Extracting a single path from a SVN Repository
Jul 12, 2011
2 minutes read

I have Subversion Repository that holds various smaller projects lumped into one directory.

This is annoying if you want to work on such projects with GIT as Subversion front-end, or want to put that code on Github.

I Therefore needed a way to extract these directories from one Repository and dump them into a dedicated repo with a proper directory structure (trunk, branches, tags).

These are the steps needed for my rssReader example:

First Dump all of /home/svn and extract the php/rssreader directory

svnadmin dump /home/svn | \
  svndumpfilter include --drop-empty-revs \
  --renumber-revs --skip-missing-merge-sources \ 
  php/rssreader > rssreader.dump

--drop-empty-revs and --renumber-revs make sure that the dumps history looks clean and doesn’t have all commits from the parent directories.

I then needed to edit the dump file and remove a svn-sync revprop which would make svnadmin load barf.

If you have Copied contents around in the source repository, you may need to include the sources of these copies as well, and clean them up in the destination repository. svndumpfilter will complain that it can’t copy the Source directory in such cases.

Create new Repo and the Basic Layout

We now need a new, empty repository

svnadmin create rssreader
svn -m 'Initial Layout' \
  mkdir file:///$PWD/rssreader/php \
  file:///$PWD/rssreader/branches \

It is important that you create the directory structure as it was in the Source Repository.

For this example the code i wanted to export was located at php/rssreader i thus needed to create the php/ path in my destination repository, as svnadmin load won’t do that.

Import the dump

Now just load the dump file into the repository with:

cat rssreader.dump | svnadmin load rssreader

Cleanup the final repo

svn mv -m 'Move to trunk' \
  file:///$PWD/rssreader/php/rssreader \
svn rm -m 'Remove junk' file:///$PWD/rssreader/php

Finally clone it with git

Now i can go ahead and create a git clone of it:

# first create the authors file
echo "claus = Claus Beerta " > ~/svnauthors

# Now Clone
git svn clone -A ~/svnauthors \
  -s file:///home/claus/rssreader \

(git doesn’t expand $PWD properly, so you need to give it the complete path. Wierd)

Now i can go ahead and hack at the clean repo, commit it to Git or my Private SVN Server.

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