?HOWTO:Get over subversion’s DB_VERSION_MISMATCH error

After running several updates on a particular server during the weekend, this morning I got a report that svn was down. a quick insection of libapache2-svn error log turned out this error message:

[Mon Aug 21 12:24:18 2006] [error] [client] (20014)Error string not specified yet: Berkeley DB error for filesystem /var/lib/svn/db while opening environment:\nDB_VERSION_MISMATCH: Database environment version mismatch
[Mon Aug 21 12:24:18 2006] [error] [client] Could not fetch resource information. [500, #0]
[Mon Aug 21 12:24:18 2006] [error] [client] Could not open the requested SVN filesystem [500, #160029]
[Mon Aug 21 12:24:18 2006] [error] [client] Could not open the requested SVN filesystem [500, #160029]

After googling it I found out that this has been reported as Debian Bug#342508, which promptly refers you to read /usr/share/doc/subversion/README.db4.3.gz. The recipe works just fine, and I reproduce it here for completeness:

# cd /var/lib
# mv svn svn-maint
# cd svn-maint/db
# db4.2_checkpoint -1
# db4.2_recover
# db4.2_archive
# svnlook youngest ..
# db4.3_archive -d
# cd /var/lib
# chown -R www-data.www-data svn-maint
# mv svn-maint svn

In the same document there’s a note that recommends to migrate the repository from DBD to FSFS. Since I’ve seen some serious trouble with OpenLDAP’s Berkeley DB backend before and the SVN database is over 1GB right now, I’ll schedule a mainteinance window for this migration ASAP.

[tags]Subversion, Debian, BerkeleyDB[/tags]

Posted in General, SysAdmin
6 comments on “?HOWTO:Get over subversion’s DB_VERSION_MISMATCH error
  1. Michael says:

    Thanks for this entry! You saved my life! ;-)
    I thought all my data was already lost….

  2. Lyallp says:

    Thanks also, didn’t think everything was lost but sure made fixing much quicker…

  3. Thanks man, saved my day.

  4. Vikram says:

    Thanks so much! Helped me immensely.

  5. Alexander says:

    For me running
    svnadmin recover /path/to/db
    was enough

  6. dave says:

    svnadmin recover too;)

About me

I am a Software Architect, System Administrator, Entrepreneur and Open Data advocate, with 21 years of experience building Internet-enabled software, from electronic banking to B2B marketplaces.
If you want to use the Internet as a competitive advantage, look at my resume for more information or hire me.

Debian Consulting

Whether you need to manage a single server, orchesthrate a PaaS cluster or need support for a whole fleet of IoT devices running Debian GNU/Linux, I can help you get the best performance from your hardware. Please contact me for additional information and to get a quote.


Sun Certified Enterprise Architect
Sun Solaris Certified Security Administrator
Sun Solaris Certified Network Administrator
Sun Solaris Certified System Administrator
Linux Foundation Certified Sysadmin
Linux Foundation Certified Engineer