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cvs2svn FAQ

General:

  1. Does cvs2svn support incremental repository conversion?

Compatibility:

  1. Does cvs2svn run under Psyco?

How-to:

  1. How can I convert a CVS repository to which I only have remote access?
  2. How can I convert part of a CVS repository?
  3. How can I convert separate projects in my CVS repository into a single Subversion repository?
  4. I have hundreds of subprojects to convert and my options file is getting huge
  5. How can I define my own class and use it in my options file?
  6. How can I convert project foo so that trunk/tags/branches are inside of foo?
  7. What if I don't want to convert all of my projects at once?
  8. How do I fix up end-of-line translation problems?
  9. I want a single project but tag-rewriting rules that vary by subdirectory. Can this be done?
  10. How can I convert a CVSNT repository?
  11. How do I get cvs2svn to run on OS X 10.5.5?

Problems:

  1. I get an error "A CVS repository cannot contain both repo/path/file.txt,v and repo/path/Attic/file.txt,v". What can I do?
  2. I get an error "ERROR: filename,v is not a valid ,v file."
  3. gdbm.error: (45, 'Operation not supported')
  4. When converting a CVS repository that was used on a Macintosh, some files have incorrect contents in SVN.
  5. Using cvs2svn 1.3.x, I get an error "The command '['co', '-q', '-x,v', '-p1.1', '-kk', '/home/cvsroot/myfile,v']' failed" in pass 8.
  6. Vendor branches created with "cvs import -b <branch number>" are not correctly handled.

Getting help:

  1. How do I get help?
  2. What information should I include when requesting help?
  3. How do I subscribe to a mailing list?
  4. How do I report a bug?
  5. How can I produce a useful test case?
  6. Does anybody offer commercial support for cvs2svn/cvs2git conversions?

General:

Does cvs2svn support incremental repository conversion?

No.

Explanation: During the transition from CVS to Subversion, it would sometimes be useful to have the new Subversion repository track activity in the CVS repository for a period of time until the final switchover. This would require each conversion to determine what had changed in CVS since the last conversion, and add those commits on top of the Subversion repository.

Unfortunately, cvs2svn/cvs2git does not support incremental conversions. With some work it would be possible to add this feature, but it would be difficult to make it robust. The trickiest problem is that CVS allows changes to the repository that have retroactive effects (e.g., affecting parts of the history that have already been converted).

Some conversion tools claim to support incremental conversions from CVS, but as far as is known none of them are reliable.

Volunteers or sponsorship to add support for incremental conversions to cvs2svn/cvs2git would be welcome.


Compatibility:

Does cvs2svn run under Psyco?

No.

Explanation: Psyco is a python extension that can speed up the execution of Python code by compiling parts of it into i386 machine code. Unfortunately, Psyco is known not to run cvs2svn correctly (this was last tested with the Psyco pre-2.0 development branch). When cvs2svn is run under Psyco it crashes in OutputPass with an error message that looks something like this:

cvs2svn_lib.common.InternalError: ID changed from 2 -> 3 for Trunk, r2

The Psyco team has been informed about the problem.


How-to:

How can I convert a CVS repository to which I only have remote access?

cvs2svn requires direct, filesystem access to a copy of the CVS repository that you want to convert. The reason for this requirement is that cvs2svn directly parses the *,v files that make up the CVS repository.

Many remote hosting sites provide access to backups of your CVS repository, which could be used for a cvs2svn conversion. For example:

If your provider does not provide any way to download your CVS repository, there are two known tools that claim to be able to clone a CVS repository via the CVS protocol:

It should be possible to use one of these tools to fetch a copy of your CVS repository from your provider, then to use cvs2svn to convert the copy. However, the developers of cvs2svn do not have any experience with these tools, so you are on your own here. If you try one of them, please tell us about your experience on the users mailing list.

How can I convert part of a CVS repository?

This is easy: simply run cvs2svn normally, passing it the path of the project subdirectory within the CVS repository. Since cvs2svn ignores any files outside of the path it is given, other projects within the CVS repository will be excluded from the conversion.

Example: You have a CVS repository at path /path/cvsrepo with projects in subdirectories /path/cvsrepo/foo and /path/cvsrepo/bar, and you want to create a new Subversion repository at /path/foo-svn that includes only the foo project:

    $ cvs2svn -s /path/foo-svn /path/cvsrepo/foo

How can I convert separate projects in my CVS repository into a single Subversion repository?

