Convert a git folder to a submodule retrospectively?

Quite often it is the case that you're writing a project of some kind, and after a while it becomes clear that some component of the project is actually useful as a standalone component (a library, perhaps). If you've had that idea from early on, then there's a fair chance that most of that code is in it's own folder.

Is there a way to convert one of a git project's sub directories into a submodule? Ideally this would happen such that all of the code in that directory is removed from the parent project , and the submodule project is added in it's place, with all the appropriate history, and such that all the parent project commits point to the correct submodule commits.

Answers


To isolate a subdirectory into its own repository, use filter-branch on a clone of the original repository:

git clone <your_project> <your_submodule>
cd <your_submodule>
git filter-branch --subdirectory-filter 'path/to/your/submodule' --prune-empty -- --all

It's then nothing more than deleting your original directory and adding the submodule to your parent project.


First change dir to folder which will be a submodule. Then:

git init
git remote add origin repourl
git add .
git commit -am'first commit in submodule'
git push -u origin master
cd ..
rm -rf folder wich will be a submodule
git commit -am'deleting folder'
git submodule add repourl folder wich will be a submodule
git commit -am'adding submodule'

I know this is an old thread, but the answers here squash any related commits in other branches.

A simple way to clone and keep all those extra branches and commits:

1 - Make sure you have this git alias

git config --global alias.clone-branches '! git branch -a | sed -n "/\/HEAD /d; /\/master$/d; /remotes/p;" | xargs -L1 git checkout -t'

2 - Clone the remote, pull all branches, change the remote, filter your directory, push

git clone git@github.com:user/existing-repo.git new-repo
cd new-repo
git clone-branches
git remote rm origin
git remote add origin git@github.com:user/new-repo.git
git remote -v
git filter-branch --subdirectory-filter my_directory/ -- --all
git push --all
git push --tags

It can be done, but it's not simple. If you search for git filter-branch, subdirectory and submodule, there are some decent write-ups on the process. It essentially entails creating two clones of your project, using git filter-branch to remove everything except the one subdirectory in one, and removing only that subdirectory in the other. Then you can establish the second repository as a submodule of the first.


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