Bridge for Git and Clearcase
Python Makefile
Latest commit 01a35a3 Jul 11, 2016 @charleso committed on GitHub Merge pull request #69 from swinkels/on-update-copy-changed-files-onl…

On update, only copy changed files


Simple bridge between base ClearCase or UCM and Git.


I wrote this purely for fun and to see if I could stop use ClearCase at work once and for all.

I will probably continue to hack away at it to suite my needs, but I would love to see it get some real-world polish. (Actually what I would love to see more is for ClearCase to die, but don't think that's going to happen any time soon).

Suggestions on anything I've done are more than welcome.

Also, I have made a change recently to support adding binary files which uses git-cat. Unfortunately git-cat doesn't handle end line conversions and so I have made gitcc init set core.autocrlf to false. This is only relevant for Windows users. Don't try changing this after your first commit either as it will only make matters worse. My apologies to anyone that is stung by this.


The easiest way to install git-cc, is to use the Python package installer pip and install it directly from its GitHub repo. Execute the following command on the command prompt to install the latest version:

C:\> pip install git+git://

If you installed Python from, pip is included with Python 2 >= 2.7.9 and Python 3 >= 3.4. If you do not have pip, this section from the Python Packaging User Guide describes how to install it.

In case pip or git cannot reach GitHub, for example when such access is not allowed in the place where you work, you can download the zip file with the latest version from the GitHub repo. Unzip it and use pip to execute the following command in the root of the directory tree:

C:\master> pip install .

Finally, if you cannot use pip, you can also use the old-skool approach to install Python packages:

C:\master> python install



git init
gitcc init d:/view/xyz
gitcc rebase
# Get coffee
# Do some work
git add .
git commit -m "I don't actually drink coffee"
gitcc rebase
gitcc checkin

Initialise (fast):

Rebase can be quite slow initially, and if you just want to get a snapshot of ClearCase, without the history, then this is for you:

gitcc init d:/view/xyz
gitcc update "Initial commit"


These are two useful flags for rebase which is use quite frequently.

gitcc rebase --stash

Runs stash before the rebase, and pops it back on afterwards.

gitcc rebase --dry-run

Prints out the list of commits and modified files that are pending in ClearCase.

To synchronise just a portion of your git history (instead of from the very first commit to HEAD), mark the start point with the command:

gitcc tag <commit>

To specify an existing ClearCase label while checking in, in order to let your dynamic view show the version of the element(s) just checked in if your confspec is configured accordingly, use the command:

gitcc checkin --cclabel=YOUR_EXISTING_CC_LABEL

Note that the CC label will be moved to the new version of the element, if it is already used.


The file .git/gitcc contains configuration options for gitcc. For example, it allows you to limit which branches and folders you import from:

include = FolderA|FolderB
exclude = FolderA/sub/folder|FolderB/other/file
users_module_path =
debug = False
type = UCM
clearcase = D:\views\co4222_flex\rd_poc
branches = main|ji_dev|ji_*_dev|iteration_*_dev
clearcase = D:\views\co4222_sup\rd_poc
branches = main|sup

In this case there are two separate git branches, master and sup, which correspond to different folders/branches in ClearCase.

You can add a mapping for each user in your ClearCase history. This is done via a separate Python module that you provide. An example users module looks like this:

users = {
    'charleso': "Charles O'Farrell",\
    'jki': 'Jan Kiszka <>',\

mailSuffix = ''

You specify the path to the users module as the value of key 'users_module_path' in the gitcc config file. In the example above, the value specified is ''. If the path is relative, it is taken relative to the location of the config file. So in this example, gitcc will import from directory .git. But you can also use an absolute users module path.

If you do not specify the users module path in the config file, the ClearCase user information will be used.


Can either work with static or dynamic views. I use dynamic at work because it's much faster not having to update. I've done an update in rebase anyway, just-in-case someone wants to use it that way.

Can also work with UCM, which requires the 'type' config to be set to 'UCM'. This is still a work in progress as I only recently switched to this at work. Note the the history is still retrieved via lshistory and not specifically from any activity information. This is largely for convenience for me so I don't have to rewrite everything. Therefore things like 'recommended' baselines are ignored. I don't know if this will cause any major dramas or not.


  1. WindowsError: [Error 2] The system cannot find the file specified

You're most likely running gitcc under Windows Cmd. At moment this isn't supported. Instead use Git Bash, which is a better console anyway. :-)

If you have both msysgit and Cygwin installed then it may also be this problem.

  1. cleartool: Error: Not an object in a vob: ".".

The ClearCase directory you've specified in init isn't correct. Please note that the directory must be inside a VOB, which might be one of the folders inside the view you've specified.

  1. fatal: ambiguous argument 'ClearCase': unknown revision or path not in the working tree.

If this is your first rebase then please ignore this. This is expected.

  1. pathspec 'master_cc' did not match any file(s) known to git

See Issue 8.

Behind the scenes

A smart person would have looked at other git bridge implementations for inspiration, such as git-svn and the like. I, on the other hand, decided to go cowboy and re-invent the wheel. I have no idea how those other scripts do their business and so I hope this isn't a completely stupid way of going about it.

