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svn+ssh Could not chdir

From: Greg Willits <lists_at_gregwillits.ws>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 23:11:18 -0700

I've been reading and monkeying all day on getting an svn+ssh setup
going, and I'm close, but two things are still funky.

I'm putting repos on OS X Server 10.5.2 which has svn 1.4.4 built in.
The server I testing with is my test server on home LAN (home.srvr)
that I've used basic svn:// just fine with.

At this stage, from the client machine something like the following:

        svn list svn+ssh://home.srvr/{repo_path}

will ask for a password, I'll enter my user's password, and get this
error message

        Could not chdir to home directory : No such file or directory

but will get asked for a password again, so I enter it again, and
then I get a listing.

Other commands will similarly require 2X or sometimes 3X the entry of
the password.

1) I can't figure out where the error comes from
2) I am puzzled why I'm not being asked for the ssh passphrase of the

Here's how I have built what I have so far:

-- created a user named "svn" and put its OS X "home" folder at the
root level (not in /Users), and I stripped out all the customary OS X
user folders

-- created a group called "svnusers" and added the "svn" user

-- created an /svnHome folder at the top level for all repositories

-- drag & drop copied an existing repo (which I have been using just
fine as a basic svnserve on a LAN) into /svn/svnHome, so I now have /

-- edited the svnserve.conf file to remove all the edits from the
prior plain server setup

-- on /svnHome I did chown -R svn, chgrp -R svnusers, and made sure
both had rw privs

-- created a /svn/.ssh folder

-- created a /svn/.ssh/authorized_keys files (chmod 600)

-- copied my workstation id_rsa.pub file to the server, used cat to
append the file contents, then opened the file and modified the line
to look like this (all on one line in the file)

        command="/usr/bin/svnserve -t --tunnel-user=greg",
        ssh-rsa AAAAB_etc_etc_etc greg_at_yaddayadda

So now, on the client when I enter

        svn list svn+ssh://home.srvr/svn/svnHome/{my_repo}/trunk

I get the errors described above, and no challenge for the ssh
passphrase (which on svn+ssh repos I've used set up by others, I
always got asked for a passphrase before being asked for password
even if passphrase was to be empty). At one point I pulled the
authorized_keys file and it didn't seem to make any difference to the
setup. So puzzled whether those steps are even needed.

I've googled dozens of blogs and forum posts, but not getting
anywhere on these two things.

Any ideas on these two things would be great.

-- gw

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Received on 2008-03-19 07:11:39 CET

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