git-cvsimport - Salvage your data out of another SCM people love to hate
git cvsimport [-o <branch-for-HEAD>] [-h] [-v] [-d <CVSROOT>]
[-A <author-conv-file>] [-p <options-for-cvsps>] [-P <file>]
[-C <git_repository>] [-z <fuzz>] [-i] [-k] [-u] [-s <subst>]
[-a] [-m] [-M <regex>] [-S <regex>] [-L <commitlimit>]
[-r <remote>] [-R] [<CVS_module>]
WARNING: git cvsimport
uses cvsps version 2, which is considered
deprecated; it does not work with cvsps version 3 and later. If you are
performing a one-shot import of a CVS repository consider using
 or cvs-fast-export
Imports a CVS repository into Git. It will either create a new repository, or
incrementally import into an existing one.
Splitting the CVS log into patch sets is done by cvsps
. At least version
2.1 is required.
for certain situations the import leads to incorrect results.
Please see the section ISSUES for further reference.
You should never
do any work of your own on the branches that are created
by git cvsimport
. By default initial import will create and populate a
"master" branch from the CVS repository’s main branch which
you’re free to work with; after that, you need to git merge
incremental imports, or any CVS branches, yourself. It is advisable to specify
a named remote via -r to separate and protect the incoming branches.
If you intend to set up a shared public repository that all developers can
read/write, or if you want to use git-cvsserver
(1), then you probably
want to make a bare clone of the imported repository, and use the clone as the
shared repository. See gitcvs-migration
Verbosity: let cvsimport report what it
The root of the CVS archive. May be local (a
simple path) or remote; currently, only the :local:, :ext: and :pserver:
access methods are supported. If not given, git cvsimport will try to
read it from CVS/Root. If no such file exists, it checks for the
CVSROOT environment variable.
The CVS module you want to import. Relative to
<CVSROOT>. If not given, git cvsimport tries to read it from
The Git repository to import to. If the
directory doesn’t exist, it will be created. Default is the current
The Git remote to import this CVS repository
into. Moves all CVS branches into remotes/<remote>/<branch> akin
to the way git clone uses origin by default.
When no remote is specified (via -r) the
branch from CVS is imported to the origin
branch within the
Git repository, as HEAD
already has a special meaning for Git. When a
remote is specified the HEAD
branch is named
remotes/<remote>/master mirroring git clone
behaviour. Use this
option if you want to import into a different branch.
Use -o master
for continuing an import that was initially done by the old
Import-only: don’t perform a checkout
after importing. This option ensures the working directory and index remain
untouched and will not create them if they do not exist.
Kill keywords: will extract files with
-kk from the CVS archive to avoid noisy changesets. Highly recommended,
but off by default to preserve compatibility with early imported trees.
Convert underscores in tag and branch names to
Substitute the character "/" in
branch names with <subst>
Additional options for cvsps. The options
are implicit and should not be used here.
If you need to pass multiple options, separate them with a comma.
Pass the timestamp fuzz factor to cvsps, in
seconds. If unset, cvsps defaults to 300s.
Instead of calling cvsps, read the provided
cvsps output file. Useful for debugging or when cvsps is being handled outside
Attempt to detect merges based on the commit
message. This option will enable default regexes that try to capture the
source branch name from the commit message.
Attempt to detect merges based on the commit
message with a custom regex. It can be used with -m
to enable the
default regexes as well. You must escape forward slashes.
The regex must capture the source branch name in $1.
This option can be used several times to provide several detection
Skip paths matching the regex.
Import all commits, including recent ones.
cvsimport by default skips commits that have a timestamp less than 10 minutes
Limit the number of commits imported.
Workaround for cases where cvsimport leaks memory.
CVS by default uses the Unix username when
writing its commit logs. Using this option and an author-conv-file maps the
name recorded in CVS to author name, e-mail and optional time zone:
exon=Andreas Ericsson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
spawn=Simon Pawn <email@example.com> America/Chicago
will make it appear as those authors had their
GIT_AUTHOR_NAME and GIT_AUTHOR_EMAIL set properly all along. If a time zone is
specified, GIT_AUTHOR_DATE will have the corresponding offset applied.
For convenience, this data is saved to $GIT_DIR/cvs-authors
each time the
option is provided and read from that same file each time git
It is not recommended to use this feature if you intend to export changes back
to CVS again later with git cvsexportcommit
Generate a $GIT_DIR/cvs-revisions
containing a mapping from CVS revision numbers to newly-created Git commit
IDs. The generated file will contain one line for each (filename, revision)
pair imported; each line will look like
src/widget.c 1.1 1d862f173cdc7325b6fa6d2ae1cfd61fd1b512b7
The revision data is appended to the file if it already exists, for use when
doing incremental imports.
This option may be useful if you have CVS revision numbers stored in commit
messages, bug-tracking systems, email archives, and the like.
Print a short usage message and exit.
is specified, the script reports what it is doing.
Otherwise, success is indicated the Unix way, i.e. by simply exiting with a zero
Problems related to timestamps:
•If timestamps of commits in the CVS
repository are not stable enough to be used for ordering commits changes may
show up in the wrong order.
•If any files were ever "cvs
import"ed more than once (e.g., import of more than one vendor release)
the HEAD contains the wrong content.
•If the timestamp order of different
files cross the revision order within the commit matching time window the
order of commits may be wrong.
Problems related to branches:
•Branches on which no commits have been
made are not imported.
•All files from the branching point are
added to a branch even if never added in CVS.
•This applies to files added to the
source branch after a daughter branch was created: if previously no
commit was made on the daughter branch they will erroneously be added to the
daughter branch in git.
Problems related to tags:
•Multiple tags on the same revision are
If you suspect that any of these issues may apply to the repository you want to
import, consider using cvs2git:
•cvs2git (part of cvs2svn),
Part of the git