I got into a nasty problem today. While trying to commit the code in a SVN repository I got an error saying “no ancestry information”.

It took me a few (good) minutes and some searches on the Internet to find the solution for this problem. It seems that the SVN commit is forbidden if you try to commit a file that is a  folders structure, and one of the nodes in it (not the top most parent) is missing the .svn folder.

- folder1 [with .svn]
   - folder2 [without .svn]
      - folder3 [with .svn]

Committing “folder3″ will bring that error message. Couldn’t find the reason for this but, in my opinion, this is because the commit will try to update the “.svn” folders in the parent directories and will find a gap in this hierarchy.


  1. Dorin on May 29th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    That is truly strange, since just committing in the folder3 folder should not care about extraneous folder structure. Maybe it’s an issue on the client side, maybe a-way-to-smart client?

  2. svn fun: <path> has no ancestry information « The Holy Java on November 23rd, 2010 at 10:49 am

    [...] which we’ve tried to commit. It actually seems that SVN checks the folder structure and fails if some parts of the folder tree above the folder being commited have svn metadata and some do… (another [...]

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