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The primary goal of cvs2svn is to migrate as much information as
possible from your old CVS repository to your new Subversion or git
Unfortunately, CVS doesn't record complete information about your
project's history. For example, CVS doesn't record what file
modifications took place together in the same CVS commit. Therefore,
cvs2svn attempts to infer from CVS's incomplete information what
really happened in the history of your repository. So the
second goal of cvs2svn is to reconstruct as much of your CVS
repository's history as possible.
The third goal of cvs2svn is to allow you to customize the
conversion process and the form of your output repository as flexibly
as possible. cvs2svn has very many conversion options that can be
used from the command line, many more that can be configured via an
options file, and provides many hooks to allow even more extreme
customization by writing Python code.
- No information lost
- cvs2svn works hard to avoid losing any information from your CVS
repository (unless you specifically ask for a partial conversion
using --trunk-only or --exclude).
- CVS records modifications file-by-file, and does not keep track
of what files were modified at the same time. cvs2svn uses
information like the file modification times, log messages, and
dependency information to deduce the original changesets. cvs2svn
allows changesets that affect multiple branches and/or multiple
projects (as is allowed by CVS), or it can be configured to split
such changesets up into separate commits
(--no-cross-branch-commits; see also options file).
- Multiproject conversions
- cvs2svn can convert a CVS repository that contains multiple
projects into a single Subversion repository with the conventional
multiproject directory layout. See the FAQ for more information.
- Branch vs. tag
- CVS allows the same symbol name to be used sometimes as a
branch, sometimes as a tag. cvs2svn has options and heuristics to
decide how to convert such "mixed" symbols
- Branch/tag exclusion
- cvs2svn allows the user to specify branches and/or tags that
should be excluded from the conversion altogether
(--symbol-hints, --exclude). It checks that the
exclusions are self-consistent (e.g., it doesn't allow a branch to
be excluded if a branch that sprouts from it is not excluded).
- Branch/tag renaming
- cvs2svn can rename branches and tags during the conversion using
regular-expression patterns (--symbol-transform).
- Choosing SVN paths for branches/tags
- You can choose what SVN paths to use as the trunk/branches/tags
directories (--trunk, --branches,
--tags), or set arbitrary paths for specific CVS
branches/tags (--symbol-hints). For example, you might
want to store some tags to the project/tags directory,
but others to project/releases.
- Branch and tag parents
- In many cases, the CVS history is ambiguous about which branch
served as the parent of another branch or tag. cvs2svn determines
the most plausible parent for symbols using cross-file
information. You can override cvs2svn's choices on a case-by-case
basis by using the --symbol-hints option.
- Branch and tag creation times
- CVS does not record when branches and tags are created. cvs2svn
creates branches and tags at a reasonable time, consistent with
the file revisions that were tagged, and tries to create each one
within a single Subversion commit if possible.
- Mime types
- CVS does not record files' mime types. cvs2svn provides several
mechanisms for choosing reasonable file mime types
- Binary vs. text
- Many CVS users do not systematically record which files are
binary and which are text. (This is mostly important if the
repository is used on non-Unix systems.) cvs2svn provides a
number of ways to infer this information
- Subversion file properties
- Subversion allows arbitrary text properties to be attached to
files. cvs2svn provides a mechanism to set such properties when a
file is first added to the repository
(--auto-props) as well as a hook that users can use to
set arbitrary file properties via Python code.
- Handling of .cvsignore
- .cvsignore files in the CVS repository are converted
into the equivalent svn:ignore properties in the output.
By default, the .cvsignore files themselves are
not included in the output; this behavior can be changed
by specifying the --keep-cvsignore option.
- Subversion repository customization
- cvs2svn provides many options that allow you to customize the
structure of the resulting Subversion repository
(--trunk, --branches, --tags,
--symbol-transform, etc.; see also the additional
customization options available by using the --options-file
- Support for multiple character encodings
- CVS does not record which character encoding was used to store
metainformation like file names, author names and log messages.
cvs2svn provides options to help convert such text into UTF-8
- Vendor branches
- CVS supports "vendor branches", which (under some circumstances)
affect the contents of the main line of development. cvs2svn
detects vendor branches whenever possible and handles them
intelligently. For example,
- cvs2svn explicitly copies vendor branch revisions back to
trunk so that a checkout of trunk gives the same results under
SVN as under CVS.
- If a vendor branch is excluded from the conversion, cvs2svn
grafts the relevant vendor branch revisions onto trunk so that
the contents of trunk are still the same as in CVS. If other
tags or branches sprout from these revisions, they are grafted
to trunk as well.
- When a file is imported into CVS, CVS creates two revisions
("1.1" and "126.96.36.199") with the same contents. cvs2svn
discards the redundant "1.1" revision in such cases (since
revision "188.8.131.52" will be copied to trunk anyway).
- Often users create vendor branches unnecessarily by using
"cvs import" to import their own sources into the CVS
repository. Such vendor branches do not contain any useful
information, so by default cvs2svn excludes any vendor branch
that was only used for a single import. You can change this
default behavior by specifying the
- CVS quirks
- cvs2svn goes to great length to deal with CVS's many quirks.
- CVS introduces spurious "1.1" revisions when a file is added
on a branch. cvs2svn discards these revisions.
- If a file is added on a branch, CVS introduces a spurious
"dead" revision at the beginning of the branch to indicate
that the file did not exist when the branch was created.
cvs2svn deletes these spurious revisions and adds the file on
the branch at the correct time.
- Robust against repository corruption
- cvs2svn knows how to handle several types of CVS repository
corruption that have been reported frequently, and gives
informative error messages in other cases:
- An RCS file that exists both in and out of the "Attic"
- Multiple deltatext blocks for a single CVS file
- Multiple revision headers for the same CVS file
- Tags and branches that refer to non-existent revisions or
ill-formed revision numbers.
- Repeated definitions of a symbol name to the same revision
- Branches that have no associated labels.
- A directory name that conflicts with a file name (in or out
of the Attic).
- Filenames that contain forbidden characters.
- Log messages with variant end-of-line styles.
- Vendor branch declarations that refer to non-existent
- Timestamp error correction
- Many CVS repositories contain timestamp errors due to servers'
clocks being set incorrectly during part of the repository's
history. cvs2svn's history reconstruction is relatively robust
against timestamp errors and it writes monotonic timestamps to the
- cvs2svn stores most intermediate data to on-disk databases so
that it can convert very large CVS repositories using a reasonable
amount of RAM. Conversions are organized as multiple passes and
can be restarted at an arbitrary pass in the case of
- Configurable/extensible using Python
- Many aspects of the conversion can be customized using Python
plugins that interact with cvs2svn through documented interfaces