Setup and Config
Getting and Creating Projects
Branching and Merging
Sharing and Updating Projects
Inspection and Comparison
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>] [<CVS_module>]
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.
Verbosity: let cvsimport report what it is doing.
- -d <CVSROOT>
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
The CVS module you want to import. Relative to <CVSROOT>. If not given, git cvsimport tries to read it from
- -C <target-dir>
The git repository to import to. If the directory doesn’t exist, it will be created. Default is the current directory.
- -r <remote>
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.
- -o <branch-for-HEAD>
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 dots.
- -s <subst>
Substitute the character "/" in branch names with <subst>
- -p <options-for-cvsps>
Additional options for cvsps. The options -u and -A are implicit and should not be used here.
If you need to pass multiple options, separate them with a comma.
- -z <fuzz>
Pass the timestamp fuzz factor to cvsps, in seconds. If unset, cvsps defaults to 300s.
- -P <cvsps-output-file>
Instead of calling cvsps, read the provided cvsps output file. Useful for debugging or when cvsps is being handled outside cvsimport.
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.
- -M <regex>
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 regexes.
- -S <regex>
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.
- -L <limit>
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 in this format
exon=Andreas Ericsson <firstname.lastname@example.org> spawn=Simon Pawn <email@example.com>
git cvsimport will make it appear as those authors had their GIT_AUTHOR_NAME and GIT_AUTHOR_EMAIL set properly all along.
For convenience, this data is saved to
$GIT_DIR/cvs-authorseach 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.
Print a short usage message and exit.
If -v is specified, the script reports what it is doing.
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 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 not imported.
If you suspect that any of these issues may apply to the repository you want to import consider using these alternative tools which proved to be more stable in practice:
cvs2git (part of cvs2svn),
Documentation by Matthias Urlichs <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Part of the git suite