This question assumes that you will convert all of your projects at the same time. If you must convert your projects at different times, please see What if I don't want to convert all of my projects at once?

cvs2svn supports multiproject conversions, but you have to use the options file method to start the conversion. In your options file, you simply call run_options.add_project() once for each sub-project in your repository. For example, if your CVS repository has the layout:

  /project-a
  /project-b

and you want your Subversion repository to be laid out like this:

   project-a/
      trunk/
         ...
      branches/
         ...
      tags/
         ...
   project-b/
      trunk/
         ...
      branches/
         ...
      tags/
         ...

then you need to have a section like this in your options file:

run_options.add_project(
    'my/cvsrepo/project-a',
    trunk_path='project-a/trunk',
    branches_path='project-a/branches',
    tags_path='project-a/tags',
    symbol_transforms=[
        #...whatever...
        ],
    symbol_strategy_rules=[
        #...whatever...
        ],
    )
run_options.add_project(
    'my/cvsrepo/project-b',
    trunk_path='project-b/trunk',
    branches_path='project-b/branches',
    tags_path='project-b/tags',
    symbol_transforms=[
        #...whatever...
        ],
    symbol_strategy_rules=[
        #...whatever...
        ],
    )

I have hundreds of subprojects to convert and my options file is getting huge

The options file is Python code, executed by the Python interpreter. This makes it easy to automate parts of the configuration process. For example, to add many subprojects, you can write a Python loop:

projects = ['A', 'B', 'C', ...etc...]

cvs_repo_main_dir = r'test-data/main-cvsrepos'
for project in projects:
    run_options.add_project(
        cvs_repo_main_dir + '/' + project,
        trunk_path=(project + '/trunk'),
        branches_path=(project + '/branches'),
        tags_path=(project + '/tags'),
        # ...
        )

or you could even read the subprojects directly from the CVS repository:

import os
cvs_repo_main_dir = r'test-data/main-cvsrepos'
projects = os.listdir(cvs_repo_main_dir)

# Probably you don't want to convert CVSROOT:
projects.remove('CVSROOT')

for project in projects:
    # ...as above...

How can I define my own class and use it in my options file?

It is possible to customize your conversion using arbitrary Python code. Sometimes this requires you to define your own Python class. For technical reasons, such classes should not be defined within the options file but rather in a separate file that is imported into the options file.

[Technical explanation: The problem is that class instances used in run_options are pickled in pass1 then unpickled in later passes. (Pickling is a Python mechanism for storing objects to a file.) But class instances can only be unpickled if the class can be imported at the time of unpickling. This, in turns, requires the class to be defined at the top level of a Python module. The options file is not a valid Python module; among other things, it is loaded using execfile(), not by being imported.]

So create a separate file with a *.py filename, like myoptionsclasses.py. In that file, do any imports needed by your code, then define your class:

from cvs2svn_lib.symbol_transform import SymbolTransform

class MySymbolTransform(SymbolTransform):
    def transform(self, cvs_file, symbol_name, revision):
        [...]

Then, in your main options file, import the class and use it:

from myoptionsclasses import MySymbolTransform

run_options.add_project(
    [...]
    symbol_transforms=[
        MySymbolTransform(),
        ...
        ])

How can I convert project foo so that trunk/tags/branches are inside of foo?

If foo is the only project that you want to convert, then either run cvs2svn like this:

   $ cvs2svn --trunk=foo/trunk --branches=foo/branches --tags=foo/tags CVSREPO/foo

or use an options file that defines a project like this:

run_options.add_project(
    'my/cvsrepo/foo',
    trunk_path='foo/trunk',
    branches_path='foo/branches',
    tags_path='foo/tags',
    symbol_transforms=[
        #...whatever...
        ],
    symbol_strategy_rules=[
        #...whatever...
        ],
    )

If foo is not the only project that you want to convert, then you need to do a multiproject conversion; see How can I convert separate projects in my CVS repository into a single Subversion repository? for more information.

What if I don't want to convert all of my projects at once?

Suppose you need to convert some CVS projects to Subversion now and other projects later. This situation is typically encountered in large organizations where each project has a separate lifecycle and schedule, and a one-step conversion process is not practical.

First you have to decide whether you want to put your converted projects into a single Subversion repository or multiple repositories. This is mostly an administrative decision and is beyond the scope of this FAQ. See the Subversion book for a discussion of repository organization.

If you decide to convert your projects into separate Subversion repositories, then please follow the instructions in How can I convert part of a CVS repository?, once for each repository.

If, on the other hand, you want to convert the CVS projects at different times but put them into a single Subversion repository, then you need to follow the instructions in this section.

