CVS to Git Migration

I have recently been migrating our old CVS repository over to Git so we can finally eliminate any need to see CVS ever again.  To do this I am using cvs2git which I downloaded directly from …. and installed.

Since the CVS repository is on and old Linux machine and the Git Repository is running on a new Windows Server 2012 instance I used a directory share on the Linux box to allow the Windows box to see the export files and wrote these two batch files, cvsx (CVS Export) and loadGit:


Export the CVS repository using cvs2svn to a blobfile and a dumpfile needed to import in to GIT.  I did find that the “–fallback-encoding=utf_8” was required as well.

This takes one argument which is the project name in our local CVS repository.

cd ~/cvs2svn-2.4.0
mkdir /home/huffman/GIT_Import/$1
./cvs2git -v --fallback-encoding=utf_8 --blobfile=/home/huffman/GIT_Import/$1/git-blob.dat --dumpfile=/home/huffman/GIT_Import/$1/git-dump.dat --username=huffman /cvsroot/$1


The loadGit is a simple batch file that creates a new Git repository and loads the blobfile and dumpfile data to populate the repository.  The batch file is run from the GIT repository home and relies on mapping the Z: drive to the linux network folder.

It also takes one argument which is the project name which will also be the repository name:

git init --bare %1.git
pushd %1.git
if EXIST git-marks.dat (
 del git-marks.dat
git fast-import --export-marks=git-marks.dat < Z:\%1\git-blob.dat
git fast-import --import-marks=git-marks.dat < Z:\%1\git-dump.dat

With these scripts I was easily able to migrate the repositories and put an end to CVS for our group.


CVS to GIT Migration: Invalid Change Text

While migrating one of our CVS repositories, I got the following error:

ERROR: The command 'cvs -Q -R -f -d :local:/cvsroot co -r1.1.2.1 -p -kb snapRETAIL_Archive/Server/Db/scripts/Programmability/Functions/FN_GetBinType.sql' failed with exit status=1
and the following output:
cvs checkout: Dropping data: pos>vec->text.nlines
cvs [checkout aborted]: invalid change text in /cvsroot/snapRETAIL_Archive/Server/Db/scripts/Programmability/Functions/FN_GetBinType.sql,v

After some detective work, I determined that the problem was an improperly formatted CVS(RCS) file with the following format:


@file FN_GetBinType.sql was initially added on branch Branch_1_1_0_4.
@*** empty log message ***
@d1 1
a1 29

What is happening is the 1.1 version of the code has been created with an empty file.  Then the version is attempting to update that revision by deleting one line of text and then adding the following 29 lines of new text.  However, since the 1.1 version didn’t actually have any lines of text this operation fails.  I’m not sure how this was caused, but I do recall similar issues when a file is added to a branch that is not on the main development line.

The simple solution in this case was changing the original text to be a single line.


I did try removing the deleted text, but this caused the same error.  Presumably the update expects existing text.