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I have XAMPP installed and running. I have an SVN working directory (WD) on my local that checks out from the repository. I set up a virtual host in xampp to point to my WD, but my browser (FF) gives me a 500 http status error:

Either the server is overloaded or there was an error in a CGI script.

When I place a regular folder in the same location with the WD and switch names, it works fine.. Can I not use an SVN working directory as a web root folder?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You shouldn't have a problem using your working directory as the web root folder since apache2 and subversion are two separate services running each can use the same folder. I normally use rsync to copy from the trunk to web root. Check your permissions and if there's an htaccess file in the WD

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Bingo.. just realized it could be the .htaccess as you were answering lol. Thanks :) – Nick Rolando Nov 14 '12 at 0:58

If you are using an SVN checkout folder, you will want to deny access to the .svn directory. That directory contains a copy of your website, as well as history information about changes, as well as information about who made changes.

Here is a question from StackOverflow about the mechanics of doing so: Deny access to .svn folders on Apache. The accepted answer is to put the following into your httpd.conf file.

<DirectoryMatch .*\.svn/.*>
   Deny From All

There are also solutions in other answers that can be used in .htaccess files.

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