VisualSVN Server setups the Windows service named "VisualSVN Server" that is used to run your Subversion server. It sometimes happens that the VisualSVN Server service is unable to start and the "Service 'VisualSVN Server' failed to start..." error message is displayed. Usually this happens due to the misconfiguration of the environment. This article describes how to identify and solve the problem.

To learn out the reasons of the problem you should start from studying the VisualSVN Server logs. VisualSVN Server writes all log messages to the dedicated log named "VisualSVN Server" in the Windows Event Log. Learn more about VisualSVN Server logging.

Here is the list of possible situations in which the VisualSVN Server service fails to start.

TCP/IP port is occupied by another service or application

The TCP/IP port configured to be used by VisualSVN Server can be occupied by another application. In this case the VisualSVN Server service will be unable to start.

This situation is usually identified by the following message in the VisualSVN Server logs:

make_sock: unable to listen for connections on address 127.0.0.1:443
(OS 10013) An attempt was made to access a socket in a way forbidden by its access permissions.

There are the following ways to solve the problem in the case of occupied TCP/IP port:

  • Configure VisualSVN Server to use another TCP/IP port.
    Restart the installer and choose the port different from defaults (it's suggested to use 8080/8433 ports if the default 80/443 ports are already occupied).
  • Find out which application occupies the desired TCP/IP port and disable or reconfigure this application.
    You can determine which program uses or blocks specific TCP/IP ports using the "netstat -ano" command. Learn more about the netstat command.

No access to repositories root folder

VisualSVN Server stores all repositories and any related data in a single folder called repositories root folder. By default it's a C:\Repositories folder on the local disk. The VisualSVN Server service will be unable to start if the repositories root folder is configured incorrectly.

This situation is usually identified by the following messages in the VisualSVN Server logs:

could not create C:/Repositories/server.pid
(OS 5) Access is denied.
VisualSVNServer.exe: could not log pid to file C:/Repositories/server.pid

In most cases the repositories root folder becomes unavailable if it is stored on a network share. There are the following ways to solve the problem in this case:

  • Make sure that Network Service built-in account has read/write permissions for the repositories root folder.
    Learn more about storing repositories on a network share.
  • Make sure that UNC path is used to specify the path to the repositories root folder.
    Any kinds of mapped drives are unsupported if your repositories root folder is stored on a network share.

Conflict with third-party antivirus or firewall software

The VisualSVN Server can be unable to setup appropriate TCP/IP connections due to conflicts with third-party antivirus or firewall software. The VisualSVN Server service will be unable to start in this case.

This situation is usually identified by one of the following messages in the VisualSVN Server logs:

alloc_listener: failed to get a socket for (null)
(OS 10106) The requested service provider could not be loaded or initialized.
Too many errors in select loop. Child process exiting.
(OS 10038) An operation was attempted on something that is not a socket.

There are the following ways to solve the problem in the case of conflicts with a third-party software:

  • Uninstall third-party antivirus/firewall software and make sure that VisualSVN Server becomes to work properly.
  • Reconfigure the antivirus/firewall software according to provided third-party documentation.

No access to VisualSVN Server installation folder parent folders

For some technical reasons, it is required that the account under which VisualSVN Server service is running should have read access permissions for the folder where the VisualSVN Server is installed and for all its parent folders. With the default settings, this account should have read access permissions to the following folders (see KB37 for the full list of required permissions):

  • C:\Program Files\VisualSVN Server\
  • C:\Program Files\
  • C:\

VisualSVN Server service might be unable to start if your VisualSVN Server is installed to an alternative location (D:\Applications\VisualSVN Server\, for example) or non-standard security settings are applied to your computer.

This situation is usually identified by the following log messages:

  • In VisualSVN Server Logs:

    Since version 2.0.8 there is no any related message in the VisualSVN Server logs.

  • In Windows System log:
    The VisualSVN Server service terminated with service-specific error 1 (0x1).
    The VisualSVN Server service entered the stopped state.

To resolve the issue, grant the VisualSVN Server service account Read & Execute permission for the VisualSVN Server installation folder and all its parent folders.

Other issues

Please contact us using the online feedback form if your VisualSVN Server service fails to start and you cannot identify the reason of the problem using to instructions provided above.

Last Modified: