Subversion Permission Issues

In my installation of Subversion (SVN) on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (a.k.a. RHEL 5 or CentOS 5), I was attempting to access my working Subversion repository through the web interface using Apache.  I came across a permissions issue giving the following errors:

This one is from the Apache error log (/var/log/httpd/error_log) and is generated whenever an attempt to connect to the resource via the web interface is made:

[error] [client 127.0.0.1] Could not open the requested SVN filesystem  [500, #2]

This is what was visible from the web browser.  This is its rendering of the XML response.

<D:error>
<C:error/>
<m:human-readable errcode=”2″>
Could not open the requested SVN filesystem
</m:human-readable>
</D:error>

This one arose when attempting to run the svn command as the apache user (sudo -u apache svn list….)

svn: Can’t open file ‘/root/.subversion/servers’: Permission denied

I eventually discovered that this problem was being caused by the Subversion binary looking to the root home directory, instead of to the Apache / httpd home directory (~apache which was /var/www in my configuration.)  This is not the correct behaviour but until the issue is fixed you can fix the problem yourself with this:

cp -r /root/.subversion/* ~apache/.subversion/

chown -R apache:apache ~apache/.subversion/

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3 Comments

  1. Edson… if you don’t have the apache user then it would appear that either you are not running Red Hat Linux or you have not installed HTTPD yet. The Apache user is created when Apache (HTTPD) is installed.

    yum install httpd

    What OS are you using? What is the output of:

    cat /etc/redhat-release

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