Import And Export

Fossil has the ability to import and export repositories from and to Git. And since most other version control systems will also import/export from Git, that means that you can import/export a Fossil repository to most version control systems using Git as an intermediary.

Git → Fossil

To import a Git repository into Fossil, run commands like this:

cd git-repo
git fast-export --all | fossil import --git new-repo.fossil

In other words, simply pipe the output of the "git fast-export" command into the "fossil import --git" command. The 3rd argument to the "fossil import" command is the name of a new Fossil repository that is created to hold the Git content.

The --git option is not actually required. The git-fast-export file format is currently the only VCS interchange format that Fossil understands. But future versions of Fossil might be enhanced to understand other VCS interchange formats, and so for compatibility, use of the --git option is recommended.

Fossil → Git

To convert a Fossil repository into a Git repository, run commands like this:

git init new-repo
cd new-repo
fossil export --git ../repo.fossil | git fast-import

In other words, create a new Git repository, then pipe the output from the "fossil export --git" command into the "git fast-import" command.

Note that the "fossil export --git" command only exports the versioned files. Tickets and wiki and events are not exported, since Git does not understand those concepts.

As with the "import" command, the --git option is not required since the git-fast-export file format is currently the only VCS interchange format that Fossil will generate. However, future versions of Fossil might add the ability to generate other VCS interchange formats, and so for compatibility, the use of the --git option recommended.

Bidirectional Synchronization

Fossil also has the ability to synchronize with a Git repository via repeated imports and/or exports. To do this, it uses marks files to store a record of artifacts which are known by both Git and Fossil to exist at a given point in time.

To illustrate, consider the example of a remote Fossil repository that a user wants to import into a local Git repository. First, the user would clone the remote repository and import it into a new Git repository:

fossil clone /path/to/remote/repo.fossil repo.fossil
mkdir repo
cd repo
fossil open ../repo.fossil
mkdir ../repo.git
cd ../repo.git
git init .
fossil export --git --export-marks ../repo/fossil.marks  \
       ../repo.fossil | git fast-import                  \

Once the import has completed, the user would need to git checkout trunk. At any point after this, new changes can be imported from the remote Fossil repository:

cd ../repo
fossil pull
cd ../repo.git
fossil export --git --import-marks ../repo/fossil.marks  \
       --export-marks ../repo/fossil.marks               \
       ../repo.fossil | git fast-import                  \
       --import-marks=../repo/git.marks                  \

Changes in the Git repository can be exported to the Fossil repository and then pushed to the remote:

git fast-export --import-marks=../repo/git.marks                  \
    --export-marks=../repo/git.marks --all | fossil import --git  \
    --incremental --import-marks ../repo/fossil.marks             \
    --export-marks ../repo/fossil.marks ../repo.fossil
cd ../repo
fossil push