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sporadic checkout or update errors (big repository)

From: James Coleman <jamesc_at_dspsrv.com>
Date: 2007-07-19 16:24:29 CEST


We're seeing errors like these frequently enough that they are an issue for users.
Is the explaination below correct?
And if so then would it be worth documenting this in the svn FAQ?
Grepping mailing lists and web in general shows that these come up as an issue for a few people.

As a longer-term solution it would be nice if clients could report a better error
to user or implement a retry mechanism ... ?
TortoiseSVN already implements a retry to overcome the local filesystem glitch.
Hmmm. :)


For sporadic errors like this:

  svn: Can't move '<branchname>/<....>/.svn/tmp/entries' to
  '<branchname>/<....>/.svn/entries': Permission denied

or this:

  Error: PROPFIND request failed on '/repository/!svn/bc/25129/<project>/<....>/trunk'
  Error: PROPFIND of '/repository/!svn/bc/25129/<project>/<....>/trunk': could not connect to server

or this:

  Error: REPORT request failed on '/repository/!svn/vcc/default'
  Error: REPORT of '/repository/!svn/vcc/default': could not connect to server (https://<server>)

Solution: Just resume the svn action.

When doing checkout or update or switch (or ...) if you get a failure like these then
the client stops checking out immediately and reports error.
Nothing is wrong with server or working copy. The svn action can be resumed.
You can resume your checkout by changing into the working directory and doing an update.
An svn cleanup may be needed before resuming an update.

SVN clients could implement a retry for errors like this?
Or one could script up a solution if it is a regular problem ... ?

Explaination (Is the following the answer to this?):

1. local file-system glitch

"Can't move" is a problem with a local file-system glitch. Usually caused by Windows locking
a file (files locked in any other application e.g. anti-virus scanning, editor auto-save).
This is a known problem for cygwin svn, TortoiseSVN implements a retry for local filesystem
commands to solve this.

This seems to be more of an issue for network mounted directories (grepping svn users list).

2. server communication glitch (http/https WebDAV)

There can be glitches during checkout/update (usually large checkouts) which
are significant enough to cause checkout to break and stop.
The errors are a bit ..stilted.. as they're from the WebDAV layer:

PROPFIND can also indicate basic communications failure (such as firewall blocking commands,
authentication failure, ...)

In all cases if the error is sporadic and not repeatable every time then the checkout or
update may be resumed, sometimes an svn cleanup is needed.

grep mailing lists:


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Received on Thu Jul 19 16:22:11 2007

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