NOTE: importing projects one at a time into a single Subversion repository will usually break date-based range commands (e.g. svn diff -r {2002-02-17:2002-03-18}) for the overlapping dates. This is because Subversion uses a bisect-based search to locate commits from a given date, and this algorithm fails for non-monotonic dates. While this is not the end of the world, it can be an inconvenience.

Remember that a multiproject Subversion repository should usually be laid out like this:

   project-a/
      trunk/
         ...
      branches/
         ...
      tags/
         ...
   project-b/
      trunk/
         ...
      branches/
         ...
      tags/
         ...

Note that each project has its own top-level directory that contains trunk, branches, and tags subdirectories. The procedure is to convert each project separately to a dumpfile with the following directory structure:

   project-a/
      trunk/
         ...
      branches/
         ...
      tags/
         ...

and then to load the dumpfile into the Subversion repository using svnadmin load.

Example:

  1. If the svn repository doesn't already exist, create it:
          svnadmin create /path/to/svnrepos
        
  2. Remember to make a backup before starting. Never run cvs2svn on a live CVS repository--always work on a copy of your repository.
  3. Run cvs2svn against one of the projects that you want converted:
          # Create a dumpfile containing the new CVS repository contents
          $ cvs2svn --dumpfile=/tmp/project-a.dump \
                    --trunk=project-a/trunk \
                    --branches=project-a/branches \
                    --tags=project-a/tags \
                    /path/to/cvsrepo/project-a
        
  4. Use svnadmin load to import the dump into the Subversion repository:
          $ cd ~/svndump
          $ svnadmin load /path/to/svnrepos </tmp/project-a.dump
        
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each module you want to convert.

Variations:

  • It is possible to convert more than one CVS repository per batch; to do so, see How can I convert separate projects in my CVS repository into a single Subversion repository?, remembering to have cvs2svn write its output to a dumpfile each time.
  • For more complicated directory arrangements, it might be necessary to use svnadmin load's --parent-dir option to place directories in their final location. For example, suppose you want the following layout in Subversion:
       server/
           project-a/
           project-b/
       client/
           project-c/
           project-d/
    
    but you want to convert project-a and project-b at different times. The above recipe will not work, because svnadmin load would give an error when project-b tries to create directory server/, because the directory already exists from when project-a was loaded. The solution is to convert project-b as a top-level project:
          $ cvs2svn --dumpfile=/tmp/project-b.dump \
                    /path/to/cvsrepo/project-b
        
    but then load it using the --parent-dir option:
          $ svnadmin load --parent-dir=project-b /path/to/svnrepos </tmp/project-b.dump
        

How do I fix up end-of-line translation problems?

Warning: cvs2svn's handling of end-of-line options changed between version 1.5.x and version 2.0.x. This documentation applies to version 2.0.x and later. The documentation applying to an earlier version can be found in the www directory of that release of cvs2svn.

Starting with version 2.0, the default behavior of cvs2svn is to treat all files as binary except those explicitly determined to be text. (Previous versions treated files as text unless they were determined to be binary.) This behavior was changed because, generally speaking, it is safer to treat a text file as binary than vice versa.

However, it is often preferred to set svn:eol-style=native for text files, so that their end-of-file format is converted to that of the client platform when the file is checked out. This section describes how to get the settings that you want.

If a file is marked as binary in CVS (with cvs admin -kb, then cvs2svn will always treat the file as binary. For other files, cvs2svn has a number of options that can help choose the correct end-of-line translation parameters during the conversion:

--auto-props=FILE

Set arbitrary Subversion properties on files based on the auto-props section of a file in svn config format. The auto-props file might have content like this:

[auto-props]
*.txt = svn:mime-type=text/plain;svn:eol-style=native
*.doc = svn:mime-type=application/msword;!svn:eol-style

This option can also be used in combination with --eol-from-mime-type.

To force end-of-line translation off, use a setting of the form !svn:eol-style (with a leading exclamation point).

--mime-types=FILE

Specifies an Apache-style mime.types file for setting files' svn:mime-type property based on the file extension. The mime-types file might have content like this:

text/plain              txt
application/msword      doc

This option only has an effect on svn:eol-style if it is used in combination with --eol-from-mime-type.

--eol-from-mime-type Set svn:eol-style based on the file's mime type (if known). If the mime type starts with "text/", then the file is treated as a text file; otherwise, it is treated as binary. This option is useful in combination with --auto-props or --mime-types.
--default-eol=STYLE Usually cvs2svn treats a file as binary unless one of the other rules determines that it is not binary and it is not marked as binary in CVS. But if this option is specified, then cvs2svn uses the specified style as the default. STYLE can be 'binary' (default), 'native', 'CRLF', 'LF', or 'CR'. If you have been diligent about annotating binary files in CVS, or if you are confident that the above options will catch all of your binary files, then --default-style=native should give good results.

