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Re: Disaster recovery: simplest way re-create our svn on another Linux server, for dummies

From: Ulrich Eckhardt <eckhardt_at_satorlaser.com>
Date: 2007-09-10 16:01:37 CEST

On Monday 10 September 2007 14:37, Mika Salonoja wrote:
> [...] just now that trusty box broke down totally (and I mean
> black-smoke-totally). It was 5 years old, so fixing it would cost a
> lot, and we have nothing. However, we have very fresh full tape backup
> just before the crash. This I have recovered to another Linux server,
> and Red Hat EL4 this time. So I have the contents or /var/lib/svn where
> we kept the repositories. I do not have a fresh dump-file, or the very
> latest working copies of the repositories, due to the chaotic nature of
> business going out of business.
> So the problem: I must temporarily re-create the svn service to another,
> much newer Linux-server, using db binaries from an old Debian box. I shuld
> be able to create a dump file and get latest working copy or export from
> each repository.

Okay, let's see what we can do...

0. Make a backup. Some of the things here require writing the repository. You
will also need write access, even just listing the content needs it because
of lockfiles that need to be created. You don't have to be root (and
1. Try to see if the locally installed Subversion can read the repository.
Typically, you would just do 'svn log file:///path/to/repos' and if you get
the log, the BDB is readable with the current client and you can simply dump
the repository.
2. If that doesn't work, you might be able to upgrade the BDB database using
db_recover (or 'svn recover'?) and then try again.
3. If all this doesn't work, you will need an old environment where it can be
read. I'd suggest that you install Debian in a virtual machine or directly
retrieve the binary packages and fumble together a working and usable SVN
installation, but that is not really trivial. If this still fails, it is
probably due to the fact that the current machine is simply a different
hardware architecture, e.g. you can't move a BDB between a 32 and 64 bit
architecture or between a big and little endian machine.

> If possible, I'd love to skip the installation and configuration of
> apache2, and just do locally an 'svn checkout' and 'svnadin dump' in
> the simplest way possible, on Linux command line.

Apache only plugs an HTTP-based service and access control on top of the
direct access, you don't need it. ;)

good luck!


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Received on Mon Sep 10 16:00:40 2007

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