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move a repository to a new machine (from a dead one)

From: Syd Bauman <Syd_Bauman_at_Brown.edu>
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 2009 11:29:08 -0400

While this may not be a *frequently* asked question, I will be very
surprised if it has not been asked (and answered) somewhere already,
but I've not been able to find it in the archives or the Subversion
book. Googling has revealed that I'm not the only one who has gotten
this error, but none of the answers I've seen seem to address my
situation. (I'd be happy to be told I'm wrong about this.)

Executive summary
--------- -------
* Moved Subversion repository from one machine to another
  - just copied repository, did not dump
  - uses svn protocol
* now I get "Cannot negotiate authentication mechanism"

I had a lovely Subversion server running on Debian GNU/Linux on a
PowerPC machine in my basement. It only used the SVN protocol, but I
was happy as a clam.

However, that machine sorta died. Being reasonably anal, I did have a
complete backup of almost the entire system, including the Subversion
repositories (from /usr/local/repositories/).

So I got a different box (an AMD i386 architecture machine),
and installed a new Debian GNU/Linux system on it. I then
* installed the subversion and openssh-server packages (along with
  lots of others)
* copied the Subversion repositories from the backup of the old
  system to the same place in the new (using -p, so user, group, and
  permissions should be the same)
* copied the "svn" line from the previous system's /etc/inetd.conf
  file to the new system[1]
* did an `adduser svn`

And ... well, it half works. I can talk to Subversion from the
various machines with clients and working directories -- I can issue
`svn stat -u` and can check out new copies. But trying to commit
changes results in the error message "Cannot negotiate authentication
mechanism". I tried erasing the ~/.subversion/ directory on a client
machine; I even tried checking out a new working copy, making a
change, and committing from a user account that had never issued
`svn` before (and thus had no ~/.subversion/ dir), but to no avail.

[1] All on one line:
      svn stream tcp nowait svn /usr/bin/svnserve
          --inetd --tunnel
          --root /usr/local/repositories

 Syd Bauman, EMT-Paramedic
 Senior XML Programmer/Analyst
 Brown University Women Writers Project
 Syd_Bauman_at_Brown.edu      401-863-3835
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Received on 2009-06-02 17:33:47 CEST

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