If you don't use any of these options, then cvs2svn will not arrange any line-end translation whatsoever. The file contents in the SVN repository should be the same as the contents you would get if checking out with CVS on the machine on which cvs2svn is run. This also means that the EOL characters of text files will be the same no matter where the SVN data are checked out (i.e., not translated to the checkout machine's EOL format).

To do a better job, you can use --auto-props, --mime-types, and --eol-from-mime-type to specify exactly which properties to set on each file based on its filename.

For total control over setting properties on files, you can use the --options-file method and write your own FilePropertySetter or RevisionPropertySetter in Python. For example,

from cvs2svn_lib.property_setters import FilePropertySetter

class MyPropertySetter(FilePropertySetter):
  def set_properties(self, cvs_file):
    if cvs_file.cvs_path.startswith('path/to/funny/files/'):
      cvs_file.properties['svn:mime-type'] = 'text/plain'
      cvs_file.properties['svn:eol-style'] = 'CRLF'

ctx.file_property_setters.append(MyPropertySetter())

Please note that the class must be defined in a separate file.

See the file cvs2svn_lib/property_setters.py for many examples of property setters.

I want a single project but tag-rewriting rules that vary by subdirectory. Can this be done?

This is an example of how the cvs2svn conversion can be customized using Python.

Suppose you want to write symbol transform rules that are more complicated than "replace REGEXP with PATTERN". This can easily be done by writing just a little bit of Python code.

When a symbol is encountered, cvs2svn iterates through the list of SymbolTransform objects defined for the project. For each one, it calls symbol_transform.transform(cvs_file, symbol_name, revision). That method can return any legal symbol name, which will be used in the conversion instead of the original name.

To use this feature, you will have to use an options file to start the conversion. You then write a new SymbolTransform class that inherits from RegexpSymbolTransform but checks the path before deciding whether to transform the symbol. You can do something like the following:

from cvs2svn_lib.symbol_transform import RegexpSymbolTransform

class MySymbolTransform(RegexpSymbolTransform):
    def __init__(self, path, pattern, replacement):
        """Transform only symbols that occur within the specified PATH."""

        self.path = path
        RegexpSymbolTransform.__init__(self, pattern, replacement)

    def transform(self, cvs_file, symbol_name, revision):
        # Is the file is within the path we are interested in?
        if cvs_file.cvs_path.startswith(path + '/'):
            # Yes -> Allow RegexpSymbolTransform to transform the symbol:
            return RegexpSymbolTransform.transform(
                    self, cvs_file, symbol_name, revision)
        else:
            # No -> Return the symbol unchanged:
            return symbol_name

# Note that we use a Python loop to fill the list of symbol_transforms:
symbol_transforms = []
for subdir in ['project1', 'project2', 'project3']:
    symbol_transforms.append(
        MySymbolTransform(
            subdir,
            r'release-(\d+)_(\d+)',
            r'%s-release-\1.\2' % subdir))

# Now register the project, using our own symbol transforms:
run_options.add_project(
    'your_cvs_path',
    trunk_path='trunk',
    branches_path='branches',
    tags_path='tags',
    symbol_transforms=symbol_transforms))

Please note that the class must be defined in a separate file.

This example causes any symbol under "project1" that looks like "release-3_12" to be transformed into a symbol named "project1-release-3.12", whereas if the same symbol appears under "project2" it will be transformed into "project2-release-3.12".

How can I convert a CVSNT repository?

CVSNT is a version control system that started out by adding support for running CVS under Windows NT. Since then it has made numerous extensions to the RCS file format, to the point where CVS compatibility does not imply CVSNT compatibility with any degree of certainty.

cvs2svn might happen to successfully convert a CVSNT repository, especially if the repository has never had any CVSNT-only features used on it, but this use is not supported and should not be expected to work.

If you want to experiment with converting a CVSNT repository, then please consider the following suggestions:

  • Use cvs2svn's --use-cvs option.
  • Use CVSNT's version of the cvs executable (i.e., ensure that the first cvs program in your $PATH is the one that came with CVSNT).
  • Carefully check the result of the conversion before you rely on it, even if the conversion completed without any errors or warnings.

Patches to support the conversion of CVSNT repositories would, of course, be welcome.

How do I get cvs2svn to run on OS X 10.5.5?

