Provided by: cvs-fast-export_1.59-1_amd64 bug


       cvs-fast-export - fast-export history from a CVS repository or RCS collection.


       cvs-fast-export [-h] [-a] [-w fuzz] [-g] [-l] [-v] [-q] [-V] [-T] [-p] [-P] [-i date] [-k
       expansion] [-A authormap] [-t threads] [-R revmap] [--reposurgeon] [-e remote] [-s


       cvs-fast-export tries to group the per-file commits and tags in a RCS file collection or
       CVS project repository into per-project changeset commits with common metadata. It emits a
       Git fast-import stream describing these changesets to standard output.

       This tool is best used in conjunction with reposurgeon(1). Plain cvs-fast-export
       conversions contain various sorts of fossils that reposurgeon is good for cleaning up. See
       the Repository Editing and Conversion With Reposurgeon to learn about the sanity-checking
       and polishing steps required for a really high-quality conversion, including reference
       lifting and various sorts of artifact cleanup.

       If arguments are supplied, the program assumes all ending with the extension ",v" are
       master files and reads them in. If no arguments are supplied, the program reads filenames
       from stdin, one per line. Directories and files not ending in ",v" are skipped. (But see
       the description of the -P option for how to change this behavior.)

       Files from either Unix CVS or CVS-NT are handled. If a collection of files has commitid
       fields, changesets will be constructed reliably using those.

       In the default mode, which generates a git-style fast-export stream to standard output:

       •   The prefix given using the -s option or, if the option is omitted, the longest common
           prefix of the paths is discarded from each path.

       •   Files in CVS Attic and RCS directories are treated as though the "Attic/" or "RCS/"
           portion of the path were absent. This usually restores the history of files that were

       •   Permissions on all fileops related to a particular file will be controlled by the
           permissions on the corresponding master. If the executable bit on the master is on,
           all its fileops will have 100755 permissions; otherwise 100644.

       •   A set of file operations is coalesced into a changeset if either (a) they all share
           the same commitid, or (b) all have no commitid but identical change comments, authors,
           and modification dates within the window defined by the time-fuzz parameter. Unlike
           some other exporters, no attempt is made to derive changesets from shared tags.

       •   Commits are issued in time order unless the cvs-fast-export detects that some parent
           is younger than its child (this is unlikely but possible in cases of severe clock
           skew). In that case you will see a warning on standard error and the emission order is
           guaranteed topologically correct, but otherwise not specified (and is subject to
           change in future versions of this program).

       •   CVS tags become git lightweight tags when they can be unambiguously associated with a
           changeset. If the same tag is attached to file deltas that resolve to multiple
           changesets, it is reported as if attached to the last of them.

       •   The HEAD branch is renamed to master.

       •   Other tag and branch names are sanitized to be legal for git; the characters ~^\*? are

       •   Since .cvsignore files have a syntax upward-compatible with that of .gitignore files,
           they’re renamed. In order to simulate the default ignore behavior of CVS, those
           defaults are prepended to root .cvsignore blobs renamed to .gitignore, and a root
           .gitignore containing the defaults is generated if no such blobs exist.

       See the later section on RCS/CVS LIMITATIONS for more information on edge cases and
       conversion problems.

       This program does not depend on any of the CVS metadata held outside the individual
       content files (e.g. under CVSROOT).

       The variable TMPDIR is honored and used when generating a temporary directory in which to
       store file content during processing.

       This program treats the file contents of the source CVS or RCS repository, and their
       filenames. as uninterpreted byte sequences to be passed through to the git conversion
       without re-encoding. In particular, it makes no attempt to fix up line endings (Unix \n
       vs, Windows \r\n vs. Macintosh \r), nor does it know about what repository filenames might
       collide with special filenames on any given platform. CVS $-keywords in the masters are
       not interpreted pr expanded; this prevents corruption of binary content.

       This program treats change comments as uninterpreted byte sequences to be passed through
       to the git conversion without change or re-encoding. If you need to re-encode (e.g, from
       Latin-1 to UTF-8) or remap CVS version IDs to something useful, use cvs-fast-export in
       conjunction with the transcode and references lift commands of reposurgeon(1).


