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Could not read chunk delimiter

I nearly cried. I went to svn up in a local check out of one of the projects I’m working on, knowing that I was a good few days behind and instead of getting the usual stream of files I got an error message:

Could not read chunk delimiter

I logged on to the server and ran svnadmin verify /path/to/repo and got a different error message:

Decompression of svndiff data failed

Much googling later and I found fsfsverify.py – a script that repairs broken fsfs-type svn repositories. The author (jszakmeister) doesn’t allow comments on the page of his blog that hosts the script, so this is a public thanks for really really saving my bacon!