Attempting to run cvs2svn on a standard OS X 10.5.5 installation yields the following error:

ERROR: cvs2svn uses the anydbm package, which depends on lower level dbm libraries. Your system has dbm, with which cvs2svn is known to have problems. To use cvs2svn, you must install a Python dbm library other than dumbdbm or dbm. See http://python.org/doc/current/lib/module-anydbm.html for more information.

The problem is that the standard distribution of python on OS X 10.5.5 does not include any other dbm libraries other than the standard dbm. In order for cvs2svn to work, we need to install the gdbm library, in addition to a new version of python that enables the python gdbm module.

The precompiled versions of python for OS X available from python.org or activestate.com (currently version 2.6.2) do not have gdbm support turned on. To check for gdbm support, check for the library module (libgdmmodule.so) within the python installation.

Here is the procedure for a successful installation of cvs2svn and all supporting libs:

  1. Download the gdbm-1.8.3 (or greater) source, unarchive and change directory to gdbm-1.8.3. We need to install the gdbm libraries so python's gdbm module can use them.
    1. Type ./configure
    2. Edit "Makefile" so that the owner and group are not the non-existing "bin" owner and group by changing
      BINOWN = bin
      BINGRP = bin
      
      to
      BINOWN = root
      BINGRP = admin
      
    3. Type "make"
    4. Type "sudo make install"
  2. Download the Python2.6 (or greater) source, unarchive, and change directory to Python2.6. We need to enable python gdbm support which is not enabled in the default OS X 10.5.5 installation of python, as the gdbm libs are not included. However, we just installed the gdbm libs in step 1, so we can now compile python with gdbm support.
    1. Edit the file "Modules/Setup" by uncommenting the line which links against gdbm by changing
      #gdbm gdbmmodule.c -I/usr/local/include -L/usr/local/lib -lgdbm
      
      to
      gdbm gdbmmodule.c -I/usr/local/include -L/usr/local/lib -lgdbm
      
    2. Edit the file "Modules/Setup" by uncommenting the line to create shared libs by changing
      #*shared*
      
      to
      *shared*
      
    3. Type ./configure --enable-framework --enable-universalsdk in the top-level Python2.6 directory. This will configure the installation of python as a shared OS X framework, and usable with OS X GUI frameworks and SDKs. You may have problems building if you don't have the SDKs that support the PPC platform. If you do, just specify --disable-universalsdk. By default, python will be installed in "/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework", which is what we want.
    4. Type make
    5. Type sudo make install
    6. Type cd /usr/local/bin; sudo ln -s python2.6 python
    7. Make sure "/usr/local/bin" is at the front of your search path in ~/.profile or ~/.bashrc etc.
    8. Type source ~/.profle or source ~/.bashrc etc. or alternatively, just open a new shell window. When you type which python it should give you the new version in "/usr/local/bin" not the one in "/usr/bin".
  3. Download the cvs2svn-2.2.0 (or greater) source, unarchive and change directory to cvs2svn-2.2.0. Many people can't get cvs2svn to work except in the installation directory. The reason for this is that the installation places copies of cvs2svn, cvs2svn_libs, and cvs2svn_rcsparse in the /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework hierarchy. All we need to do is make a link in /usr/local/bin pointing to the location of cvs2svn in the python framework hierarchy. And for good measure we also make links to the lib and include directories:
    1. Type sudo make install
    2. Create the required links by typing the following:
      sudo ln -s /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.6/bin/cvs2svn /usr/local/bin/cvs2svn
      sudo ln -s /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.6/lib/python2.6 /usr/local/lib/python2.6
      sudo ln -s /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.6/include/python2.6 /usr/local/include/python2.6
      

The installation is complete. Change directory out of the cvs2svn-2.2.0 installation directory, and you should be able to run cvs2svn. Be careful *not* to copy the version of cvs2svn in the cvs2svn-2.2.0 installation directory to /usr/local/bin, as this has a different python environment setting at the top of the file than the one that was installed in the /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework hierarchy. Follow the instructions exactly, and it should work.


Problems:

I get an error "A CVS repository cannot contain both repo/path/file.txt,v and repo/path/Attic/file.txt,v". What can I do?

Background: Normally, if you have a file called path/file.txt in your project, CVS stores its history in a file called repo/path/file.txt,v. But if file.txt is deleted on the main line of development, CVS moves its history file to a special Attic subdirectory: repo/path/Attic/file.txt,v. (If the file is recreated, then it is moved back out of the Attic subdirectory.) Your repository should never contain both of these files at the same time.

This cvs2svn error message thus indicates a mild form of corruption in your CVS repository. The file has two conflicting histories, and even CVS does not know the correct history of path/file.txt. The corruption was probably created by using tools other than CVS to backup or manipulate the files in your repository. With a little work you can learn more about the two histories by viewing each of the file.txt,v files in a text editor.

