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git-cvsimport(1)                  Git Manual                  git-cvsimport(1)


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


       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 <commit-limit>]
                     [-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[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).


           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 CVS/Repository.

       -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

           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

       -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 zone:

                       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 cvsexportcommit.

           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

           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:

       o   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.

       o   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

       o   If the timestamp order of different files cross the revision order
           within the commit matching time window the order of commits may be

       Problems related to branches:

       o   Branches on which no commits have been made are not imported.

       o   All files from the branching point are added to a branch even if
           never added in CVS.

       o   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:

       o   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:

       o   cvs2git (part of cvs2svn),


       Part of the git(1) suite


        1. cvs2git

        2. cvs-fast-export

Git 2.43.1                        2024-02-08                  git-cvsimport(1)

git 2.43.1 - Generated Sat Feb 10 07:29:08 CST 2024
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