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From Ulrich Eckhardt <>
Subject Re: Empty revisions causing repository failures
Date Thu, 19 May 2011 08:55:59 GMT
On Wednesday 18 May 2011, Christian Gils wrote:
> I've version 1.5.6 using FSFS stored on ext3 (RHEL 5.4). The repository
> contains about 39k revisions. Revisions 0-36672 are fine and dump
> without any problems. Revisions 36673-8 fail to verify and give the
> following error:
>   svnadmin: Revision file lacks trailing newline
> The same revisions fail to dump and give the following error:
>   svnadmin: Can't read length line in file 'repo/db/revs/36/3667x
> 36679-HEAD seem to be fine as users have been committing and checking
> out since then. A couple of days ago, however, local checkouts started
> failing with the following error (the rev file listed is going to be one
> of the failing revisions):
>   svn: Can't read length line in file '/data3/tmp/repo/db/revs/36/3667x'
> It looks like certain checkouts hit a file which prompts svn to try and
> read those revisions and subsequently fail.

If a commit doesn't change a file, the data in a previous commit will be 
referenced instead, so that it avoids writing the same data over and over 
again. When reading, it then looks in previous revisions to locate the file if 
necessary. That explains why you can access some parts but not those that were 
changed in the lost range.

> As a result we have a
> project which is unusable at the moment. Verification and dumping from
> 36679-HEAD will proceed until it hits a reference back to one of the
> borked revisions and them terminate. I can't even dump both halves of
> the repo and reimport omitting 36673-36678.

IIRC, SVN won't touch these files once they were written. That means that you 
can copy just those files from an old backup without disturbing any earlier or 
later revisions. Of course you should back up your life data before and 
validate the results afterwards.

> I'm kind of stuck as to how to fix this. Can I try to insert mocked-up
> empty revisions in place of the zeroed ones so that svn can proceed with
> dumping the more recent half of the repository or is there a better way
> to do this?

I don't think that works because dumping writes full files, but in order to 
get those it might have to read multiple deltas (revisions) from the 
repository. If these are not there, you can't restore the full file content.

Good luck!

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