There are four straightforward approaches to fixing the repository corruption, but each has potential disadvantages. Remember to make a backup before starting. Never run cvs2svn on a live CVS repository--always work on a copy of your repository.

  1. Restart the conversion with the --retain-conflicting-attic-files option. This causes the non-attic and attic versions of the file to be converted separately, with the Attic version stored to a new subdirectory as path/Attic/file.txt. This approach avoids losing any history, but by moving the Attic version of the file to a different subdirectory it might cause historical revisions to be broken.
  2. Remove the Attic version of the file and restart the conversion. Sometimes it represents an old version of the file that was deleted long ago, and it won't be missed. But this completely discards one of the file's histories, probably causing file.txt to be missing in older historical revisions. (For what it's worth, this is probably how CVS would behave in this situation.)
          # You did make a backup, right?
          $ rm repo/path/Attic/file.txt,v
        
  3. Remove the non-Attic version of the file and restart the conversion. This might be appropriate if the non-Attic version has less important content than the Attic version. But this completely discards one of the file's histories, probably causing file.txt to be missing in recent historical revisions.
          # You did make a backup, right?
          $ rm repo/path/file.txt,v
        
  4. Rename the non-Attic version of the file and restart the conversion. This avoids losing history, but it changes the name of the non-Attic version of the file to file-not-from-Attic.txt whenever it appeared, and might thereby cause revisions to be broken.
          # You did make a backup, right?
          $ mv repo/path/file.txt,v repo/path/file-not-from-Attic.txt,v
        

If you run cvs2svn on a case-insensitive operating system, it is possible to get this error even if the filename of the file in Attic has different case than the one out of the Attic. This could happen, for example, if the CVS repository was served from a case-sensitive operating system at some time. A workaround for this problem is to copy the CVS repository to a case-sensitive operating system and convert it there.

I get an error "ERROR: filename,v is not a valid ,v file."

The named file is corrupt in some way. (Corruption is surprisingly common in CVS repositories.) It is likely that even CVS has problems with this file; try checking out the head revision, revision 1.1, and the tip revision on each branch of this file; probably one or more of them don't work.

Here are some options:

  1. Omit this file from the conversion (by making a copy of your repository, deleting this file from the copy, then converting from the copy).
  2. Restore an older copy of this file from backups, if you have backups from before it was corrupted.
  3. Hand-fix the file as best you can by opening it in a binary editor and trying to put it back in RCS file format (documented in the rcsfile(5) manpage). Often it is older revisions that are affected by corruption; you might need to delete some old revisions to salvage newer ones.

gdbm.error: (45, 'Operation not supported')

This has been reported to be caused by trying to create gdbm databases on an NFS partition. Apparently gdbm does not support databases on NFS partitions. The workaround is to use the --tmpdir option to choose a local partition for cvs2svn to write its temporary files.

When converting a CVS repository that was used on a Macintosh, the contents of some files are incorrect in SVN.

Some Macintosh CVS clients use a nonstandard trick to store the resource fork of files in CVS: instead of storing the file contents directly, store an AppleSingle data stream containing both the data fork and resource fork. When checking the file out, the client unpacks the AppleSingle data and writes the two forks separately to disk. By default, cvs2svn treats the file contents literally, so when you check the file out of Subversion, the file contains the combined data in AppleSingle format rather than only the data fork of the file as expected.

Subversion does not have any special facilities for dealing with Macintosh resource forks, so there is nothing cvs2svn can do to preserve both forks of your data. However, sometimes the resource fork is not needed. If you would like to discard the resource fork and only record the data fork in Subversion, then start your conversion using the options file method and set the following option to True in your options file:

      ctx.decode_apple_single = True

There is more information about this option in the comments in cvs2svn-example.options.

Using cvs2svn 1.3.x, I get an error "The command '['co', '-q', '-x,v', '-p1.1', '-kk', '/home/cvsroot/myfile,v']' failed" in pass 8.

What are you using cvs2svn version 1.3.x for anyway? Upgrade!

But if you must, either install RCS, or ensure that CVS is installed and use cvs2svn's --use-cvs option.

Vendor branches created with "cvs import -b <branch number>" are not correctly handled.

Normally, people using "cvs import" don't specify the "-b" flag. cvs2svn handles this normal case fine.

If you have a file which has an active vendor branch, i.e. there have never been any trunk commits but only "cvs imports" onto the vendor branch, then cvs2svn will handle this fine. (Even if you've used the "-b" option to specify a non-standard branch number).

