory', not 'repository' as the file is not part of the repository itself. Dec 4, 2009 at 10:47
  • Edited to clarify exactly what file should be edited :-)
    – timbo
    Dec 7, 2009 at 3:27

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