git-cvsimport - Salvage your data out of another SCM people love
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
cvs2git 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.
WARNING: 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(7).
Verbosity: let cvsimport report what it is
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
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 HEAD
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 cvs2git tool.
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
Additional options for cvsps. The options -u
are implicit and should not be used here.
If you need to pass multiple options, separate them with a
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 ago.
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
git cvsimport 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
For convenience, this data is saved to $GIT_DIR/cvs-authors
each time the -A option is provided and read from that same file each
time git cvsimport is run.
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
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.
If -v is specified, the script reports what it is
Otherwise, success is indicated the Unix way, i.e. by simply
exiting with a zero exit status.
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
•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
Problems related to tags:
•Multiple tags on the same revision are not
If you suspect that any of these issues may apply to the
repository you want to import, consider using cvs2git: