Issue 66 in svnbook: svnadmin create example in Ch 2 "svn import" section results in "Repository creation failed" error

svnbook at svnbook at
Sat Nov 21 09:35:52 CST 2009

Status: New
Owner: ----
Labels: Type-Enhancement Priority-Medium

New issue 66 by zjohnr: svnadmin create example in Ch 2 "svn import"  
section results in "Repository creation failed" error

I debated whether this was worth opening an issue over since it's most  
likely a misunderstanding
on my part. But since I believe the target audience for this book includes  
folks as "green" as I am,
perhaps explaining how I stumbled while reading may be of use.

At the beginning of chapter 2, Getting Data into Your Repository  
(, the example at the start of  
section "svn import"
currently uses the following commands:
$ svnadmin create /var/svn/newrepos
$ svn import mytree file:///var/svn/newrepos/some/project \
              -m "Initial import"

I'm the type of reader who tries some of the commands as a learning aid.  
When I did this with
the above on my Mac OS X v10.6.2 system the svnadmin command failed.

MacBook:/ myUserName$ svnadmin create /var/svn/newrepos
svnadmin: Repository creation failed
svnadmin: Could not create top-level directory
svnadmin: Can't create directory '/var/svn/newrepos': No such file or  

For the heck of it, I retried with "sudo svnadmin create" but this failed  
the same way. Also failed
when I tried to create the repository in a directory I owned (eg.  

As someone who admittedly has very little idea at this point of how this is  
supposed to work, I
still found this unexpected and surprising. I'm wondering what I'm doing  
wrong. Is it just me?
Could the example be improved?

-irrational john

MacBook:/ myUserName$ svn --version
svn, version 1.6.5 (r38866)
    compiled Oct 16 2009, 02:54:10

Copyright (C) 2000-2009 CollabNet.
Subversion is open source software, see
This product includes software developed by CollabNet  

The following repository access (RA) modules are available:

* ra_neon : Module for accessing a repository via WebDAV protocol using  
   - handles 'http' scheme
   - handles 'https' scheme
* ra_svn : Module for accessing a repository using the svn network protocol.
   - handles 'svn' scheme
* ra_local : Module for accessing a repository on local disk.
   - handles 'file' scheme

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