           Display usage summary.

       -w fuzz
           Set the timestamp fuzz factor for identifying patch sets in seconds. The default is
           300 seconds. This option is irrelevant for changesets with commitids.

           Don’t trust commit-IDs; match by ordinary metadata. Will be useful if you have
           something like a CVS-NT repository in which per-file commits were made in such a way
           that the cliques don’t have matching IDs.

           generate a picture of the commit graph in the DOT markup language used by the graphviz
           tools, rather than fast-exporting.

           Warnings normally go to standard error. This option, which takes a filename, allows
           you to redirect them to a file. Convenient with the -p option.

           Dump a list of author IDs found in the repository, rather than fast-exporting.

       -A authormap
           Apply an author-map file to the attribution lines. Each line must be of the form

               ferd = Ferd J. Foonly <> America/Chicago

           and will be applied to map the Unix username ferd to the DVCS-style user identity
           specified after the equals sign. The timezone field (after > and whitespace) is
           optional and (if present) is used to set the timezone offset to be attached to the
           date; acceptable formats for the timezone field are anything that can be in the TZ
           environment variable, including a [+-]hhmm offset. Whitespace around the equals sign
           is stripped. Lines beginning with a # or not containing an equals sign are silently

       -R revmap
           Write a revision map to the specified argument filename. Each line of the revision map
           consists of three whitespace-separated fields: a filename, an RCS revision number, and
           the mark of the commit to which that filename-revision pair was assigned. Doesn’t work
           with -g.

           Show verbose progress messages mainly of interest to developers.

           Run quietly, suppressing warning messages about absence of commitids and other minor
           problems for which the program can usually compensate but which may indicate
           conversion problems. Meant to be used with cvsconvert(1), which does its own
           correctness checking.

           Force deterministic dates for regression testing. Each patchset will have a
           monotonic-increasing attributed date computed from its mark in the output stream - the
           mark value times the commit time window times two.

           Emit for each commit a list of the CVS file:revision pairs composing it as a bzr-style
           commit property named "cvs-revisions". From version 2.12 onward, reposurgeon(1) can
           interpret these and use them as hints for reference-lifting. Also, suppresses emission
           of "done" trailer.

           Append to each commit comment identification of the CVS commits that contributed to

           Emit the program version and exit.

       -e remote
           Exported branch names are prefixed with refs/remotes/remote instead of refs/heads,
           making the import appear to come from the named remote.

       -s stripprefix
           Strip the given prefix instead of longest common prefix

       -t threadcount
           Running multithreaded increases the program’s memory footprint proportionally to the
           number of threads, but means the conversion may run in less total time because an I/O
           operation involving one master file will not block compute-intensive processing of
           others. By default, the program conservatively assumes it can use two threads per
           processor available. You can use this option to set the number of threads; the value 0
           forces sequential processing with no threading.

           Enable progress reporting. This also dumps statistics (elapsed time and size of
           maximum resident set) for several points in the conversion run.

           Normally cvs-fast-export will skip any filename presented as an argument or on stdin
           that does not end with the RCS/CVS extension ",v", and will also ignore a pathname
           containing the string CVSROOT (this avoids annoyances when running from or above a
           top-level CVS directory). A strict reading of RCS allows masters without the ,v
           extension. This option sets promiscuous mode, disabling both checks.

       -i date
           Enable incremental-dump mode. Only commits with a date after that specified by the
           argument are emitted. Disables inclusion of default ignores. Each branch root in the
           incremental dump is decorated with git-stream magic which, when interpreted in context
           of a live repository, will connect that branch to any branch of the same name. The
           date is expected to be RFC3339 conformant (e.g. yy-mm-ddThh:mm:ssZ) or else an integer
           Unix time in seconds.


       A very typical invocation would look like this:

           find . | cvs-fast-export >

       Your cvs-fast-export distribution should also supply cvssync(1), a tool for fetching CVS
       masters from a remote repository. Using them together will look something like this:

           cvssync groff
           find groff | cvs-fast-export >

       Progress reporting can be reassuring if you expect a conversion to run for some time. It
       will animate completion percentages as the conversion proceeds and display timings when

       The cvs-fast-export suite contains a wrapper script called cvsconvert that is useful for
       running a conversion and automatically checking its content against the CVS original.


       Translating RCS/CVS repositories to the generic DVCS model expressed by import streams is
       not merely difficult and messy, there are weird RCS/CVS cases that cannot be correctly
       translated at all. cvs-fast-export will try to warn you about these cases rather than
       silently producing broken or incomplete translations, but there be dragons. We recommend
       some precautions under SANITY CHECKING.

       Timestamps from CVS histories are not very reliable - CVS made them on the client side
       rather than at the server; this makes them subject to local clock skew, timezone, and DST

       CVS-NT and versions of GNU CVS after 1.12 (2004) added a changeset commit-id to file
       metadata. Older sections of CVS history without these are vulnerable to various problems
       caused by clock skew between clients; this used to be relatively common for multiple
       reasons, including less pervasive use of NTP clock synchronization. cvs-fast-export will
       warn you ("commits before this date lack commitids") when it sees such a section in your
       history. When it does, these caveats apply:

       •   If timestamps of commits in the CVS repository were not stable enough to be used for
           ordering commits, changes may be reported in the wrong order.

       •   If the timestamp order of different files crosses the revision order within the
           commit-matching time window, the order of commits reported may be wrong.

       One more property affected by commitids is the stability of old changesets under
       incremental dumping. Under a CVS implementation issuing commitids, new CVS commits are
       guaranteed not to change cvs-fast-export’s changeset derivation from a previous history;
       thus, updating a target DVCS repository with incremental dumps from a live CVS
       installation will work. Even if older portions of the history do not have commitids,
       conversions will be stable. This stability guarantee is lost if you are using a version of
       CVS that does not issue commitids.

       Also note that a CVS repository has to be completely reanalyzed even for incremental
       dumps; thus, processing time and memory requirements will rise with the total repository
       size even when the requested reporting interval of the incremental dump is small.

       These problems cannot be fixed in cvs-fast-export; they are inherent to CVS.


       Because the code is designed for dealing with large data sets, it has been optimized for
       64-bit machines and no particular effort has been made to keep it 32-bit clean. Various
       counters may overflow if you try using it to lift a large repository on a 32-bit machine.

       cvs-fast-export is designed to do translation with all its intermediate structures in
       memory, in one pass. This contrasts with cvs2git(1), which uses multiple passes and
       journals intermediate structures to disk. The tradeoffs are that cvs-fast-export is much
       faster than cvs2git (by a ratio of over 100:1 on real repositories), but will fail with an
       out-of-memory error on CVS repositories large enough that the metadata storage (not the
       content blobs, just the attributions and comments) overflow your physical memory. In
       practice, you are unlikely to push this limit on a machine with 32GB of RAM and
       effectively certain not to with 64GB. Attempts to do large conversions in only a 32-bit
       (4GB) address space are, on the other hand, unlikely to end well.

       The program’s transient RAM requirements can be quite a bit larger; it must slurp in each
       entire master file once in order to do delta assembly and generate the version snapshots
       that will become snapshots. Using the -t option multiplies the expected amount of
       transient storage required by the number of threads; use with care, as it is easy to push
       memory usage so high that swap overhead overwhelms the gains from not constantly blocking
       on I/O.

       The program also requires temporary disk space equivalent to the sum of the sizes of all
       revisions in all files.

       On stock PC hardware in 2020, cvs-fast-export achieves processing speeds upwards of 64K
       CVS commits per minute on real repositories. Time performance is primarily I/O bound and
       can be improved by running on an SSD rather than spinning rust.


       Branches occurring in only a subset of the analyzed masters are not correctly resolved;
       instead, an entirely disjoint history will be created containing the branch revisions and
       all parents back to the root.

       The program does try to do something useful cases in which a tag occurs in a set of
       revisions that does not correspond to any gitspace commit. In this case a tagged branch
       containing only one commit is created, guaranteeing that you can check out a set of files
       containing the CVS content for the tag. The commit comment is "Synthetic commit for
       incomplete tag XXX", where XXX is the relevant tag. The root of the branchlet is the
       gitspace commit where the latest CVS revision in in the tagged set first occurs; this is
       the commit the tag would point at if its incompleteness were ignored. The change in the
       branchlet commit is also applied forward in the nearby mainline.

       This program does the equivalent of cvs -kb when checking out masters, not performing any
       $-keyword expansion at all. This has the advantage that binary files can never be
       clobbered, no matter when k option was set on the master. It has the disadvantage that the
       data in $-headers is not reliable; at best you’ll get the unexpanded version of the
       $-cookie, at worst you might get the committer/timestamp information for when the master
       was originally checked in, rather than when it was last checked out. It’s good practice to
       remove all dollar cookies as part of post-conversion cleanup.

       CVS vendor branches are a source of trouble. Sufficiently strange combinations of imports
       and local modifications will translate badly, producing incorrect content on master and

       Some other CVS exporters try, or have tried, to deduce changesets from shared tags even
       when comment metadata doesn’t match perfectly. This one does not; the designers judge that
       to trip over too many pathological CVS tagging cases.

       When running multithreaded, there is an edge case in which the program’s behavior is
       nondeterministic. If the same tag looks like it should be assigned to two different
       gitspace commits with the same timestamp, which tag it actually lands on will be random.

       CVSNT is supported, but the CVSNT extension fieldss "hardlinks" and "username" are

       Non-ASCII characters in user IDs are not supported.


       After conversion, it is good practice to do the following verification steps:

        1. If you ran the conversion directly with cvs-fast-export rather than using cvsconvert,
           use diff(1) with the -r option to compare a CVS head checkout with a checkout of the
           converted repository. The only differences you should see are those due to RCS keyword
           expansion, .cvsignore lifting, and manifest mismatches due to CVS not tracking file
           deaths quite correctly. If this is not true, you may have found a bug in
           cvs-fast-export; please report it with a copy of the CVS repo.

        2. Examine the translated repository with reposurgeon(1) looking (in particular) for
           misplaced tags or branch joins. Often these can be manually repaired with little
           effort. These flaws do not necessarily imply bugs in cvs-fast-export; they may simply
           indicate previously undetected malformations in the CVS history. However, reporting
           them may help improve cvs-fast-export.

       A more comprehensive sanity check is described in Repository Editing and Conversion With
       Reposurgeon; browse it for more.


       0 if all files were found and successfully converted, 1 otherwise.


       Most of the messages cvs-fast-export emits are self-explanatory. Here are a few that
       aren’t. Where it says "check head", be sure to sanity-check against the head revision.

       null branch name, probably from a damaged Attic file
           The code was unable to deduce a name for a branch and tried to export a null pointer
           as a name. The branch is given the name "null". It is likely this history will need

       fatal: internal error - duplicate key in red black tree
           Multiple tags with identical names exist in one of your master files. This is a sign
           of a corrupted revision history; you will need to manually inspect the master and
           remove one of the duplicates.

       tag could not be assigned to a commit
           RCS/CVS tags are per-file, not per revision. If developers are not careful in their
           use of tagging, it can be impossible to associate a tag with any of the changesets
           that cvs-fast-export resolves. When this happens, cvs-fast-export will issue this
           warning and the tag named will be discarded.

       discarding dead untagged branch
           Analysis found a CVS branch with no tag consisting entirely of dead revisions. These
           cannot have been visible in the archival state of the CVS at conversion time; it is
           possible they may have been visible as branch content at some point in the
           repository’s past, but without an identifying tag that state is impossible to

       warning - unnamed branch
           A CVS branch with a live revision lacks a head label. A label with "-UNNAMED-BRANCH"
           suffixed to the name of the parent branch will be generated.

       warning - no master branch generated
           cvs-fast-export could not identify the default (HEAD) branch and therefore there is no
           "master" in the conversion; this will seriously confuse git and probably other VCSes
           when they try to import the output stream. You may be able to identify and rename a
           master branch using reposurgeon(1).

