Steve K.

This is my brain on LiveJournal.

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Subversion Version Control Bug: attempt to write a readonly database
I found zero help on Google when I was trying to diagnose this bug. I set up a new copy of subversion 1.6.2 and did a dump/merge of a subversion 1.4.6 database into the new system. I made a change to a file and was all set to commit the change, but when I ran a commit I got the following messages:

[error] Could not MERGE resource "/svn/repo/!svn/act/[UUID]" into "/svn/repo/some/path". [409, #0]
[error] An error occurred while committing the transaction. [409, #200031]
[error] attempt to write a readonly database [409, #200031]
[error] attempt to write a readonly database [409, #200031]

After hunting Google to no avail, I decided to examine the permissions on the repository on the subversion server. I found a .db file that did not have group write permissions (because the repository is not owned by apache). After adding group-write permission to the file "/svn/repopath/db/rep-cache.db", the error went away and normal commit behavior resumed as I originally expected. I will have to blame this on a bug in the svnadmin program which appears to not properly create the permissions on this db file.

I hope this helps the many folks out there that run linux/apache/subversion.

That fixed it!

Thanks for that.
We had the same problem today, upgrading a repo from 1.4.x to 1.6.4. After playing wack-a-mole with permission errors we hit the wall when we got to the 'attempt to write a readonly database' error. Your suggestion fixed it.

Thanks! I had the same problem, with a new repository. You saved me hours of searching (:

Thank you. That worked.

Michael N.
Chapel Hill, NC


This fixed it for me .. saved me tons of time. Thanks.

Awesome :) Saved a shitload of time for me there :)

Another thank-you here! :)

Thanks a lot !




Thank you from St. Louis

Thanks Thanks Thanks

Thanks Thanks Thanks, you have saved me lot of time. Keep up the good work buddy.



Nothing to add that has not been already said. Thank you!

More thanks.

for saving my time.


Thanks a lot for saving me a lot of time. Actually I did notice that the problem may be because of this file is (probably) created later than rest of the repo...
I have a repo for wwwroot files and I do access them both via web and locally.. I did chown -R the whole directory to www user still this file had root as its owner (root user access the repo directly when exporting to the actual wwwroot)

Thanks a lot

Thank you for your research, it is very useful! It seems that many people have this same problem.

Gracias (Thank you in Spanish)

Muchas Gracias!!! Thank you very much!


big time saver, thank you very much for posting

Thank you very much. It helped me a lot.

Thank You.

It really save hours!

Your reply was really helpful for me and I appreciate that when you had faced this problem you fixed it and then posted the solution on the web for the sake of your developer's community. Thank a ton.

thank you in basque!

in linux... always the reason are the permisions... but, thank you...
Eskerrik asko!!!


Yet another thanks!


Thanks a Lot!!

Thanks in german


My thanks too!

Saved me lots of time.

Thank you! It work for me.

Thanks! works now

Great help, thank you!!!


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