cvs2git2svn

After discovering Ohloh, cleaning up and publishing repositories of yore seemed like a good idea. One of them was established back in the CVS newbie days, and contained lots of external binaries – Not the kind of thing you want to version control. Having used CVS, Subversion and Git (in that order), there was only one choice: Interactive rebase with Git. Also, the software was created while at CERN, so it should continue to be hosted there. And they had started a Subversion service in the meantime, so it was time to upgrade as well.

These instructions should fit for any CERN project, and can easily be modified to fit any repository. The usual warnings apply: YMMV and RTFM.

  1. Set some variables to avoid typing: svn_repo=Repository_name
    svn_user=User_with_edit_access
  2. Install the tools: sudo apt-get install cvs2svn git-core git-svn
  3. Create the cvs2git working directory: cvs2git_wd=$(mktemp -dt cvs2git.XXXXXXXXXX)
  4. Copy the contents of the repository (not a working copy) to the working directory: scp -r $svn_user@lxplus.cern.ch:/afs/cern.ch/project/svn/reps/${svn_repo}/* $cvs2git_wd. Don’t worry if /hooks is not copied – You don’t need it. If you don’t have filesystem access to the repository, you can try cvssuck. Be warned: It’s really slow.
  5. Set cvs2git global options:
    1. zcat /usr/share/doc/cvs2svn/examples/cvs2git-example.options.gz > $cvs2git_wd/cvs2git.options
    2. Modify at least ctx.username and author_transforms in $cvs2git_wd/cvs2git.options.
  6. Make the new Git repository: git_wd=$(mktemp -dt git.XXXXXXXXXX) && git init $git_wd
  7. Convert to Git (repeat for each module):
    1. Modify run_options.set_project in $cvs2git_wd/cvs2git.options
    2. Create Git import files: cd $cvs2git_wd && cvs2git --options=cvs2git.options. If you get any warnings or errors you might have to change the options again.
    3. Import to Git: cd $git_wd && cat $cvs2git_wd/cvs2svn-tmp/git-blob.dat $cvs2git_wd/cvs2svn-tmp/git-dump.dat | git fast-import
  8. Make a backup in case the rest goes hairy.
  9. If you need to (which was kind of the point of this exercise), do an interactive rebase from the first commit: git rebase -i $(git log --format=%H | tail -1).
  10. git-svn needs at least one commit to be in the Subversion repository: svn_wd=$(mktemp -dt svn.XXXXXXXXXX) && svn co --username $svn_user svn+ssh://${svn_user}@svn.cern.ch/reps/${svn_repo} $svn_wd && cd $svn_wd && touch .temp && svn add .temp && svn ci -m "git-svn dummy commit"
  11. Convert to Subversion:
    1. Prepare git-svn repository: git2svn_wd=$(mktemp -dt git2svn.XXXXXXXXXX) && git svn clone --username $svn_user svn+ssh://${svn_user}@svn.cern.ch/reps/${svn_repo} $git2svn_wd && cd $git2svn_wd
    2. Get Git commits: git fetch $git_wd
    3. Apply Git commits as master branch: git branch tmp $(cut -b-40 .git/FETCH_HEAD) && git tag -am "Last fetch" last tmp && first_commit=$(git log --format=%H | tail -1) && git checkout $first_commit . && git commit -C $first_commit
    4. Apply Git commits: git rebase master tmp && git branch -M tmp master
    5. Check if this works : git svn dcommit --rmdir --find-copies-harder --dry-run
    6. If it does, you’re good to go: git svn dcommit --rmdir --find-copies-harder

If the last step fails, the easiest way to continue is just to remove all commits from the Subversion repository, fix the Git repository, and restart at step 10.

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2 thoughts on “cvs2git2svn

  1. If the only problem in your CVS repository was that some unneeded binary files had been committed, there is an easier way. Just make a copy of the CVS repository, then delete the *,v files corresponding to the unwanted binary files from the CVS repository. (This erases all record of these files’ existence.) Then convert directly from CVS to Subversion, doing a multiproject conversion in a single run of cvs2svn.

    • Thanks Michael. I should have mentioned that method – I’ve used it before. Maybe this method is overkill, but I wanted to make sure that there were no empty commits, misleading commit messages mentioning files which no longer are included, or other cruft. Also, I wanted to make the commit history a lot less messy by getting rid of all tags and branches. By far the most time was spent linearizing the entire commit history. It’s still ugly, but not horrid :)

      Interesting blog, by the way!

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