Hostmonster Broke My SVN (fixed)

Imagine my surprise when I try to do a simple task like check in some changes I on a website I was working on, when I get this error:

[~/public_html/drupal/sites/default/themes/clean_fixed]# svn commit
bash: svnserve: command not found
svn: Commit failed (details follow):
svn: Connection closed unexpectedly
svn: Your commit message was left in a temporary file:
svn: ‘svn-commit.7.tmp’

Crap there goes an hour.  I googled the problem and found that apparently this is a common problem for servers in the BlueHost family.   For some reason a recent update changed the way SSH looked for applications.  It used to be OK if the application was in your path.  So now you need a way to tell SSH where to look for svnserve.

I found the answer at the Subversion Community forums.   A user there was complaining about the exact same problem.  Another user pointed out the site with some Subversion ssh configuration tricks.

Basically what the fix amounts to is directly pointing to the application in the command section of the ssh key in the authorized_keys file.  So on my SVN server I inserted this text in front of every key used for accession SVN.

command=”$HOME/local/system/bin/svnserve -t ” ssh-dss AAAAB3N…

After the fix I now get the familiar:

[~/public_html/drupal/sites/default/themes/clean_fixed]# svn commit
Sending block.css
Sending style.css
Transmitting file data ..
Committed revision 548.