git svn will sometimes create branches with an at-sign in the name
(branchname@revision). These branches confuse many users and it is a FAQ
why they are created. Document when git svn will create them.

Signed-off-by: Sebastian Leske <>

I found various important features of git-svn that are not documented.
Thus I created a series of patches to add and update documentation for
git-svn. I am sending this as four patches (of which this mail is the
first). I have tried my best to make the patches ready for inclusion
into git, but if there's any feedback, I'll gladly incorporate it.

 Documentation/git-svn.txt |   26 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 1 file changed, 26 insertions(+)

diff --git a/Documentation/git-svn.txt b/Documentation/git-svn.txt
index 8b0d3ad..482d60d 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-svn.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-svn.txt
@@ -881,6 +881,32 @@ different name spaces.  For example:
        branches = stable/*:refs/remotes/svn/stable/*
        branches = debug/*:refs/remotes/svn/debug/*
+If 'git svn' is configured to fetch branches (and --follow-branches
+is in effect), it will sometimes create multiple branches for one SVN
+branch, where the addtional branches have names of the form
+'branchname@nnn' (with nnn an SVN revision number).  These additional
+branches are created if 'git svn' cannot find a parent commit for the
+first commit in the branch, to connect the branch to the history of the
+other branches. Normally, 'git svn' will find the git commit that
+corresponds to the SVN revision a branch was created (copied) from and
+use that as the parent. However, it is possible that there is no
+suitable git commit to serve as parent.  This will happen, among other
+reasons, if the SVN branch is a copy of a revision that was not fetched
+by 'git svn' (e.g. because it is an old revision that was skipped with
+'--revision'), or if in SVN a directory was copied that is not tracked
+by 'git svn' (a branch that is not tracked at all, or a subdirectory of
+a tracked branch). In these cases, 'git svn' will still create a git
+branch, but the branch will not be connected to the history of the other
+branches.  'git svn' will also create a commit from the SVN revision the
+branch was copied from, and use that as the parent commit of the branch
+(this is indicated by the message "Initializing parent: <branchname>").
+Additionally, it will create a special branch named
+'<branchname>@<SVN-Revision>', where <SVN-Revision> is the SVN revision
+number the branch was copied from.  This branch will point to the
+specially created parent commit.
+If in SVN the branch was deleted and later recreated from a different
+version, there will be multiple such branches with an '@'.

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