Greg Gannicott’s Blog


Smart CVS: Protocol Error

Posted in Technology by Greg Gannicott on November 29, 2008
Tags: , , ,

I’m writing this in case it helps someone out there who is having the same error as me.

When in work, for around a year now I’ve been experiencing the following error when attempting to connect to the CVS repository using Smart CVS:

protocol error: directory ‘/dwh/’ not within root ‘/home/cvsroot/’

To fix this I tried several different things:

-> Compared my settings to my colleagues and made sure they were identical (to rule out it was my setup)
-> Tried various different usernames, all of which worked on other setups (to rule out my user profile being the issue)
-> Tried various different versions of Smart CVS (figured a new install would help)

All to no avail. In the end I had to dump Smart CVS and manage CVS from the command line (which was good practice I guess).

I’ve not had to use CVS for a little while now, but today I found out I would be, and possibly quite extensively (until now, the only time we’ve used it is when performing implementations. We’ve never used it to enable us to all work on the same piece of code at one time). So I thought I’d have another crack at fixing it.

Its amazing what a three month break from an issue can do to help you resolve it (although it’s a bit excessive. Usually a trip to the toilet does the trick).

To begin with I experienced the same issues. So I went through the same procedures as mentioned earlier. Tried a different username. No joy. Tried a different version of Smart CVS. No joy. Finally, I checked my configuration. This time I noticed a very subtle difference between my colleague’s setup and mine.

The Fix

It’s cause was a trailing slash! When I setup my Repository Profile, I included a slash (/) at the end of my ‘Repository Path’. I did this out of habit (arguably good practice too) but I never realised it was going to cause a problem.

Once I removed this, all was well again.

Hope this helps someone.

Update (30/11/08): Thomas Singer (from Syntevo, the developers of Smart CVS) has posted a comment stating that they are now going to look into this and act on it for the next release.

I have to say, I’m really impressed with the fact that Syntevo are not only inviting feedback, but also proactively looking for it. Something older, larger firms can probably learn from.

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2 Responses to 'Smart CVS: Protocol Error'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Smart CVS: Protocol Error'.


  1. Hi Greg, thank you for this hint. We will improve SmartCVS regarding this trailing slash with the next build.


  2. Greg, please contact us regarding this issue. Thanks in advance.


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