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I have a script that runs on Linux Ubuntu Server every dat at 5am. This script backups all my SVN in this way:

 svnadmin dump /home/xxx/svn/p1 > /home/xxx/svn-backup/p1
 svnadmin dump /home/xxx/svn/p2 > /home/xxx/svn-backup/p2
 svnadmin dump /home/xxx/svn/p3 > /home/xxx/svn-backup/p3

The problem is that only the first project (p1) is really dumped. The rest of the projects are files with this text in them:

SVN-fs-dump-format-version: 2

UUID: 895acea3-fcd0-46fa-908a-4b43fc3278af

Revision-number: 0 Prop-content-length: 56 Content-length: 56

K 8 svn:date V 27 2009-11-12T15:25:00.461875Z PROPS-END

(edit) When running the script from command line it backups all the repositories and does this problem only when running from cron.

Why is that?

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2 Answers

up vote 0 down vote accepted

I found the solution for that. The problem was something related to the output buffering of the cron job and the cron stop the script when it reaches some limit. What i have done in order to solve the problem is two things:

  1. in the cron i redirected the output into /dev/null

    0 5 * * * /home/xxx/svn-backup/run-backup > /dev/null
  2. In the run-backup script i redirected the output into /dev/null too

    svnadmin dump /home/xxx/svn/p1 > /home/xxx/svn-backup/p1 2>/dev/null
    svnadmin dump /home/xxx/svn/p2 > /home/xxx/svn-backup/p2 2>/dev/null
    svnadmin dump /home/xxx/svn/p3 > /home/xxx/svn-backup/p3 2>/dev/null

That made my script working !

Update: This is actually also explained on stackoverflow - http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2323933/crontab-doesnt-finish-svndump

It seems cron terminates the execution once certain limit is reached in the stderr output buffer.

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Maybe this is a silly question, but do repositories p2 and p3 have any committed content/revisions yet? It's obvious they are repositories, otherwise you would have error messages instead of the output you have. However, when I created an empty repository and ran svnadmin dump on it, I got exactly the behavior you describe. Try checking out a copy of the repositories and running svn log to see if there are any committed revisions. Again, maybe this is a silly question, but it's easy to check.

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@Daniel. Thanks for the idea. But i forgot to mention (edited) that when i run the script from command line manually and not from the cron it dumps all the repositories. The problem occurs only when running in cron. –  Aviv Jan 20 '11 at 8:34
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