I wanted to have it so that any point in history you could rebase on-top of the current working directory. I've done this by using the ClearCase commit time for git as well. In addition the last rebased commit is tagged and is used to limit the history query for any chances since. This tagged changeset is therefore also used to select which commits need to be checked into ClearCase.


It is worth nothing that when initially importing the history from ClearCase that files not currently in your view (ie deleted) cannot be reached without a config spec change. This is quite sad and means that the imported history is not a true one and so rolling back to older revisions will be somewhat limited as it is likely everything won't compile. Other ClearCase importers seem restricted by the same problem, but none-the-less it is most frustrating. Grr!

For developers

This section provides information for git-cc developers.

Required packages

To develop git-cc, several Python packages are required that are not part of the standard Python distribution and that you have to install separately. As these packages might conflict with your system Python environment, you are strongly advised to set up a virtualenv for your work.

The file 'requirements.txt', which is in the root of the repo, lists the Python packages that are needed for development. To install these packages, use the following command:

git-cc $ pip install -r requirements.txt


git-cc comes with a small suite of unit tests, which you can find in subdirectory tests/. There are several ways to run the unit tests. For example, you can let Python search for the unit tests and run them in the current Python environment. To do so, execute the following command from the root of the repo:

git-cc $ python -m unittest discover tests/

This will result in output such as this:

Ran 8 tests in 0.002s


If you run the unit tests from the root of the repo, all unit tests will be able to import the git-cc package even when it is not installed. If you run the unit tests from another directory, you have to install git_cc first.

Another way to run the unit test is to use the Python tool tox. tox does more than just run the unit tests:

  • it creates a source distribution of your Python package for each Python interpreter that you specify,
  • it creates a virtualenv for each Python interpreter you specify, and
  • for each virtualenv, installs the package using the source distribution and runs the unit tests.

If you execute tox from the root of the repo, its output will look like this:

git-cc $ tox
GLOB sdist-make: /home/a-user/repos/
py27 inst-nodeps: /home/a-user/repos/
py27 installed: git-cc==1.0.0.dev0
py27 runtests: PYTHONHASHSEED='2322284388'
py27 runtests: commands[0] | python -m unittest discover tests/
Ran 8 tests in 0.003s

py34 inst-nodeps: /home/a-user/repos/
py34 installed: git-cc==1.0.0.dev0
py34 runtests: PYTHONHASHSEED='2322284388'
py34 runtests: commands[0] | python -m unittest discover tests/
Ran 8 tests in 0.002s


As the output shows, tox runs the tests in virtualenvs for Python 2.7 and Python 3.4. This has been specified in file tox.ini, which you can find in the root of the repo:

envlist = py27,py34
commands=python -m unittest discover tests/

This only works if you have both interpreters installed. If you want to support other Python versions, you have to update the ini file accordingly.

tox makes it easy to test your Python package in multiple Python environments. Running tox takes more time than just running the unit tests in your current environment. As such, developers run it less often, for example only before a new release or pull request.

Changes and versioning

The repo contains a CHANGES file that lists the changes for each git-cc release and for the version currently under development. This file has a specific format that best can be explained by an example. Assume the CHANGES file looks like this - note that the actual CHANGES file for git-cc looks different:


1.2.0 (unreleased)

- Fixes issue Z

1.1.0 (2016-02-03)

- Adds support for feature Y
- Updates documentation of feature X

1.0.0 (2016-01-03)

- Started versioning at 1.0.0

The file mentions that versions 1.0.0 and 1.1.0 have been released and that the next version will be 1.2.0.

The process of putting a new release out can be cumbersome and error prone: you have to update the CHANGES file and, create a tag, update the CHANGES file and again for the development version, etc. For git-cc, the process of creating a release is fully automated using tools provided by Python package zest.releaser.

To show how zest.releaser works, the following is the (sanitized) output of the zest.releaser command 'fullrelease' with the example CHANGES file:

# execute fullrelease on the command-line
git-cc $ fullrelease

# the command outputs the beginning of the CHANGES file 
Changelog entries for version 1.2.0:

1.2.0 (unreleased)

- Fixes issue Z

1.1.0 (2016-02-03)
# the command proposes to set the release version to 1.2.0
Enter version [1.2.0]:    
# pressed RETURN to accept the proposed release version
# the command automatically updates the CHANGES file and the version number used by

OK to commit this (Y/n)?
# pressed RETURN to commit the changes

Tag needed to proceed, you can use the following command:
git tag 1.2.0 -m "Tagging 1.2.0"
Run this command (Y/n)?
# pressed RETURN to tag the release

Check out the tag (for tweaks or pypi/distutils server upload) (Y/n)? n
# answered 'n' and pressed RETURN to not check out the tag

Current version is 1.2.0
# the command proposes to set the development version to 1.2.1dev0
Enter new development version ('.dev0' will be appended) [1.2.1]: 
# pressed RETURN to accept the proposed development version
# the command automatically updates the CHANGES file and the version number used by

OK to commit this (Y/n)? 
# pressed RETURN to commit the changes

OK to push commits to the server? (Y/n)? n
# answered 'n' and pressed RETURN to not push the latest commit yet

When the command is done, the beginning of the CHANGES file has changed to this:


1.2.1 (unreleased)

- Nothing changed yet.

1.2.0 (2016-07-01)

- Fixes issue Z