       warning - xxx newer than yyy
           Early in analysis of a CVS master file, time sort order of its deltas doesn’t match
           the topological order defined by the revision numbers. The most likely cause of this
           is clock skew between clients in very old CVS versions. The program will attempt to
           correct for this by tweaking the revision date of the out-of-order commit to be that
           of its parent, but this may not prevent other time-skew errors later in analysis.

       warning - skew_vulnerable in file xxx rev yyy set to zzz
           This warning is emitted when verbose is on and only on commits with no commit ID. It
           calls out commits that cause the date before which coalescence is unreliable to be
           pushed forward.

       tip commit older than imputed branch join
           A similar problem to "newer than" being reported at a later stage, when file branches
           are being knit into changeset branches. One CVS branch in a collection about to be
           collated into a gitspace branch has a tip commit older than the earliest commit that
           is a a parent on some (other) tip in the collection. The adventitious branch is
           snipped off.

       some parent commits are younger than children
           May indicate that cvs-fast-export aggregated some changesets in the wrong order;
           probably a harmless result of clock skew, but check head.

       warning - branch point later than branch
           Late in the analysis, when connecting branches to their parents in the changeset DAG,
           the commit date of the root commit of a branch is earlier than the date of the parent
           it gets connected to. Could be yet another clock-skew symptom, or might point to an
           error in the program’s topological analysis. Examine commits near the join with
           reposurgeon(1); the branch may need to be reparented by hand.

       more than one delta with number X.Y.Z
           The CVS history contained duplicate file delta numbers. Should never happen, and may
           indocate a corrupted CVS archive if it does; check head.

       {revision|patch} with odd depth
           Should never happen; only branch numbers are supposed to have odd depth, not file
           delta or patch numbers. May indicate a corrupted CVS archive; check head.

       duplicate tag in CVS master, ignoring
           A CVS master has multiple instances of the same tag pointing at different file deltas.
           Probably a CVS operator error and relatively harmless, but check that the tag’s
           referent in the conversion makes sense.

       tag or branch name was empty after sanitization
           Fatal error: tag name was empty after all characters illegal for git were removed.
           Probably indicates a corrupted RCS file.

       revision number too long, increase CVS_MAX_DEPTH
           Fatal error: internal buffers are too short to handle a CVS revision in a repo.
           Increase this constant in cvs.h and rebuild. Warning: this will increase memory usage
           and slow down the tests a lot.

       snapshot sequence number too large, widen serial_t
           Fatal error: the number of file snapshots in the CVS repo overruns an internal
           counter. Rebuild cvs-fast-export from source with a wider serial_t patched into cvs.h.
           Warning: this will significantly increase the working-set size

       too many branches, widen branchcount_t
           Fatal error: the number of branches descended from some single commit overruns an
           internal counter. Rebuild cvs-fast-export from source with a wider branchcount_t
           patched into cvs.h. Warning: this will significantly increase the working-set size

       corrupt delta in
           The text of a delta is expected to be led with d (delete) and a (append) lines
           describing line-oriented changes at that delta. When you see this message, these are

       edit script tried to delete beyond eof
           Indicates a corrupted RCS file. An edit line count was wrong, possibly due to an
           integer overflow in an old 32-bit version of RCS.

       internal error - branch cycle
           cvs-fast-export found a cycle while topologically sorting commits by parent link. This
           should never happen and indicates either damaged metadata or a serious internal error
           in cvs-fast-export: please file a bug report.

       internal error - lost tag
           Late in analysis (after changeset coalescence) a tag lost its commit reference. This
           should never happen and probably indicates an internal error in cvs-fast-export:
           please file a bug report.

       internal error - child commit emitted before parent exists
           This should never happen. If it does, cvs-fast-export’s algorithm for reordering
           commits into canonical Git form has failed. This is a bug and should be reported to
           the maintainers.


       Report bugs to Eric S. Raymond <>. Please read "Reporting bugs in
       cvs-fast-export" before shipping a report. The project page itself is at


       rcs(1), cvs(1), cvssync(1), cvsconvert(1), reposurgeon(1), cvs2git(1).

                                            2020-05-24                         CVS-FAST-EXPORT(1)