Berkeley DB Utilities

If you're using a Berkeley DB repository, then all of your versioned filesystem's structure and data live in a set of database tables within the db/ subdirectory of your repository. This subdirectory is a regular Berkeley DB environment directory, and can therefore be used in conjunction with any of the Berkeley database tools, typically provided as part of the Berkeley DB distribution.

For day-to-day Subversion use, these tools are unnecessary. Most of the functionality typically needed for Subversion repositories has been duplicated in the svnadmin tool. For example, svnadmin list-unused-dblogs and svnadmin list-dblogs perform a subset of what is provided by the Berkeley db_archive command, and svnadmin recover reflects the common use cases of the db_recover utility.

However, there are still a few Berkeley DB utilities that you might find useful. The db_dump and db_load programs write and read, respectively, a custom file format which describes the keys and values in a Berkeley DB database. Since Berkeley databases are not portable across machine architectures, this format is a useful way to transfer those databases from machine to machine, irrespective of architecture or operating system. As we describe later in this chapter, you can also use svnadmin dump and svnadmin load for similar purposes, but db_dump and db_load can do certain jobs just as well and much faster. They can also be useful if the experienced Berkeley DB hacker needs to do in-place tweaking of the data in a BDB-backed repository for some reason, which is something Subversion's utilities won't allow. Also, the db_stat utility can provide useful information about the status of your Berkeley DB environment, including detailed statistics about the locking and storage subsystems.

For more information on the Berkeley DB tool chain, visit the documentation section of the Berkeley DB section of Oracle's website, located at