Technology Insights

SVN: This client is too old to work with working copy

I recently came across a error with subversion which seems to happen on Ubuntu / Debian based distros which utilize the apt-get package management system. Its a small bug and a easy fix however it did take me a little time to figure it out so I felt like maybe a short post might help the next guy.

The Exact Error:

svn: This client is too old to work with working copy ‘/pentest/exploits/framework3’.  You need
to get a newer Subversion client, or to downgrade this working copy.
See http://subversion.tigris.org/faq.html#working-copy-format-change
for details

I got this particular error while trying to svn update the metasploit framework on Backtrack 4, however, I also got the same error while trying to update redmine the other day via svn. The solution is quite simple, what happens is the the .svn hidden files in a svn co directory fail to update for some reason so  when when you issue the svn up command, the project thinks your svn version is out dated.