Migrating from SVN to GitHub

4 minute read

For those who are following my posts and my open source work, might have found that I've started adopting GitHub for KonfDB and my blog samples. So I thought of moving my open source tools from CodePlex to GitHub so that I can centralize my code. So here I go with what anybody would do – Google.

To my amusement, there are some posts that suggest using GitHub import wizard which looked quite easy to believe. But one of the bigger problem is that the import wizard does not allow providing user name and password. So for protected svn repositories, the GitHub import wizard does not work.

Another solution was to take the latest from CodePlex (SVN) and then check-in the code in GitHub. But that would mean letting go of the check-in history. So I needed something even more automated.

Procuring the tools – Ruby

You can get the latest version of Ruby Installer and install Ruby on your machine. This is because the tool we are going to use to migrate SVN to GitHub (svn2git) is built using Ruby and we need Ruby in the executable PATH.

Enabling Trust with RubyGems


Ruby uses RubyGems as Package Manager and apparently it uses HTTPS url to get the packages. On Windows, I was prompted with following error

ERROR:  While executing gem ... (Gem::RemoteFetcher::FetchError)
    SSL_connect returned=1 errno=0 state=SSLv3 read server certificate B: certificate verify failed (https://api.rubygems.org/specs.4.8.gz)


I found the solution to this problem on StackOverflow – the summary of which is

Find out the directory for RubyGems by the command shown below

Download PEM file from https://raw.githubusercontent.com/rubygems/rubygems/master/lib/rubygems/ssl_certs/AddTrustExternalCARoot-2048.pem and copy it to



This should allow you to download packages from gem.

Procuring svn2git

To download svn2git, execute following command

gem install svn2git


The output of this command will be like,


Accessing CodePlex SVN repository


To get the SVN repository details, we can access the CodePlex repository > Source tab and click on Connect icon

Copy the SVN URL and execute these steps as shown below in a directory that is empty.

Downloading the code with history into Local Git Repository


svn2git https://codeinject.svn.codeplex.com/svn/ -v --username PuneetGhanshani --nobranches --notags --rootistrunk


Substitute the SVN url in the above command and default username and execute it on a Command Prompt

When accessing SVN repository, it will prompt you to accept Microsoft CodePlex certificate. You can accept it temporarily or permanently.

The output of this operation will look something like

Running command: git svn init --prefix=svn/ --username=PuneetGhanshani --no-metadata --trunk=https://codeinject.svn.codeplex.com/svn/
Running command: git svn fetch
Running command: git branch -l --no-color
* master
Running command: git branch -r --no-color
Running command: git config --local --get user.name
Running command: git config --local --get user.name
Running command: git config --local --get user.email
Running command: git checkout -f master
Already on 'master'
Running command: git gc


If you are going to use this code locally, you don't need to proceed ahead with this article. But if you are looking at uploading this code with history to a public Git repository like GitHub or BitBucket, you can follow the next step

Upload this Local Git Repository to GitHub


So first you need a target GitHub Repository. You can choose 2 ways to perform this operation.

Using GitHub Website and Git in Console

Once you have created a GitHub Repository, you can copy the HTTPS URL which will appear like,


Next you need to configure local Git session to use this as remote URL

git remote add origin https://github.com/PuneetGhanshani/TestRepository.git


You can verify if this worked fine as shown in the screenshot below

Once this is done, a single command to push

git push –-all


This will push all the code from local Git to GitHub repository – includes history as well. If you have added some files manually to GitHub repository (like readme.md and .gitignore), you need to first update your local Git repository from GitHub repository using command

git pull


If you even after updating local Git repository, you get an error like

! [rejected]        master -> master (non-fast-forward)
error: failed to push some refs to 'https://github.com/PuneetGhanshani/TestRepository.git'
hint: Updates were rejected because the tip of your current branch is behind
hint: its remote counterpart. Integrate the remote changes (e.g. 
hint: 'git pull ...') before pushing again.
hint: See the 'Note about fast-forwards' in 'git push --help' for details.

You can edit the .git\config file and add these 2 lines at the end of file and request a pull again.

[branch "master"]
    remote = origin
    merge = refs/heads/master


This should definitely resolve this error

Using GitHub for Windows

GitHub for Windows actually makes this quite easy for you.

First, click on the Options menu and update the path where you have got your local Git repository. Once you have updated it, you can scan for repositories.

If the repository is local, GitHub for Windows will allow you to Publish the repository to GitHub