Solve client – side problems after upgrading subversion (svn) server 1.6.x

By neokrates, written on October 21, 2010


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After Subversion server update: Don’t forget to upgrade (all) svn clients. It is sometimes not a problem to have slightly different client and server, but not this time… Here I document particular kind of errors we had in hope it will save you trouble.

Work for:

✔ svn server upgrade 1.6.11 -> x under windows

Should also work for:

✔ svn upgrade 1.6.11 -> x under under other OS (Linux, Unix etc)

✔ may also work for 1.6.x version upgrades

After upgrade we’ve got errors like:

  • Location information may be specified incorrectly (on connect to remote location) ;
  • SSL handshake failed,… ;
  • RA layer request failed, svn: REPORT of ‘/my/svn’: Could not read response body: Secure connection truncated.


⚠ If you want to be on the safe side, NEVER upgrade the subversion Server without testing of all main operations under configuration, in which it will be used. Even slight enterprise level upgrade can cause chaos, if svn client’s don’t behave 100% the same way.

We had a server update 1.6.11 -> 1.6.13.
After that, I tried to reconnect to our SVN repository on the new server with Subversive.

The result was – “Location information may be specified incorrectly”. As I actually copy-pasted the URL and my login/pass was also ok, hence I blamed Subversive first…

👉 Now we learned that there is a problem with OpenSSL library, which svn 1.6.11 uses . Most clients need to be upgraded to 1.6.13 to work properly.


Upgrade command line client

CL client didn’t want to work:

C:\Documents and Settings\neokrates>svn co https://my.server/svn/path path
svn: OPTIONS of 'https://my.server/svn/path': SSL
handshake failed: SSL error: bad packet length (https://my.server/)

It had an older version:

C:\Documents and Settings\neokrates>svn --version
svn, version 1.6.11 (r934486)
   compiled Apr 16 2010, 10:39:09

so I needed to upgrade it to be able to work from command line.

(Take the proper steps for your OS.)


Upgrade JavaHL and SvnKit if you use Eclipse

As I was trying to reconnect to remote location, eclipse was telling me “Location information may be specified incorrectly”.

I used both with Subversive, JavaHL ( and SvnKit (

Needed to be upgraded. After the upgrade to 1.6.5 Eclipse had no problems.

⚠ Interesting fact is that JavaHL v 1.6.5 does work with SVN API 1.6.13, whereas the JavaHL v 1.6.2 didn’t work. It is still not JavaHL v 1.6.13 but it doesn’t seem to have problems in this combination.

I didn’t upgrade the SvnKit and it still tells me “Location information may be specified incorrectly”.
My guess is it will be fixed if I upgrade to v 1.6.5 as well, but it is just a guess.


TortoiseSVN doesn’t seem to have a problem

We also use TortoiseSVN under Windows. Even after server upgrade, it worked fine.



The solution for fixing client problems with all discussed tools seems to be:

⭐ upgrade command line client and svn API to version 1.6.13;

⭐ upgrade Eclipse JavaHL and SvnKit to at least v 1.6.5;

Have a good upgrade! ;)

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