They are Net App NFS appliances, aren't they?
The FAQ on the Subversion site with its caution about Linux NFS problems was a false lead, obviously.
Anyway, the situation with my less-than-comprehensive tests at compiling and testing Subversion is this:
a) Subversion compiles correctly with no major warnings I can see.
b) The Makefile test target "fsfscheck" (which executes tests using the Subversion local filesystem API) fails, each time in different tests.
c) The Makefile test target "svncheck" (which executes tests via a Subversion server process in a detached console--yes, I kill the process right after the test runs) also fails randomly, i.e. different tests fail each time.
d) If I build and test the package in a directory below /usr/tmp (i.e. a locally mounted partition), all the tests pass without problems.
So the problem must have something to do with the NFS user filesystem.
The randomness makes the problem a waste of time to discuss on the official Subversion mail list (firstname.lastname@example.org) until I can figure out a way to provide hard information.
Maybe the most helpful thing other dreamhost users/admins (with more programming smarts than me--not hard) could do is to compile/test the same package I have tried: I've put the details of the procedure on the Dreamhost Wiki on the Subversion page.
Perhaps they can figure out a way to document the precise problem.
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