Fix subversion/svn child exit signal segmentation fault error in Apache

by jagbir on April 20, 2009

When running subversion with apache, how good config you’d done, you may still found that your svn repos are not accessible through http:// or https:// and most probably you’ll find this error in your apache error logs:

child pid 6485 exit signal Segmentation fault (11)

In my CentOS 5.2 box with httpd 2.2.3 and subversion 1.6.1, this error caused enough headache for me and claimed long time before I was able to find out the root cause. The problem is caused by collision of apr and apu utilities which are installed by both subversion and Apache. These packages are required to access svn via apache. The subversion-deps package contains apr and apr-util version 0.9.x, but apache 2.2.x uses apr and apr-util 1.2.x, and subversion and apache must be using the same version of apr and apr-util, else things can result in above error.

To get a fix, you need to re-compile subversion and inform that it should use Apache’s apr and apr-util packs instead of it’s own. You should search for apr-1-config and apu-1-config files in your server and then supply their path while running configure. I found both in my /usr/bin/ directory.

# cd subversion-1.6.1
# ./configure –with-apr=/usr/bin/apr-1-config –with-apr-util=/usr/bin/apu-1-config
# make
# make install

Now config your apache to access your repositories, you can find a quick howto here. It should run fine. Please post a comment in case you still not able to access your repos using Apache.

  • brandon

    This just saved my bacon. Thought I was going to have to recompile apache altogether. Wonder why the -deps package would use the 0.9.x versions, seems like they’d mention it.

    Thanks for the tip.

  • aThankFulPerson


    You really helped me out of my trap. Good that you posted this hint!


  • Name (required)

    I think someone should mention that this solution is not ALWAYS a fix – the error seems to be somewhat popular and happend because of various issues like bad RAM, conflicting versions (like above), limited system-resources or even corrupted SVN-data. Unforntunately, this solution doesnt fix my problem, i recompiled SVN, apache and eben APR (in this order), i tried installing precompiled binarys … no change :(

    A good suggestion is to check the RAM in first place – it would appear that in a lot of cases it really is the hardware.

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