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git-svn - Bidirectional operation between a single Subversion branch and git
'git-svn' <command> [options] [arguments]
git-svn is a simple conduit for changesets between Subversion and git.
It is not to be confused with gitlink:git-svnimport[1], which is
git-svn was originally designed for an individual developer who wants a
bidirectional flow of changesets between a single branch in Subversion
and an arbitrary number of branches in git. Since its inception,
git-svn has gained the ability to track multiple branches in a manner
similar to git-svnimport.
git-svn is especially useful when it comes to tracking repositories
not organized in the way Subversion developers recommend (trunk,
branches, tags directories).
Initializes an empty git repository with additional
metadata directories for git-svn. The Subversion URL
may be specified as a command-line argument, or as full
URL arguments to -T/-t/-b. Optionally, the target
directory to operate on can be specified as a second
argument. Normally this command initializes the current
These are optional command-line options for init. Each of
these flags can point to a relative repository path
(--tags=project/tags') or a full url
Set the 'noMetadata' option in the [svn-remote] config.
Set the 'useSvmProps' option in the [svn-remote] config.
Set the 'useSvnsyncProps' option in the [svn-remote] config.
Set the 'rewriteRoot' option in the [svn-remote] config.
For transports that SVN handles authentication for (http,
https, and plain svn), specify the username. For other
transports (eg svn+ssh://), you must include the username in
the URL, eg svn+ssh://
This allows one to specify a prefix which is prepended
to the names of remotes if trunk/branches/tags are
specified. The prefix does not automatically include a
trailing slash, so be sure you include one in the
argument if that is what you want. This is useful if
you wish to track multiple projects that share a common
Fetch unfetched revisions from the Subversion remote we are
tracking. The name of the [svn-remote "..."] section in the
.git/config file may be specified as an optional command-line
Runs 'init' and 'fetch'. It will automatically create a
directory based on the basename of the URL passed to it;
or if a second argument is passed; it will create a directory
and work within that. It accepts all arguments that the
'init' and 'fetch' commands accept; with the exception of
'--fetch-all'. After a repository is cloned, the 'fetch'
command will be able to update revisions without affecting
the working tree; and the 'rebase' command will be able
to update the working tree with the latest changes.
This fetches revisions from the SVN parent of the current HEAD
and rebases the current (uncommitted to SVN) work against it.
This works similarly to 'svn update' or 'git-pull' except that
it preserves linear history with 'git-rebase' instead of
'git-merge' for ease of dcommit-ing with git-svn.
This accepts all options that 'git-svn fetch' and 'git-rebase'
accepts. However '--fetch-all' only fetches from the current
[svn-remote], and not all [svn-remote] definitions.
Like 'git-rebase'; this requires that the working tree be clean
and have no uncommitted changes.
Do not fetch remotely; only run 'git-rebase' against the
last fetched commit from the upstream SVN.
Commit each diff from a specified head directly to the SVN
repository, and then rebase or reset (depending on whether or
not there is a diff between SVN and head). This will create
a revision in SVN for each commit in git.
It is recommended that you run git-svn fetch and rebase (not
pull or merge) your commits against the latest changes in the
SVN repository.
An optional command-line argument may be specified as an
alternative to HEAD.
This is advantageous over 'set-tree' (below) because it produces
cleaner, more linear history.
This should make it easy to look up svn log messages when svn
users refer to -r/--revision numbers.
The following features from `svn log' are supported:
is supported, non-numeric args are not:
it's not completely compatible with the --verbose
output in svn log, but reasonably close.
is NOT the same as --max-count, doesn't count
merged/excluded commits
New features:
shows the git commit sha1, as well
our version of --pretty=oneline
Any other arguments are passed directly to `git log'
You should consider using 'dcommit' instead of this command.
Commit specified commit or tree objects to SVN. This relies on
your imported fetch data being up-to-date. This makes
absolutely no attempts to do patching when committing to SVN, it
simply overwrites files with those specified in the tree or
commit. All merging is assumed to have taken place
independently of git-svn functions.
Recursively finds and lists the svn:ignore property on
directories. The output is suitable for appending to
the $GIT_DIR/info/exclude file.
