Git: Copy a file or directory from another repository preserving the history

How to copy a file or directory from another GIT repository while preserving its history?

Internet is full of magic formulas each one more complex.

Here I’m proposing a much simpler and faster one that is to make a git format-patch for the entire history of the file or subdirectory that we want and then import it into the destination repository.

mkdir /tmp/mergepatchs
cd ~/repo/org
export reposrc=myfile.c #or mydir
git format-patch -o /tmp/mergepatchs $(git log $reposrc|grep ^commit|tail -1|awk '{print $2}')^..HEAD $reposrc
cd ~/repo/dest
git am /tmp/mergepatchs/*.patch

Simple and fast :)

  1. Nice solution! I’m stealing this.

  2. Now that I will be using this for the fourth time I have to say a quick thanks for the brilliant tip. :)

  3. I’m using it as a little script: https://gist.github.com/voltagex/3888364

    Thanks very much for this, it’s pretty useful.

  4. This does not work if the file was made in the initial commit. To check this, run:


    INITCOMMIT=$(git rev-list --parents HEAD | egrep "^[a-f0-9]{40}$")
    git show $INITCOMMIT

    If this is the case, replay the initial commit to get the above code to work like before:


    cd ~/repo/org
    INITCOMMIT=$(git rev-list --parents HEAD | egrep "^[a-f0-9]{40}$")
    git format-patch -1 -o /tmp/mergepatchs ${INITCOMMIT}

    cd ~/repo/dest
    git am /tmp/mergepatchs/0001*.patch

  5. I’ve been researching a bit, and it’s easier to do it this way:
    git format-patch -o /tmp/mergepatchs –root

    Hope it helps!

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