git-cvsimport(1) — Linux manual page


GIT-CVSIMPORT(1)               Git Manual               GIT-CVSIMPORT(1)

NAME         top

       git-cvsimport - Salvage your data out of another SCM people love
       to hate

SYNOPSIS         top

       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>]

DESCRIPTION         top

       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[1] or cvs-fast-export[2].

       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).

OPTIONS         top

           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 CVSROOT environment variable.

           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

           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

       -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.

       -A <author-conv-file>
           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

                       exon=Andreas Ericsson <>
                       spawn=Simon Pawn <> 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 applied.

           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

           Generate a $GIT_DIR/cvs-revisions file 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.

OUTPUT         top

       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.

ISSUES         top

       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 cvs2git:

       •   cvs2git (part of cvs2svn), 

GIT         top

       Part of the git(1) suite

NOTES         top

        1. cvs2git

        2. cvs-fast-export

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the git (Git distributed version control
       system) project.  Information about the project can be found at
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for this manual
       page, see ⟨⟩.  This page was obtained
       from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on 2021-08-27.  (At that time,
       the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
       repository was 2021-08-24.)  If you discover any rendering
       problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe there
       is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
       corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

Git         08/27/2021               GIT-CVSIMPORT(1)

Pages that refer to this page: git(1)gitcvs-migration(7)