Commits the diff of two tree-ish arguments from the
command-line. This command is intended for interoperability with
git-svnimport and does not rely on being inside an git-svn
init-ed repository. This command takes three arguments, (a) the
original tree to diff against, (b) the new tree result, (c) the
URL of the target Subversion repository. The final argument
(URL) may be omitted if you are working from a git-svn-aware
repository (that has been init-ed with git-svn).
The -r<revision> option is required for this.
Only used with the 'init' command.
These are passed directly to gitlink:git-init[1].
-r <ARG>::
--revision <ARG>::
Used with the 'fetch' command.
This allows revision ranges for partial/cauterized history
to be supported. $NUMBER, $NUMBER1:$NUMBER2 (numeric ranges),
$NUMBER:HEAD, and BASE:$NUMBER are all supported.
This can allow you to make partial mirrors when running fetch;
but is generally not recommended because history will be skipped
and lost.
Only used with the 'set-tree' command.
Read a list of commits from stdin and commit them in reverse
order. Only the leading sha1 is read from each line, so
git-rev-list --pretty=oneline output can be used.
Only used with the 'dcommit', 'set-tree' and 'commit-diff' commands.
Remove directories from the SVN tree if there are no files left
behind. SVN can version empty directories, and they are not
removed by default if there are no files left in them. git
cannot version empty directories. Enabling this flag will make
the commit to SVN act like git.
config key: svn.rmdir
Only used with the 'dcommit', 'set-tree' and 'commit-diff' commands.
Edit the commit message before committing to SVN. This is off by
default for objects that are commits, and forced on when committing
tree objects.
config key: svn.edit
Only used with the 'dcommit', 'set-tree' and 'commit-diff' commands.
They are both passed directly to git-diff-tree see
gitlink:git-diff-tree[1] for more information.
config key: svn.l
config key: svn.findcopiesharder
Syntax is compatible with the files used by git-svnimport and
loginname = Joe User <>
If this option is specified and git-svn encounters an SVN
committer name that does not exist in the authors-file, git-svn
will abort operation. The user will then have to add the
appropriate entry. Re-running the previous git-svn command
after the authors-file is modified should continue operation.
config key: svn.authorsfile
Make git-svn less verbose.
These should help keep disk usage sane for large fetches
with many revisions.
--repack takes an optional argument for the number of revisions
to fetch before repacking. This defaults to repacking every
1000 commits fetched if no argument is specified.
--repack-flags are passed directly to gitlink:git-repack[1].
config key: svn.repack
config key: svn.repackflags
These are only used with the 'dcommit' and 'rebase' commands.
Passed directly to git-rebase when using 'dcommit' if a
'git-reset' cannot be used (see dcommit).
This is only used with the 'dcommit' command.
Print out the series of git arguments that would show
which diffs would be committed to SVN.
--id <GIT_SVN_ID>::
This sets GIT_SVN_ID (instead of using the environment). This
allows the user to override the default refname to fetch from
when tracking a single URL. The 'log' and 'dcommit' commands
no longer require this switch as an argument.
-R<remote name>::
--svn-remote <remote name>::
Specify the [svn-remote "<remote name>"] section to use,
this allows SVN multiple repositories to be tracked.
Default: "svn"
This is especially helpful when we're tracking a directory
that has been moved around within the repository, or if we
started tracking a branch and never tracked the trunk it was
descended from. This feature is enabled by default, use
--no-follow-parent to disable it.
config key: svn.followparent
This gets rid of the git-svn-id: lines at the end of every commit.
If you lose your .git/svn/git-svn/.rev_db file, git-svn will not
be able to rebuild it and you won't be able to fetch again,
either. This is fine for one-shot imports.
The 'git-svn log' command will not work on repositories using
this, either. Using this conflicts with the 'useSvmProps'
option for (hopefully) obvious reasons.
This allows git-svn to re-map repository URLs and UUIDs from
mirrors created using SVN::Mirror (or svk) for metadata.
If an SVN revision has a property, "svm:headrev", it is likely
that the revision was created by SVN::Mirror (also used by SVK).
