Earlier this year GitHub announced a pricing change and unlimited private repositories. I really like using GitHub and have decided to migrate my free Bitbucket repositories over to GitHub. At first I was hesitant, because I wanted to retain my entire commit history. Well, with Git this is a pretty trivial task.

We are using some basic features in Git and it may be useful to check out the documentation for mirror and remote. Git mirror didn’t have a fancy fragement URL so here are those docs for convenience.


Set up a mirror of the source repository. This implies –bare. Compared to –bare, –mirror not only maps local branches of the source to local branches of the target, it maps all refs (including remote-tracking branches, notes etc.) and sets up a refspec configuration such that all these refs are overwritten by a git remote update in the target repository.

In order for this to work, we’ll want to create an exact copy of the BitBucket repository locally. We’ll do this by creating a bare, mirrored clone.

 git clone --mirror https://your_username@bitbucket.org/your_username/your-git-repository.git

Once we’ve created the local clone, we’ll want to change the origin of the repository. Chances are, since this repository lives at Bitbucket, the origin is something like https://your_username@bitbucket.org/your_username/your-git-repository.git. We’ll want to swap this for the GitHub repository URL.

git remote set-url --push origin https://github.com/your_username/your-git-repository.git

After the origin remote was upated to point to the new GitHub repository we’ll need to push the mirrored repository.

git push --mirror

These steps above are a good way to migrate your respositories with full history. It is also possible to add a second remote to your existing repository, if you wanted to keep the existing origin. Here is a gist.