SVN Commit failed, access forbidden

Yesterday I had to commit a project to a fresh and new repository on a Subversion server (VisualSVN Server). So I checked out an (empty) working copy, inserted the files, and committed. The files were added, but immediately after that, TortoiseSVN complained: commit failed (details follow): access to ‘/svn/(RepoName)/!svn/act/(someguid)’ forbidden.’ Errr… what?

Commit failed, access forbidden -- but I do have write access?

So I verified with the server admin that I had read and write permission, which was the case. Googling for answers turned up a possible suspect: casing of the repository name. Turned out my casing was different than what the admin had created. RepoName should have been Reponame (example, of course). With the wrong casing in the svn url, I was able to do checkouts, updates, browse the repository and everything else… but not commit.

So if you ever encounter an error something like this, check your casing. Even on Windows filesystems.

BTW: check out the improvements in the updated TortoiseSVN 1.7, impressive.

Edit (26-01-2012): As Steve pointed out in the comments, the unexpected case sensitivity is not limited to the repository name. Also check the domain part of your user’s logins.

Over Shiftkey
I am Maarten, owner of and chief software developer for Shiftkey software development from The Netherlands. I will be writing mainly about things I run into when programming in C# or Delphi.

5 Responses to SVN Commit failed, access forbidden

  1. Steve says:

    Just for reference, we had the same issue after recovering from a server failure. The Subversion configuration was lost, but we were able to restore the repository. When setting Subversion up again using CollabNet Subversion Edge v2.2 and adding SSPI for Windows Domain authentication, we found that it was not the repository name where we had an issue, it was the domain name for the users in the svn_access_file. MYDOMAIN\user would cause this same problem, but mydomain\user allowed access. Hope that helps someone.

  2. John says:

    Try this

    Make sure that the fully qualified url path is displayed
    Right click the project
    Repo Browser



    Aslo good idea to have same CASE sensitivity

  3. Bunnynew says:

    Marteen Hi,
    I recently started using Apache VisualSubversion. We are testing in Standard Free Edition. It is working nicely. My Developers want that, instead of committing in Repos directly,
    it should be passed via an Admin.
    To be clear, if they do any changes in source file, it should be notify to an Admin user. That admin user should be able to commit in Repos after reveiwing the changes in source file.
    Is this possible as I didnot find anything in visualsubversion ?
    Is there any other product to achieve this ?

    Awaiting your kind response.

    • Shiftkey says:

      Hi Bunnynew,

      Perhaps the Create/Apply patch functionality of Subversion can help you. Take a look at this or this. It seems to be in place for exactly the situation you describe. Your developers can create patches instead of committing, and your admin can apply the patches after reviewing them.

      The only limitation is that I don’t think there is a way to automatically submit the patches through the server, other than having your developers e-mail them to your admin user or something like that. If someone else knows of a product / plugin that provides such functionality I’d love to hear about it.

      Kind regards,


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