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From Trent Fisher <>
Subject Re: Repairing or removing broken revisions
Date Tue, 14 Aug 2012 02:10:57 GMT

On 08/01/2012 10:49 AM, Johan Corveleyn wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 2:24 PM, Joachim Sauer <> wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I'm currently reworking backups of multiple SVN repositories. In the
>> process I found out that one of those repositories has three broken
>> revisions. The problem is that the revision files in the revs
>> directory for those 3 revisions are of size 0 (those contain the
>> actual data of the revision, as far as I understand). This means that
>> I can't use svn dump (as it stops at that broken revision) and I can't
>> use svnsync.
>> For the backup itself I can still use svn hotcopy (the previous way of
>> doing a backup), so this will be my workaround.
>> I was able to find out the affected paths in the repository and
>> luckily the latest revision of those paths can be checked out without
>> a problem (so we "only" lost history, not current data).
>> But a broken repository is not desirable and I should attempt to fix
>> it as much as possible. Losing the information of those three
>> revisions (and a few related ones, probably) would not be a major
>> problem, but the repository as a whole should be in a consistent state
>> (to allow svnadmin dump to work, for example).
>> Is there a way to remove the broken revisions and still keep the rest
>> of the repository intact? Ideally without requiring everyone to make
>> new clean checkouts because the repository became incompatible.
>> regards
>> Joachim Sauer
>> P.S.: unfortunately there are no working backups of the broken
>> revisions, as the corruption seems to be pretty old (older than our
>> last full backup).
> Since you know the affected paths, I think one possible way is to do
> an svnsync, while excluding the "corrupted paths" by way of path-based
> authz (i.e. make the affected paths unreadable by the svnsync user,
> using an authz file on the source repository). After that, re-import
> the "corrupted files" from one of your working copies.
> I think everyone will have to re-checkout though, because you'll have
> a new repository with slightly altered history. So it wouldn't be safe
> to give this new repository the same repos-uuid, and act like it's the
> same.
> If you search the mailinglist archives, you might find some more posts
> about this svnsync recovery trick (excluding broken files).
I had a similar situation, though I only had one damaged revision. I did 
a dump in three segments, up to the bad rev, the bad rev and the 
remaining revs, something like this (assuming rev 44445 is the bad one):

svnadmin dump -r0:44444 /some/repos > p1
svnadmin dump --incremental -r44445 /some/repos > p2
svnadmin dump --incremental -r44446:HEAD /some/repos > p3

Then I manually doctored p2 to indicate that the rev is broken (but 
leave the original comment intact), then load all three into a fresh 
repository (cat p1 p2 p3 | svnadmin load /some/new/repos)

The advantage of this is that the uuid and rev numbers remain the same, 
so existing workspaces will work.  And this would preserve all other 
history of the given file.

I just did this on a production repository two weeks ago, and no 
complaints so far.


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