Mercurial HTTP Error 500: Access is denied on 00changelog.i

Today I created a new Mercurial repository on a Windows server.  I cloned it, made some changes, tried to push, and was greeted with this:

C:\myapplication>hg push
pushing to http://servername/myapplication
searching for changes
abort: HTTP Error 500: .hg\store0changelog.i: Access is denied

My user account had write permission to the myapplication folder on the server, and the odd thing is that I’ve created repositories there before and never had a problem pushing changes.  I compared 00changelog.i to the same file in another repository that was working.  Turns out I was using anonymous authentication and IUSR was missing write permission.  I gave full control to IUSR on hg\store folder and…

C:\myapplication>hg push
pushing to http://servername/myapplication
searching for changes
remote: adding changesets
remote: adding manifests
remote: adding file changes
remote: added 1 changesets with 114 changes to 114 files

Success!

If you’re having problems pushing to a central server with Mercurial, make sure the IIS anonymous authentication account (IUSR or IUSR_MachineName) you have write permission to the hg\store folder and subfolders in your repository.

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Installing Mercurial on Windows 7: “abort: no username supplied”

Yesterday I installed Mercurial.  I wanted to see what the hype was over Distributed Version Control Systems (DVCS).  I was satisfied with Subversion before, but after you see “Git” and “hg” in forums and blogs enough times, curiosity gets the better of you.

I like TortoiseSVN’s Windows shell integration, but even though there is a TortoiseHg, I’ve read mixed reviews about its stability.  Also, the screenshots make it look unnecessarily complicated.  It turns out I was unjustified in my concerns, since Mercurial’s command line interface is so simple and intuitive, the lack of GUI makes no difference.

If you plan on learning Mercurial yourself, I recommend you read Joel Spolsky’s Hg Init tutorial first.  It’s well-written and interspersed with humor.  If you’re a Windows 7 user, this is almost all you need to get started.  I say “almost” because the first time you commit, you’ll see the error message:

abort: no username supplied (see “hg help config”)

There are three ways you can deal with this issue:

  1. Use the -u option to supply a username during every commit.  Trust me, you don’t want to have to do this.
  2. Create an hgrc file every time you create a new repository, and put the username there.  Again, this would get annoying fast.
  3. Create a Mercurial.ini file in the C:\Users\your_username folder (or whatever your user folder is in Windows).  The file should contain the following text with your first name, last name and email substituted:
[ui]
; editor used to enter  commit logs, etc.  Most text editors will work.
editor = notepad
username = First_name Last_name <email_address@example.com>

It’s too bad the Windows installer for Mercurial can’t handle this on its own, because it creates a negative first impression of the software.  Once you fix the problem, things should work fine and the software is easy and enjoyable to use.