Moving an existing git repo into svn

I’ve found myself lately making local git repositories to prototype things that I later need to promote into Bizo’s internal Subversion repository.

git-svn supports this really well, with just a slight variation on the usual git svn clone.

Instead of the standard project/trunk|branches|tags we use a slightly different parent/trunk|branches|tags/project so you’ll see I specify the -T/-t/-b flags.

git svn init

Here is what I do, from the existing local git repo:

# Create the project directory in subversion
$ /usr/bin/svn mkdir
  -m "Make project directory."
Committed revision 200.

# Initialize git-svn, doesn't fetch anything yet
$ git svn init
  -T parent/trunk/project
  -t parent/tags/project
  -b parent/branches/project

# Set authors so we get prettier authors
$ git config svn.authorsfile ../authors

# Now pull down the svn commits
$ git svn fetch
W: Ignoring error from SVN, ...
W: Do not be alarmed at the above message git-svn ...
This may take a while on large repositories
r200 = (guid) (refs/remotes/svn/trunk)

# We should now see our svn trunk setup under our svn remote
$ git branch -av
* master            c3a7161 The latest git commit.
  remotes/svn/trunk 3b7fed6 Make project directory.

# Now we want to take all of our local commits and 
# rebase them on top of the new svn/trunk
$ git rebase svn/trunk
First, rewinding head to replay your work on top of it...
Applying: First git commit
Applying: The latest git commit

# Now we should see our local commits applied
# on top of svn/trunk
$ git lg
* 52b7977 (HEAD, master) The latest git commit
* a34e162 First git commit
* 3b7fed6 (svn/trunk) Make project directory.

# Everything is cool, push it back to svn
$ git svn dcommit
Committing to


One flag I especially like lately, which you can also use with git svn clone, is --prefix=svn/.

This will prefix all of your tracking branches of the remote Subversion branches, tags, and trunk with svn/, making it look a whole lot like the usual origin/ idiom used by regular git remotes.

With the tracking branches having a prefix, you can also use them as local branch names, e.g.:

# Name your copy of svn/trunk "trunk" instead of "master"
$ git checkout -b trunk master
Switched to a new branch 'trunk'

$ git branch -d master
Deleted branch master (was 33c3136).

$ git branch -av
* trunk             33c3136 Latest svn commit
* remotes/svn/trunk 33c3136 Latest svn commit

Then if you have other branches you want to track:

$ git checkout -b featurea svn/featurea

Almost Really Sweet

Overly, I’ve been very pleased with git-svn over the last few years I’ve been using it.

My one regret is that git-svn will not push merges back to svn, so I have to break down and use the svn command line client to do that.

Surprisingly, Bazaar actually writes back svn:mergeinfo, which I’m very jealous of. Assuming it works well, it’s pretty nifty.

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