How to move some files from one git repo to another (not a clone), preserving history


Our Git repositories started out as parts of a single monster SVN repository where the individual projects each had their own tree like so:


Obviously, it was pretty easy to move files from one to another with svn mv. But in Git, each project is in its own repository, and today I was asked to move a subdirectory from project2 to project1. I did something like this:

$ git clone project2 
$ cd project2
$ git filter-branch --subdirectory-filter deeply/buried/java/source/directory/A -- --all
$ git remote rm origin  # so I don't accidentally overwrite the repo ;-)
$ mkdir -p deeply/buried/different/java/source/directory/B
$ for f in *.java; do 
>  git mv $f deeply/buried/different/java/source/directory/B
>  done
$ git commit -m "moved files to new subdirectory"
$ cd ..
$ git clone project1
$ cd project1
$ git remote add p2 ../project2
$ git fetch p2
$ git branch p2 remotes/p2/master
$ git merge p2 # --allow-unrelated-histories for git 2.9+
$ git remote rm p2
$ git push

But that seems pretty convoluted. Is there a better way to do this sort of thing in general? Or have I adopted the right approach?

Note that this involves merging the history into an existing repository, rather than simply creating a new standalone repository from part of another one (as in an earlier question).


If your history is sane, you can take the commits out as patch and apply them in the new repository:

cd repository
git log --pretty=email --patch-with-stat --reverse --full-index --binary -m --first-parent -- path/to/file_or_folder > patch
cd ../another_repository
git am --committer-date-is-author-date < ../repository/patch 

Or in one line

git log --pretty=email --patch-with-stat --reverse --full-index --binary -m --first-parent -- path/to/file_or_folder | (cd /path/to/new_repository && git am --committer-date-is-author-date)

Hint: If commits in the source project’s subdirectory should be extracted to a new repository root directory, git am can be given argument like -p2 to remove extra directories from the patch.

(Taken from Exherbo’s docs)

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