For a very long time, Copr mainliners have been considering migrating from Pagure to GitHub. The problem has been the constant problems with Pagure and even though GitHub is not open source, it just works. Not to mention that GitHub is miles ahead of Pagure with plenty of useful features.

So on the migration itself, Copr had a mirror on GitHub at the time, so the code migration wasn’t a problem. The problem was migrating all the issues and pull requests so that their IDs were preserved. We wanted to keep the same IDs for compatibility with the links in the commits. And there is no general solution to migrate all issues and PRs from Pagure to GitHub while preserving the IDs. So that’s why I wrote a temporary script to migrate Copr. Please note that the code was only meant to be used once and only for the Copr migration, so it should not be used by anyone. However, it can serve as an inspiration and I would also like to share with you some of the problems I encountered during the migration.

Choose the right tools

For the whole migration, I used the tool ogr, which provides a unified API for communicating with GitHub, Gitlab, and Pagure. For communication with the GitHub API, you need to set up a GitHub token, and likewise for Pagure. Note the permissions that you give the token, only give it as much as you really need (for example, you probably don’t want to allow it to delete the repository).

And then you just have to start using the tokens

gh_service = GithubService(token=GITHUB_TOKEN)
pagure_service = PagureService(token=PAGURE_TOKEN, instance_url="")

gh_copr_project = gh_service.get_project(namespace="fedora-copr", repo="copr")
pagure_copr_project = pagure_service.get_project(namespace="copr", repo="copr", username="pagure_nick")

What to migrate

First of all, it is important to determine what we want to migrate. In our case, we wanted to migrate as quickly as possible, so we just needed to migrate all issues and PRs to keep the order of their IDs. To save time, decided to migrate the PRs as issues while migrating only the issues content. For PRs, we put a link to the original PR in Pagure.

In case of private issues, or deleted PRs or issues, there will be gaps between the IDs. We have decided to fill these gaps only with empty issues.

Pull Requests migration

But if someone wants to migrate PRs, yes it can be done, it’s just a bit tricky. To migrate PRs with their diff, you need to pull the last commit from Pagure before the pull request and the last commit of the pull request. This would be something like this:

# you are in a main branch
git switch -c pr-branch
git reset --hard the-last-commit-of-pr
git switch -c main-before-pr
git reset --hard the-last-commit-before-pr
# do your changes in <pr-branch>
git push <remote> <pr-branch>:<main-before-pr>

This pushes all changes to the main-before-pr branch, which you can create PR in GitHub (or via GitHub API) and then merge PR and delete the branch immediately. The PR history will remain.

Rate limits

Then GitHub stabbed me in the back with its crazy limits. According to their instructions, I did the sleep(1) between POST requests, but after about 40 requests I always hit the limit anyway, and for this case in there is no Retry-After parameter in the header. With each subsequent hit of the limit, there was a longer and longer punishment, even tens of minutes. At this point, I gave up and just put sleep for 2 minutes between each POST request. Also, I shrunk the issue content just to one long message so that it was just one POST request example. So we’ll be migrating for 4 days…

Maybe I could get around these limits by running the script as a GitHub Action, on which there are other limit rules, but I didn’t want to waste my time with that.

The migration process itself

The migration itself wasn’t that complicated - from a code point of view.

  • I created API keys for Pagure and GitHub

  • Downloaded the Pagure data into a JSON file for good measure (so that nothing would change during the long 4-day migration) source

    • Then just convert the data back from the JSON file:
      pagure_prs = {
          for pr in [
    , self.pagure_project)
              for pr_dict in pagure_prs_json
  • Incremental migration of Copr

  • On Pagure in Project Options we set the issue tracker to read-only.


I recommend using ogr for migration, it saved me some nerves due to the fact that it wraps Pagure API in Python and it also provides functionality to migrate data from Pagure to GitHub. It just requires a lot of patience, because of the very strict limits on the GitHub side, but if you download the data from Pagure before the migration it can run for a really long time without consequences.