Man Linux: Main Page and Category List


       git-debimport  -  create a git repository from a set of existing Debian


       git-debimport [options] path-prefix


       This program will create a git  repository  of  all  files  that  match
       ${path-prefix}_*.diff.gz   or   ${path-prefix}_*.debian.tar.{gz,bz2,xz}
       (with their corresponding orig.tar.{gz,bz2,xz}), or of all  files  that
       match ${path-prefix}_*.tar.{gz,bz2,xz} (for Debian native packages).


       The following options are available:

              Attempt    to    download    all    available    versions   from
     rather than use an existing set of packages.
              The  debsnap(1)  utility, from devscripts 2.10.63 or later, must
              be available in the path to use  this  option  (earlier  debsnap
              versions only supported which is no longer a
              functional mirror).  The packages will be  downloaded  into  the
              location implied by the path-prefix where they would normally be
              expected to  exist  already  without  this  option.   Downloaded
              packages  will not automatically be removed after this operation
              is complete.

              Early versions of git-debimport would only  merge  the  upstream
              and  debian  branches  after  the  import  of  all  packages was
              complete.  This avoids an import failing where the  merge  might
              have conflicts that would need to be manually resolved.  We know
              the import of the next package in  the  series  will  contain  a
              resolution  to  any  such conflict, so delaying the merge allows
              the  import  to  proceed  without  intervention  or  introducing
              changes  that  were  not  part of the original history.  It does
              however produce a lesser quality history  for  the  purposes  of
              browsing  the  Debian changes.  All the original packages may be
              retrieved from such a repo with perfect fidelity, but  the  diff
              between  adjacent  Debian versions will be mingled with upstream
              changes too.

              The default for current versions of git-debimport  is  to  merge
              each  new upstream release as it is imported.  This gives a much
              more natural and useful looking history, but may  fail  in  some
              cases.  Use this option to employ the older more reliable method
              for packages that generate conflicts during import.

       -v, --verbose
              Be more noisy about reporting operations  in  progress.   Mostly
              only useful with the --fetch option at present.


       Import an archive of existing ’mypackagename’ packages from mysrcdir:
       $ mkdir mydestdir && cd mydestdir
       $ git-debimport ../mysrcdir/mypackagename

       Import all available versions of gitpkg from
       $ mkdir mydestdir && cd mydestdir
       $ git-debimport --fetch ../my-gitpkg-sources/gitpkg


       It  is  unfortunate  that  at  the  present time, many of the tools for
       importing source to git from an existing revision  control  system  all
       leave  something  to  be  desired.   This  script  does  not solve that
       problem.  What it does do however is create a repository that makes  it
       possible  to  accurately extract all of the earlier packages which were
       injected to it.  This is sadly more than can be said for the result  of
       running  git-cvsimport  on  a  repo  created  by  cvs-buildpackage, for

       It  is  currently  very  simple,  and  makes  a  number  of  hard-coded
       assumptions about the resulting repo.  For debian-versioned packages it
       will create a repo with two branches:

       upstream - for the pristine upstream source
       master - for the Debianised source

       Native versioned packages will have only the master branch.

       While the loss of fine grained history on individual  commits  is  most
       regrettable, this script enables a maintainer to import a usable record
       of the previously released packages as a base for  future  development.
       This  may  be an acceptable trade-off for people who feel the advantage
       of moving future development to git now outweighs the inconvenience  of
       needing  to  refer  to a legacy repository for full details of previous

       Hopefully the problems of  accurately  importing  from  other  revision
       control  systems  will  be solved one day, but in the meantime, a brief
       but accurate history seems more useful  than  a  detailed  but  largely
       bogus one.

       With  the  addition of the debsnap(1) tool, the useful life of this has
       been extended beyond the originally envisaged need.  People who do  not
       have  access  to the original revision control history at all can build
       for themselves a useful  base  for  further  development,  quickly  and
       easily,  from  the packages that are still available on public snapshot


       git-debimport does not currently handle packages  with  mixed  ’native’
       and debian-versioned releases.  This may be added in a later version if
       people have real examples of such packages they wish to import with  it
       and  we  figure out a sensible convention for how they should be stored
       in the resulting repository.

       Nothing particularly  intelligent  is  done  with  format  3.0  (quilt)
       patches  currently.   The  debian/patches,  if any, are simply imported
       verbatim as found in  the  source  package.   Ideally  they  should  be
       committed  to  some  git branch and generated on demand at export time,
       rather than perpetuating the patch-in-patch nightmare.  Any packages so
       imported  will be recreated accurately on export, but this isn’t really
       the best form to actually work with them in git in most cases.


       gitpkg(1), debsnap(1)


       gitpkg was written by Ron <>.

                              September 21, 2007