//Converting from CVS to GIT

This post is a short description how to convert a CVS repository into GIT. I used the tool cvs2svn from Tigris.org for this task. As an example I will use the project jake2.

0. Install cvs2svn and cvs

('cvs2svn' not only does cvs2svn conversion it also contains the shell commands cvs2git and cvs2bzr)
sudo apt-get install cvs
sudo apt-get install cvs2svn

1. Download the CVS repository

This is mandatory. In contrary to SVN you can't just read out the complete versioning history just by using the CVS protocol. To convert from CVS you will need direct file access to the repository.

Sourceforge for example supports repository synchronization via rsync to allow backups. Thats what I used to get a copy of the jake2 repository.

rsync -av rsync://jake2.cvs.sourceforge.net/cvsroot/jake2/* .

2. Convert into GIT fast-import format

Take a look at /usr/share/doc/cvs2svn/examples/cvs2git-example.options.gz and extract the example configuration file. The file is very good documented so I won't repeat things here. But the most important step is to provide an author mapping from cvs to git authors (search for 'author_transforms').
cvs2git --options=cvs2git.options

This will produce a dump and blob file for step 3.

3. Create GIT repository and import CVS history

mkdir gitrepo
cd gitrepo
git init
cat ../repo-tmp/git-blob.dat ../repo-tmp/git-dump.dat | git fast-import

4. Manual cleanup

cvs2git will do its best to convert tags and branches into git tags and branches and usually add an artificial commit do document that. Now you will probably want to take a look at the repository with a history browser like gitk or giggle... and clean it up a bit. E.g remove branches which could be tags etc. If this is to much work you might consider to tweak the configuration of step 2 and convert again with different strategies.

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btw you can find the jake2 git repo here.

//NetBeans GIT support

If you are using GIT as SCM and NetBeans as IDE you should probably check out NBGit. The plugin integrates GIT in NetBeans in the same way as the out of the box Mercurial support does it. In fact both modules have the same origin since nbgit is a fork of the mercurial integration project and incrementally adds features to catch up.

NBGit Version 0.3 is already fairly stable and provides the basic set of features you would expect from distributed versioning system IDE integration.


  • Graph visualization of parallel branches (Browser similar to giggle)
  • Versioning History (git log)
  • Show changes (git status)
  • update/commit/reset
  • clone/clone other/git init
  • custom actions (custom git commands)
  • diff
  • in-editor annotation of code changes
  • ignore files (parsing '.gitignore' files)
  • git properties (username, email etc via options)

The project is developed by volunteers outside Sun, if you like to see GIT integration as out-of-the-box feature in a future version of NetBeans please vote for this RFE.

I use the plugin for most of my open source projects and haven't experience any serious issues so far. I would say its already safe to use since you can't do anything wrong if you do a 'git status' -> 'git push' via command line as last step anyway.


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