If you've used "cvs import -b <branch number>", you didn't specify the standard CVS vendor branch number of 1.1.1, and there has since been a commit on trunk (either a modification or delete), then your history has been damaged. This isn't cvs2svn's fault. CVS simply doesn't record the branch number of the old vendor branch, it assumes it was 1.1.1. You will even get the wrong results from "cvs checkout -D" with a date when the vendor branch was active.

Symptoms of this problem can include:

  • cvs2svn refusing to let you exclude the vendor branch, because some other branch depends on it
  • if you did more than one import onto the vendor branch, then your SVN history "missing" one of the changes on trunk (though the change will be on the vendor branch).

(Note: There are other possible causes for these symptoms, don't assume you have a non-standard vendor branch number just because you see these symptoms).

The way to solve this problem is to renumber the vendor branch to the standard 1.1.1 branch number. This has to be done before you run cvs2svn. To help you do this, there is the "renumber_branch.py" script in the "contrib" directroy of the cvs2svn distribution.

The typical usage, assuming you used "cvs import -b 1.1.2 ..." to create your vendor branch, is:

      contrib/renumber_branch.py 1.1.2 1.1.1 repos/dir/file,v

You should only run this on a copy of your CVS repository, as it edits the repository in-place. You can fix a single file or a whole directory tree at a time.

The script will check that the 1.1.1 branch doesn't already exist; if it does exist then it will fail with an error message.

Getting help:

How do I get help?

There are several sources of help for cvs2svn:

What information should I include when requesting help?

If you ask for help and/or report a bug on a mailing list, it is important that you include the following information. Failure to include important information is the best way to dissuade the volunteers of the cvs2svn project from trying to help you.

  1. Exactly what version of cvs2svn are you using? If you are not using an official release, please tell us what branch and revision number from the svn archive you are using. If you have modified cvs2svn, please tell us exactly what you have changed.
  2. What platform are you using (Linux, BSD, Windows, etc.)? What python version (e.g., type python --version)?
  3. What is the exact command line that you used to start the conversion? If you used the --options option, please attach a copy of the options file that you used.
  4. What happened when you ran the program? How did that differ from what you wanted/expected? Include transcripts and/or error output if available.
  5. If you think you have found a bug, try to submit a repository that we can use to reproduce the problem. See "How can I produce a useful test case?" for more information. In most cases, if we cannot reproduce the problem, there is nothing we can do to help you.

How do I subscribe to a mailing list?

It is not so obvious how to subscribe to the cvs2svn mailing lists. There are two ways:

  • If you have an account on tigris.org, then you can go to any cvs2svn project page, click on "Mailing lists" in the "Project tools" menu on the left-hand column, then click on "Manage my subscriptions" (above the list of mailing lists). On that page, tick the "Subscribed" checkbox next to the lists to which you would like to subscribe.
  • If you do not have a tigris account, then you can subscribe by sending an email to $LIST-subscribe@cvs2svn.tigris.org, where $LIST is one of "announce", "users", "dev", "issues", or "commits". Please be sure to send the email to $LIST-subscribe and not to the list itself! (To unsubscribe, send and email to $LIST-unsubscribe@cvs2svn.tigris.org.) More details can be found here.

How do I report a bug?

cvs2svn is an open source project that is largely developed and supported by volunteers in their free time. Therefore please try to help out by reporting bugs in a way that will enable us to help you efficiently.

The first question is whether the problem you are experiencing is caused by a cvs2svn bug at all. A large fraction of reported "bugs" are caused by problems with the user's CVS repository, especially mild forms of repository corruption or trying to convert a CVSNT repository with cvs2svn. Please also double-check the manual to be sure that you are using the command-line options correctly.

A good way to localize potential repository corruption is to use the shrink_test_case.py script (which is located in the contrib directory of the cvs2svn source tree). This script tries to find the minimum subset of files in your repository that still shows the same problem. Warning: Only apply this script to a backup copy of your repository, as it destroys the repository that it operates on! Often this script can narrow the problem down to a single file which, as often as not, is corrupt in some way. Even if the problem is not in your repository, the shrunk-down test case will be useful for reporting the bug. Please see "How can I produce a useful test case?" and the comments at the top of shrink_test_case.py for information about how to use this script.

Assuming that you still think you have found a bug, the next step is to investigate whether the bug is already known. Please look through the issue tracker for bugs that sound familiar. If the bug is already known, then there is no need to report it (though possibly you could contribute a useful test case or a workaround).

