descriptionPrograms to feed git-fast-import
last changeMon, 7 Jan 2019 17:41:19 +0000 (7 18:41 +0100)
content tags

hg-fast-export.(sh|py) - mercurial to git converter using git-fast-import

Most hg-* scripts are licensed under the [MIT license] ( and were written by Rocco Rutte <> with hints and help from the git list and #mercurial on freenode. is licensed under GPLv2 since it copies some code from the mercurial sources.

The current maintainer is Frej Drejhammar <>.


If you have problems with hg-fast-export or have found a bug, please create an issue at the [github issue tracker] ( Before creating a new issue, check that your problem has not already been addressed in an already closed issue. Do not contact the maintainer directly unless you want to report a security bug. That way the next person having the same problem can benefit from the time spent solving the problem the first time.

System Requirements

This project depends on Python 2.7 and the Mercurial 4.6 package. If Python is not installed, install it before proceeding. The Mercurial package can be installed with pip install mercurial.

If you're on Windows, run the following commands in git bash (Git for Windows).


Using hg-fast-export is quite simple for a mercurial repository <repo>:

mkdir repo-git # or whatever
cd repo-git
git init -r <local-repo>
git checkout HEAD

Please note that hg-fast-export does not automatically check out the newly imported repository. You probably want to follow up the import with a git checkout-command.

Incremental imports to track hg repos is supported, too.

Using hg-reset it is quite simple within a git repository that is hg-fast-export'ed from mercurial: -R <revision>

will give hints on which branches need adjustment for starting over again.

When a mercurial repository does not use utf-8 for encoding author strings and commit messages the -e <encoding> command line option can be used to force fast-export to convert incoming meta data from <encoding> to utf-8. This encoding option is also applied to file names.

In some locales Mercurial uses different encodings for commit messages and file names. In that case, you can use --fe <encoding> command line option which overrides the -e option for file names.

As mercurial appears to be much less picky about the syntax of the author information than git, an author mapping file can be given to hg-fast-export to fix up malformed author strings. The file is specified using the -A option. The file should contain lines of the form "<key>"="<value>". Inside the key and value strings, all escape sequences understood by the python string_escape encoding are supported. (Versions of fast-export prior to v171002 had a different syntax, the old syntax can be enabled by the flag --mappings-are-raw.)

The example below will translate User <garbage<tab><> to User <>.

-- Start of --
"User <garbage\t<>"="User <>"
-- End of --

Tag and Branch Naming

As Git and Mercurial have differ in what is a valid branch and tag name the -B and -T options allow a mapping file to be specified to rename branches and tags (respectively). The syntax of the mapping file is the same as for the author mapping.

Content filtering

hg-fast-export supports filtering the content of exported files. The filter is supplied to the --filter-contents option. hg-fast-export runs the filter for each exported file, pipes its content to the filter's standard input, and uses the filter's standard output in place of the file's original content. The prototypical use of this feature is to convert line endings in text files from CRLF to git's preferred LF:

-- Start of --
# $1 = pathname of exported file relative to the root of the repo
# $2 = Mercurial's hash of the file
# $3 = "1" if Mercurial reports the file as binary, otherwise "0"

if [ "$3" == "1" ]; then cat; else dos2unix; fi
-- End of --


hg-fast-export supports plugins to manipulate the file data and commit metadata. The plugins are enabled with the --plugin option. The value of said option is a plugin name (by folder in the plugins directory), and optionally, and equals-sign followed by an initialization string.

There is a readme accompanying each of the bundled plugins, with a description of the usage. To create a new plugin, one must simply add a new folder under the plugins directory, with the name of the new plugin. Inside, there must be an file, which contains at a minimum:

def build_filter(args):
    return Filter(args)

class Filter:
    def __init__(self, args):
        #Or don't pass, if you want to do some init code here

Beyond the boilerplate initialization, you can see the two different defined filter methods in the dos2unix and branch_name_in_commit plugins.

commit_data = {'branch': branch, 'parents': parents, 'author': author, 'desc': desc}

def commit_message_filter(self,commit_data):

The commit_message_filter method is called for each commit, after parsing from hg, but before outputting to git. The dictionary commit_data contains the above attributes about the commit, and can be modified by any filter. The values in the dictionary after filters have been run are used to create the git commit.

file_data = {'filename':filename,'file_ctx':file_ctx,'d':d}

def file_data_filter(self,file_data):

The file_data_filter method is called for each file within each commit. The dictionary file_data contains the above attributes about the file, and can be modified by any filter. file_ctx is the filecontext from the mercurial python library. After all filters have been run, the values are used to add the file to the git commit.


See for how to convert subrepositories into git submodules.


hg-fast-export supports multiple branches but only named branches with exactly one head each. Otherwise commits to the tip of these heads within the branch will get flattened into merge commits.

As each git-fast-import run creates a new pack file, it may be required to repack the repository quite often for incremental imports (especially when importing a small number of changesets per incremental import).

The way the hg API and remote access protocol is designed it is not possible to use hg-fast-export on remote repositories (http/ssh). First clone the repository, then convert it.

Design was designed in a way that doesn't require a 2-pass mechanism or any prior repository analysis: if just feeds what it finds into git-fast-import. This also implies that it heavily relies on strictly linear ordering of changesets from hg, i.e. its append-only storage model so that changesets hg-fast-export already saw never get modified.

Submitting Patches

Please use the issue-tracker at github to report bugs and submit patches.

12 days ago Johannes CarlssonAdd support for mercurial subreposmasterv190107
2018-12-06 Frej DrejhammarMerge branch 'thetradedesk-master'
2018-12-05 Johan HenkensMove filter_contents to plugin system
2018-12-05 Johan HenkensAdd branch_name_in_commit plugin
2018-12-05 Johan HenkensAdd dos2unix plugin
2018-12-05 Johan HenkensAdd plugin system
2018-12-05 Johan HenkensAdd gitattributes, additional ignores
2018-08-11 Daniel Smallhg 4.7: Replace call to with templatefilters...
2018-08-11 Frej DrejhammarAdhere to PEP 394
2018-06-22 Frej DrejhammarMerge branch 'atykhyy-as-binary'
2018-06-17 Anton TykhyyAdd --filter-contents
2018-06-10 Frej DrejhammarAdapt to changes in Mercurial 4.6v180610
2018-06-10 GabrielAdd a section about system requirements to the README
2018-02-13 ceqiUpdate usage section example commandsv180317
2018-02-01 Frej DrejhammarWarn contributors from doing work that will no be merged
2018-01-24 Martin FreundQuote $PYTHON variable to support paths with spacesv180126
12 days ago v190107 v190107
7 months ago v180610 v180610
10 months ago v180317 v180317
11 months ago v180126 v180126
15 months ago v171002 v171002
16 months ago v170826 v170826
17 months ago v170818 v170818
18 months ago v170624 v170624
19 months ago v170617 v170617
19 months ago v170604 v170604
2 years ago v170101 v170101
2 years ago v160914 v160914
2 years ago v160415 Tag version 160415
12 days ago master
17 months ago add-missing-quote
11 years ago git-p4
11 years ago hanwen
Cached version (6051s old) 
fast-export/rorcz.git Local fork with needed fixes 2 years ago
fast-export/benizi.git 6 years ago
fast-export/fast-export-unix-compliant.git dereckson@espace... 6 years ago
fast-export/dharding.git 6 years ago
fast-export/barak.git tweaks and maybe debian packaging info 6 years ago