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 <>
 Documentation/git-svn.txt |   38 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 1 file changed, 38 insertions(+)

diff --git a/Documentation/git-svn.txt b/Documentation/git-svn.txt
index 8b0d3ad..824bf82 100644
--- a/Documentation/git-svn.txt
+++ b/Documentation/git-svn.txt
@@ -881,6 +881,44 @@ 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 an SVN branch, to connect the branch to the history of
+the other branches. Normally, the first commit in an SVN branch consists
+of a copy operation. 'git svn' will read this commit to get the SVN
+revision the branch was created (copied) from. It will then try to find the
+git commit that corresponds to this SVN revision, and use that as the
+parent of the branch. 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' (such as 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 instead of using an existing git commit as the
+parent of the branch, it will read the SVN history of the directory the
+branch was copied from and create appropriate git commits (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 newly 
+created parent commit of the branch.  If in SVN the branch was deleted
+and later recreated from a different version, there will be multiple
+such branches with an '@'.
+Note that this may mean that multiple git commits are created for a
+single SVN revision. An example: In an SVN repository with a standard 
+trunk/tags/branches layout, a directory trunk/sub is created in r.100.
+In r.200, trunk/sub is branched by copying it to branches/. 'git svn
+clone -s' will then create a branch 'sub'. It will also create new git
+commits for r.100 through r.199 and use these as the history of branch
+'sub'. Thus there will be two git commits for each revision from r.100
+to r.199 (one containing trunk/, one containing trunk/sub/). Finally,
+it will create a branch 'sub@200' pointing to the new parent commit of
+branch 'sub' (i.e. the commit for r.200 and trunk/sub/).

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