If your bug seems new, then the best thing to do is report it via email to the dev@cvs2svn.tigris.org mailing list. Be sure to include the information listed in "What information should I include when requesting help?"

How can I produce a useful test case?

If you need to report a bug, it is extremely helpful if you can include a test repository with your bug report. In most cases, if we cannot reproduce the problem, there is nothing we can do to help you. This section describes ways to overcome the most common problems that people have in producing a useful test case. When you have a reasonable-sized test case (say under 1 MB--the smaller the better), you can just tar it up and attach it to the email in which you report the bug.

If the repository is too big and/or contains proprietary information

You don't want to send us your proprietary information, and we don't want to receive it either. Short of open-sourcing your software, here is a way to strip out most of the proprietary information and simultaneously reduce the size of the archive tremendously.

The destroy_repository.py script tries to delete as much information as possible out of your repository while still preserving its basic structure (and therefore hopefully any cvs2svn bugs). Specifically, it tries to delete file descriptions, text content, all nontrivial log messages, and all author names. It also renames all files and directories to have generic names (e.g., dir015/file053,v). (It does not affect the number and dates of revisions to the files.)

  1. This procedure will destroy the repository that it is applied to, so be sure to make a backup copy of your repository and work with the backup!
  2. Make sure you have the destroy_repository.py script. If you don't already have it, you should download the source code for cvs2svn (there is no need to install it). The script is located in the contrib subdirectory.
  3. Run destroy_repository.py by typing
    # You did make a backup, right?
    /path/to/config/destroy_repository.py /path/to/copy/of/repo
    
  4. Verify that the "destroyed" archive does not include any information that you consider proprietary. Your data security is ultimately your responsibility, and we make no guarantees that the destroy_repository.py script works correctly. You can open the *,v files using a text editor to see what they contain.
  5. Try converting the "destroyed" repository using cvs2svn, and ensure that the bug still exists. Take a note of the exact cvs2svn command line that you used and include it along with a tarball of the "destroyed" repository with your bug report.

If running destroy_repository.py with its default options causes the bug to go away, consider using destroy_repository.py command-line options to leave part of the repository information intact. Run destroy_repository.py --help for more information.

The repository is still too large

This step is a tiny bit more work, so if your repository is already small enough to send you can skip this step. But this step helps narrow down the problem (maybe even point you to a corrupt file in your repository!) so it is still recommended.

The shrink_test_case.py script tries to delete as many files and directories from your repository as possible while preserving the cvs2svn bug. To use this command, you need to write a little test script that tries to convert your repository and checks whether the bug is still present. The script should exit successfully (e.g., "exit 0") if the bug is still present, and fail (e.g., "exit 1") if the bug has disappeared. The form of the test script depends on the bug that you saw, but it can be as simple as something like this:

#! /bin/sh

cvs2svn --dry-run /path/to/copy/of/repo 2>&1 | grep -q 'KeyError'

If the bug is more subtle, then the test script obviously needs to be more involved.

Once the test script is ready, you can shrink your repository via the following steps:

  1. This procedure will destroy the repository that it is applied to, so be sure to make a backup copy of your repository and work with the backup!
  2. Make sure you have the shrink_test_case.py script. If you don't already have it, you should download the source code for cvs2svn (there is no need to install it). The script is located in the contrib subdirectory.
  3. Run shrink_test_case.py by typing
    # You did make a backup, right?
    /path/to/config/shrink_test_case.py /path/to/copy/of/repo testscript.sh
    
    , where testscript.sh is the name of the test script described above. This script will execute testscript.sh many times, each time using a subset of the original repository.
  4. If the shrunken repository only consists of one or two files, look inside the files with a text editor to see whether they are corrupted in any obvious way. (Many so-called cvs2svn "bugs" are actually the result of a corrupt CVS repository.)
  5. Try converting the "shrunk" repository using cvs2svn, to make sure that the original bug still exists. Take a note of the exact cvs2svn command line that you used, and include it along with a tarball of the "destroyed" repository with your bug report.

Does anybody offer commercial support for cvs2svn/cvs2git conversions?

Disclaimer:These links in this section are provided as a service to cvs2svn/cvs2git users. Neither Tigris.org, CollabNet Inc., nor the cvs2svn team guarantee the correctness, validity or usefulness of these links. To add a link to this section, please submit it to the cvs2svn developers' mailing list.

Following is a list of known sources for commercial support for cvs2svn/cvs2git conversions:

  • Michael Haggerty, the maintainer of cvs2svn/cvs2git, offers individual help with conversions, including implementation of new cvs2svn/cvs2git features, on a consulting basis. Please contact Michael via email for more information.