gitcvs-migration(7) — Linux manual page


GITCVS-MIGRATION(7)            Git Manual            GITCVS-MIGRATION(7)

NAME         top

       gitcvs-migration - Git for CVS users

SYNOPSIS         top

       git cvsimport *

DESCRIPTION         top

       Git differs from CVS in that every working tree contains a
       repository with a full copy of the project history, and no
       repository is inherently more important than any other. However,
       you can emulate the CVS model by designating a single shared
       repository which people can synchronize with; this document
       explains how to do that.

       Some basic familiarity with Git is required. Having gone through
       gittutorial(7) and gitglossary(7) should be sufficient.


       Suppose a shared repository is set up in /pub/repo.git on the
       host Then as an individual committer you can clone the
       shared repository over ssh with:

           $ git clone my-project
           $ cd my-project

       and hack away. The equivalent of cvs update is

           $ git pull origin

       which merges in any work that others might have done since the
       clone operation. If there are uncommitted changes in your working
       tree, commit them first before running git pull.


           The pull command knows where to get updates from because of
           certain configuration variables that were set by the first
           git clone command; see git config -l and the git-config(1)
           man page for details.

       You can update the shared repository with your changes by first
       committing your changes, and then using the git push command:

           $ git push origin master

       to "push" those commits to the shared repository. If someone else
       has updated the repository more recently, git push, like cvs
       commit, will complain, in which case you must pull any changes
       before attempting the push again.

       In the git push command above we specify the name of the remote
       branch to update (master). If we leave that out, git push tries
       to update any branches in the remote repository that have the
       same name as a branch in the local repository. So the last push
       can be done with either of:

           $ git push origin
           $ git push

       as long as the shared repository does not have any branches other
       than master.


       We assume you have already created a Git repository for your
       project, possibly created from scratch or from a tarball (see
       gittutorial(7)), or imported from an already existing CVS
       repository (see the next section).

       Assume your existing repo is at /home/alice/myproject. Create a
       new "bare" repository (a repository without a working tree) and
       fetch your project into it:

           $ mkdir /pub/my-repo.git
           $ cd /pub/my-repo.git
           $ git --bare init --shared
           $ git --bare fetch /home/alice/myproject master:master

       Next, give every team member read/write access to this
       repository. One easy way to do this is to give all the team
       members ssh access to the machine where the repository is hosted.
       If you don’t want to give them a full shell on the machine, there
       is a restricted shell which only allows users to do Git pushes
       and pulls; see git-shell(1).

       Put all the committers in the same group, and make the repository
       writable by that group:

           $ chgrp -R $group /pub/my-repo.git

       Make sure committers have a umask of at most 027, so that the
       directories they create are writable and searchable by other
       group members.



           These instructions use the git-cvsimport script which ships
           with git, but other importers may provide better results. See
           the note in git-cvsimport(1) for other options.

       First, install version 2.1 or higher of cvsps from and make sure it is in your
       path. Then cd to a checked out CVS working directory of the
       project you are interested in and run git-cvsimport(1):

           $ git cvsimport -C <destination> <module>

       This puts a Git archive of the named CVS module in the directory
       <destination>, which will be created if necessary.

       The import checks out from CVS every revision of every file.
       Reportedly cvsimport can average some twenty revisions per
       second, so for a medium-sized project this should not take more
       than a couple of minutes. Larger projects or remote repositories
       may take longer.

       The main trunk is stored in the Git branch named origin, and
       additional CVS branches are stored in Git branches with the same
       names. The most recent version of the main trunk is also left
       checked out on the master branch, so you can start adding your
       own changes right away.

       The import is incremental, so if you call it again next month it
       will fetch any CVS updates that have been made in the meantime.
       For this to work, you must not modify the imported branches;
       instead, create new branches for your own changes, and merge in
       the imported branches as necessary.

       If you want a shared repository, you will need to make a bare
       clone of the imported directory, as described above. Then treat
       the imported directory as another development clone for purposes
       of merging incremental imports.


       Git allows you to specify scripts called "hooks" to be run at
       certain points. You can use these, for example, to send all
       commits to the shared repository to a mailing list. See

       You can enforce finer grained permissions using update hooks. See
       Controlling access to branches using update hooks[1].


       It is also possible to provide true CVS access to a Git
       repository, so that developers can still use CVS; see
       git-cvsserver(1) for details.


       CVS users are accustomed to giving a group of developers commit
       access to a common repository. As we’ve seen, this is also
       possible with Git. However, the distributed nature of Git allows
       other development models, and you may want to first consider
       whether one of them might be a better fit for your project.

       For example, you can choose a single person to maintain the
       project’s primary public repository. Other developers then clone
       this repository and each work in their own clone. When they have
       a series of changes that they’re happy with, they ask the
       maintainer to pull from the branch containing the changes. The
       maintainer reviews their changes and pulls them into the primary
       repository, which other developers pull from as necessary to stay
       coordinated. The Linux kernel and other projects use variants of
       this model.

       With a small group, developers may just pull changes from each
       other’s repositories without the need for a central maintainer.

SEE ALSO         top

       gittutorial(7), gittutorial-2(7), gitcore-tutorial(7),
       gitglossary(7), giteveryday(7), The Git User’s Manual[2]

GIT         top

       Part of the git(1) suite

NOTES         top

        1. Controlling access to branches using update hooks

        2. The Git User’s Manual

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 2023-12-22.  (At that time,
       the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
       repository was 2023-12-20.)  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         2023-12-20            GITCVS-MIGRATION(7)

Pages that refer to this page: git(1)git-cvsimport(1)git-cvsserver(1)gitcore-tutorial(7)gitglossary(7)gittutorial-2(7)gittutorial(7)