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Fixing or installing Subversion SVN after upgrading to Mac OS Sierra

by Ben Hepworth on September 26th, 2016

I upgraded to Mac OS Sierra the other day and my command line subversion broke. It sure seems like every time there is an update to the Mac OS, I spend a few days working through little kinks with the various programs that I use until everything stabilizes. After updating to Mac OS Sierra recently, I tried to run a standard svn up command and got the following error message:

$ svn up
xcrun: error: invalid active developer path (/Library/Developer/CommandLineTools), missing xcrun at: /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/usr/bin/xcrun

The solution is pretty simple and also applies if you want to install command line SVN. It appears that the svn command line tools were uninstalled when I upgraded from Mac OS El Capitan to Mac OS Sierra. To install or reinstall the svn command line tools, run the following command:
xcode-select --install

After running this command, you’ll get a popup window prompting you to confirm installation of the XCode command line tools. You don’t have to install the entire 4GB+ installation of XCode in order to get command line tools like svn.

One more thing – when I was done installing, I tried to run a svn up and got the following error message:

tapir:$ svn up
svn: E155036: Please see the 'svn upgrade' command
svn: E155036: The working copy at '/Users/bhepworth/svn/trunk'
is too old (format 29) to work with client version '1.9.4 (r1740329)' (expects format 31). You need to upgrade the working copy first.

I went into the root of the trunk that I had checked out and ran the command:

svn upgrade

After that, I was able to update from svn:

tapir:$ svn upgrade
Upgraded '.'
tapir:$ svn up
Updating '.':
U share/scripts/deploy/
Updated to revision 1372.

I hope this helps you out! Every time Apple upgrades their OS, there are several kinks to work though. Luckily this one was a fairly easy fix.

Here is a quick youtube video I made that shows this fix in action:


From → Technology

  1. Thank you. Very much!

  2. Artur permalink

    Kudos for you! Solved my problem as well.

  3. RyoTamoto permalink

    Thank you, I solved it.

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