cvsps gets an update

January 10, 2013


cvsps --fast-export --root $CVSROOT $proj | git fast-import

Not so long ago esr has taken over maintainership of wonderful cvsps tool.

In short CVS does not store changesets at all and special tools are needed to extract that information out of CVS repository.

The problem with this is usually lack of direct access to repository itself. You only have a client program to checkout any random version or query history for fiven file or a set of files.

Tools like git-cvsimport use cvsps to extract changeset information, fetch all files belonging to the commit and commit it to respective branch.

cvsps was a buggy and mostly abandoned project. 2.2_beta1 was the only noncrashing version.

esr decided to fix bugs all the way down _and get rid of git-cvsimport as an intermediate (—-fast-export option in 3.x series).

Alive upstream is a virtue and I’ve packaged one without any testing.

The 3.x came out incompatible for git-cvsimport, but it’s really a feature. Just use it directly and postprocess the result with git filter-branch or similar.

After a breakage report I’ve decided to use it myself on our largest and oldest CVS project at work.

cvsps hung at the very start. valgrind told me there was garbage in input data and it started my real contribution. The hangup didn’t go away and I’ve started digging into in-the-wire CVS client format which resulter in real fix or problem.

And now the fun part (the reason I have written the post): while fixing above bug i’ve noticed that sometimes code fetching the revisions works noticeably faster (5x speedup) depending on random factors.

I’ve looked at strace -r output and figured that first response to cvs co <file> request comes back after 150-200 milliseconds. It’s a severe lag. You can’t fetch faster, than 5 files per second.

Playing a bit with Nagle’s hacks the turbo booster fix gone to the tree.

After those hacks I haven’t managed to kill cvsps on my internal projects.

Well, let’s try to test it on really large CVS project: gentoo’s ebuild tree. It has 2.2GB of history.

Some preparations:

# in $HOME/portage/gentoo-x86.rsync
rsync -aP rsync:// gentoo-x86/
rsync -aP rsync:// CVSROOT/

Let’s try to import kde-base category (it’s one of largest categories, takes 190MBs of history, 10% of the whole tree).

$ git init
$ time { ../cvsps --root :local:$HOME/portage/gentoo-x86.rsync --fast-export gentoo-x86/kde-base | git fast-import; }
cvsps: branch symbol RELEASE-1_4 not translated
cvsps: multiple vendor or anonymous branches; head content may be incorrect.
git-fast-import statistics:
real    29m11.682s
user    4m11.970s
sys     1m9.217s

A bit more complex example with authentication:

$ git init
$ CVS_RSH=ssh ../cvsps --fast-export --root gentoo-x86/dev-lang/ghc | git fast-import

And the scariest run. The whole-tree conversion

$ git init
$ ../cvsps --root :local:$HOME/portage/gentoo-x86.rsync --fast-export gentoo-x86 | git fast-import

It takes 3.8G of RAM to build in-RAM revision history. I haven’t got it finished yet, but I expect 3-4 hours of work.

Next step it to setup incremental updates and push the result out to the public :]

UPDATE: finished import. It took ~5 hours, resulting repo is 1.2GB:

git-fast-import statistics:
Alloc'd objects:    2655000
Total objects:      2653581 (    148626 duplicates                  )
      blobs  :       986447 (    119173 duplicates     493906 deltas of     966966 attempts)
      trees  :      1348212 (     29453 duplicates    1192295 deltas of    1241649 attempts)
      commits:       318922 (         0 duplicates          0 deltas of          0 attempts)
      tags   :            0 (         0 duplicates          0 deltas of          0 attempts)
Total branches:           8 (         3 loads     )
      marks:     1073741824 (   1424542 unique    )
      atoms:         174556
Memory total:        150808 KiB
       pools:         26355 KiB
     objects:        124453 KiB
pack_report: getpagesize()            =       4096
pack_report: core.packedGitWindowSize = 1073741824
pack_report: core.packedGitLimit      = 8589934592
pack_report: pack_used_ctr            =    8342911
pack_report: pack_mmap_calls          =     354193
pack_report: pack_open_windows        =          2 /          3
pack_report: pack_mapped              = 1213886709 / 1890833032
real    317m53.483s
user    19m24.108s
sys     5m47.618s

And it broke. Latest commit is:

commit e123e7caa8b45f3ce8a7b358e3137de393f2619c
Author: agriffis <agriffis>
Date:   Tue Feb 7 08:55:13 2006 +0000

UPDATE2: more info. It turns out to be a bug in cvs server itself. It leaked all the 32GB of RAM and crashed on poor cvsps* leaving imcomplete import.

Due to those leaks repo importing slows down a bit on every checkout request: cvs server serves every request by forking, thus the more PTEs have to be copied on each fork(). Looking at cvs server now to fix the disease.