The property contains a repository UUID and a revision. We want
to make it look like we are mirroring the original URL, so
introduce a helper function that returns the original identity
URL and UUID, and use it when generating metadata in commit
Similar to the useSvmProps option; this is for users
of the svnsync(1) command distributed with SVN 1.4.x and
This allows users to create repositories from alternate
URLs. For example, an administrator could run git-svn on the
server locally (accessing via file://) but wish to distribute
the repository with a public http:// or svn:// URL in the
metadata so users of it will see the public URL.
Since the noMetadata, rewriteRoot, useSvnsyncProps and useSvmProps
options all affect the metadata generated and used by git-svn; they
*must* be set in the configuration file before any history is imported
and these settings should never be changed once they are set.
Additionally, only one of these four options can be used per-svn-remote
section because they affect the 'git-svn-id:' metadata line.
Tracking and contributing to a the trunk of a Subversion-managed project:
# Clone a repo (like git clone):
git-svn clone
# Enter the newly cloned directory:
cd trunk
# You should be on master branch, double-check with git-branch
git branch
# Do some work and commit locally to git:
git commit ...
# Something is committed to SVN, rebase your local changes against the
# latest changes in SVN:
git-svn rebase
# Now commit your changes (that were committed previously using git) to SVN,
# as well as automatically updating your working HEAD:
git-svn dcommit
# Append svn:ignore settings to the default git exclude file:
git-svn show-ignore >> .git/info/exclude
Tracking and contributing to an entire Subversion-managed project
(complete with a trunk, tags and branches):
# Clone a repo (like git clone):
git-svn clone -T trunk -b branches -t tags
# View all branches and tags you have cloned:
git branch -r
# Reset your master to trunk (or any other branch, replacing 'trunk'
# with the appropriate name):
git reset --hard remotes/trunk
# You may only dcommit to one branch/tag/trunk at a time. The usage
# of dcommit/rebase/show-ignore should be the same as above.
Originally, git-svn recommended that the remotes/git-svn branch be
pulled or merged from. This is because the author favored
'git-svn set-tree B' to commit a single head rather than the
'git-svn set-tree A..B' notation to commit multiple commits.
If you use 'git-svn set-tree A..B' to commit several diffs and you do
not have the latest remotes/git-svn merged into my-branch, you should
use 'git-svn rebase' to update your work branch instead of 'git pull' or
'git merge'. 'pull/merge' can cause non-linear history to be flattened
when committing into SVN, which can lead to merge commits reversing
previous commits in SVN.
Merge tracking in Subversion is lacking and doing branched development
with Subversion is cumbersome as a result. git-svn does not do
automated merge/branch tracking by default and leaves it entirely up to
the user on the git side. git-svn does however follow copy
history of the directory that it is tracking, however (much like
how 'svn log' works).
We ignore all SVN properties except svn:executable. Any unhandled
properties are logged to $GIT_DIR/svn/<refname>/unhandled.log
Renamed and copied directories are not detected by git and hence not
tracked when committing to SVN. I do not plan on adding support for
this as it's quite difficult and time-consuming to get working for all
the possible corner cases (git doesn't do it, either). Committing
renamed and copied files are fully supported if they're similar enough
for git to detect them.
git-svn stores [svn-remote] configuration information in the
repository .git/config file. It is similar the core git
[remote] sections except 'fetch' keys do not accept glob
arguments; but they are instead handled by the 'branches'
and 'tags' keys. Since some SVN repositories are oddly
configured with multiple projects glob expansions such those
listed below are allowed:
[svn-remote "project-a"]
url =
branches = branches/*/project-a:refs/remotes/project-a/branches/*
tags = tags/*/project-a:refs/remotes/project-a/tags/*
trunk = trunk/project-a:refs/remotes/project-a/trunk
Keep in mind that the '*' (asterisk) wildcard of the local ref
(left of the ':') *must* be the farthest right path component;
however the remote wildcard may be anywhere as long as it's own
independent path componet (surrounded by '/' or EOL). This
type of configuration is not automatically created by 'init' and
should be manually entered with a text-editor or using
Written by Eric Wong <>.
Written by Eric Wong <>.