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From Stefan Sperling <>
Subject Filenames with trailing newlines wreak havoc
Date Tue, 26 Mar 2013 13:36:15 GMT
When a file with a trailing newline (ASCII 0x0a) has made its way into
the repository, there are various areas of the system that exhibit failure
modes. Failure modes I observed in one particular case are discussed below.

I intend to file separate issues for each failure mode to keep track of
them, rather than filing one giant issue for them all. Though perhaps
a meta-issue that depends on the other issues would be useful.

In the case observed there was a file, added in a revision rX, which had 
a trailing newline in its name. The file was added along with its parent
directory (which was also new in rX) and alongside several other files
in the same directory which did not have trailing newlines in their names.

The server was running Subversion 1.7.8, but might have been running
an older release at the time when rX was committed.
All commands listed below were run with Subversion 1.7.8.

Immediately visible problems were:

svnadmin verify resulted in an error for the revision: 'svnadmin: E160013: File not found:

svnsync failed to sync the revision ('svnsync: E160013: File not found: ...')

However, the directory at rX could be listed (with svn ls) and checked
out successfully.

During checkout, RA layers were behaving inconsistently.

Checkout via ra_svn and ra_local resulted in the expected filename
with \n (0x0a) as the last byte both in wc.db (local_relpath NODES
column) and on disk.

However, ra_neon (didn't try serf) checked the file out with a trailing
space (0x20) instead of a trailing newline. The filename was stored with
a trailing 0x20 in wc.db as well as on disk.

Examining the FSFS revision file [*] of rX showed that the filename was
stored with a newline as part of its parent directory's representation.

  [*] For those who didn't know, the FSFS revision file format is documented

Let's call the parent directory 'A', and the file in question 'alpha\n'.
A file named 'alpha\n' added in r1 might appear like this in its parent
directory's representation (i.e. the rep of 'A'):
K 6

V 17
file 2-1.0.r1/122

However, the cpath: field within the file's own representation did not
contain the trailing newline.

Also, the file was listed in the changed-paths data section without
the trailing newline. Note that the FSFS format docs say "The changed-path
data is represented as a series of changed-path items, each consisting of
two lines." -- i.e. a trailing newline is considered to be part of revision
file data, rather than the filename.

Furthermore, several children of the newly-added-in rX 'A' directory
were missing from the changed-paths list in the revision file, for an
unkown reason.
More precisely, children listed after 'alpha\n' in the rep of A were
missing from the changed paths list. This was not detected by 'svnadmin
verify' (which, in my opinion, is a bug) but was detected by 'svnsync'
when a later revision rY referred to one of the missing children in
copyfrom information. It turned out that the slave server was missing
any children of A not listed in the changed-paths list in the rX
revision file on the master server. What kind of consistency checks
could prevent this from happening remains to be determined. Perhaps
'svnadmin verify' could cross-check the changed paths list with node-rev
IDs which appear in the revision's directory listings?

The revision rX could be fixed by removing the trailing newline from the
filename in the parent directory's representation, and adjusting the
rep's length and checksum information accordingly. About two dozen other
revisions had to be adjusted as well because they listed the file
'alpha\n' as part of the 'A' directory rep (which is of course written
out in its entirety whenever a revision changes some child of 'A').

Also, the changed-paths list of rX had to be extended to add the missing
newly added children of A. Other revisions had to be checked for similar
omissions in the changed-paths list.

How the filename entered the repository is not known with absolute
certainty. The current theory, based on discussion with the revision's
author, is that the file was checked in using Eclipse with SVNKit 1.6
and was not refused by the Subversion server at the time.

Attempting the reproduce this problem with a stock Subversion client
in a naive way fails because libsvn_client refuses to add such files
to version control in the first place:

subversion/svn/add-cmd.c:86: (apr_err=160005)
subversion/svn/util.c:621: (apr_err=160005)
subversion/libsvn_client/add.c:1031: (apr_err=160005)
subversion/libsvn_client/add.c:937: (apr_err=160005)
subversion/libsvn_client/add.c:320: (apr_err=160005)
subversion/libsvn_wc/adm_ops.c:1004: (apr_err=160005)
subversion/libsvn_wc/adm_ops.c:679: (apr_err=160005)
subversion/libsvn_subr/path.c:1231: (apr_err=160005)
svn: E160005: Invalid control character '0x0a' in path '/tmp/wc/alpha\012'

This error does not seem to be triggered by our test suite, which
is bad because it would have allowed the SVNKit developers to prevent
this problem from happening (they use our test suite to test their
Java-based implementation of Subversion). There is a tab_test() in, but that test only tries a tab, not a newline character.

We should add some C tests as well to verify API behaviour at the
client layer and at the repos layer.

Given the ripple effects of this problem in FSFS revision files I think
we should ensure that the Subversion server blocks such filenames from
entering the repository (any repository, FSFS and BDB). It seems FSFS format
changes would be required to support filenames with trailing newlines
properly, an effort which isn't worth the gain in my opinion.

And given the ripple effects seen in areas such as repository verification,
svnsync, and ra_neon, I don't think we can afford to call this a supported
use case until all components of the system have been fixed to handle
filenames with trailing newlines properly.

Comments and opinions are very welcome. I intend to make sure that this
problem cannot happen with future Subversion releases, and welcome any
input and help I can get.

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