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.

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That fixed it!


2009-08-11 04:23 pm (UTC)

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



2009-12-01 11:19 pm (UTC)

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 !




2010-03-01 05:47 pm (UTC)


Thank you from St. Louis

Thanks Thanks Thanks


2010-04-14 01:11 pm (UTC)

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




2010-05-24 09:00 pm (UTC)

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

More thanks.


2010-05-24 09:41 pm (UTC)

for saving my time.



2010-07-26 09:48 am (UTC)

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


2010-08-04 10:08 am (UTC)

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

Gracias (Thank you in Spanish)


2010-08-04 01:00 pm (UTC)

Muchas Gracias!!! Thank you very much!



2010-08-18 12:08 pm (UTC)

big time saver, thank you very much for posting

Thank you very much. It helped me a lot.

Thank You.

It really save hours!


2010-10-13 04:24 am (UTC)

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!


2010-11-04 10:47 am (UTC)

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



2010-11-09 12:53 pm (UTC)

Yet another thanks!



2010-11-10 11:52 am (UTC)

Thanks a Lot!!

Thanks in german


2010-12-29 03:48 pm (UTC)


My thanks too!


2010-12-30 11:01 pm (UTC)

Saved me lots of time.

Thank you! It work for me.

Thanks! works now

Great help, thank you!!!

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