Article version: Enterprise Server 2.20

Preparing to migrate data to your enterprise

After generating a migration archive, you can import the data to your target GitHub Enterprise Server instance. You'll be able to review changes for potential conflicts before permanently applying the changes to your target instance.

In this article

Preparing the migrated data for import to GitHub Enterprise Server

  1. Using the scp command, copy the migration archive generated from your source instance or organization to your GitHub Enterprise Server target:

    $ scp -P 122 /path/to/archive/MIGRATION_GUID.tar.gz admin@hostname:/home/admin/
  2. As a site admin, SSH into your target GitHub Enterprise Server instance.

    $ ssh -p 122 admin@HOSTNAME
  3. Use the ghe-migrator prepare command to prepare the archive for import on the target instance and generate a new Migration GUID for you to use in subsequent steps:

    ghe-migrator prepare /home/admin/MIGRATION_GUID.tar.gz
    • To start a new import attempt, run ghe-migrator prepare again and get a new Migration GUID.
    • To specify where migration files should be staged append the command with --staging-path=/full/staging/path. Defaults to /data/user/tmp.

Generating a list of migration conflicts

  1. Using the ghe-migrator conflicts command with the Migration GUID, generate a conflicts.csv file:
    $ ghe-migrator conflicts -g MIGRATION_GUID > conflicts.csv
  2. If there are conflicts, using the scp command, copy conflicts.csv to your local computer:
    $ scp -P 122 admin@hostname:conflicts.csv ~/Desktop
  3. Continue to "Resolving migration conflicts or setting up custom mappings".

Reviewing migration conflicts

  1. Using a text editor or CSV-compatible spreadsheet software, open conflicts.csv.
  2. With guidance from the examples and reference tables below, review the conflicts.csv file to ensure that the proper actions will be taken upon import.

The conflicts.csv file contains a migration map of conflicts and recommended actions. A migration map lists out both what data is being migrated from the source, and how the data will be applied to the target.


Each row in conflicts.csv provides the following information:

model_nameThe type of data being changed.
source_urlThe source URL of the data.
target_urlThe expected target URL of the data.
recommended_actionThe preferred action ghe-migrator will take when importing the data.

Possible mappings for each record type

There are several different mapping actions that ghe-migrator can take when transferring data:

actionDescriptionApplicable models
import(default) Data from the source is imported to the target.All record types
mapData from the source is replaced by existing data on the target.Users, organizations, repositories
renameData from the source is renamed, then copied over to the target.Users, organizations, repositories
map_or_renameIf the target exists, map to that target. Otherwise, rename the imported model.Users
mergeData from the source is combined with existing data on the target.Teams

We strongly suggest you review the conflicts.csv file and use ghe-migrator audit to ensure that the proper actions are being taken. If everything looks good, you can continue to "Migrating data to your enterprise".

Resolving migration conflicts or setting up custom mappings

If you believe that ghe-migrator will perform an incorrect change, you can make corrections by changing the data in conflicts.csv. You can make changes to any of the rows in conflicts.csv.

For example, let's say you notice that the octocat user from the source is being mapped to octocat on the target:


You can choose to map the user to a different user on the target. Suppose you know that octocat should actually be monalisa on the target. You can change the target_url column in conflicts.csv to refer to monalisa:


As another example, if you want to rename the octo-org/widgets repository to octo-org/amazing-widgets on the target instance, change the target_url to octo-org/amazing-widgets and the recommend_action to rename:


Adding custom mappings

A common scenario during a migration is for migrated users to have different usernames on the target than they have on the source.

Given a list of usernames from the source and a list of usernames on the target, you can build a CSV file with custom mappings and then apply it to ensure each user's username and content is correctly attributed to them at the end of a migration.

You can quickly generate a CSV of users being migrated in the CSV format needed to apply custom mappings by using the ghe-migrator audit command:

$ ghe-migrator audit -m user -g MIGRATION_GUID > users.csv

Now, you can edit that CSV and enter the new URL for each user you would like to map or rename, and then update the fourth column to have map or rename as appropriate.

For example, to rename the user octocat to monalisa on the target you would create a row with the following content:


The same process can be used to create mappings for each record that supports custom mappings. For more information, see our table on the possible mappings for records.

Applying modified migration data

  1. After making changes, use the scp command to apply your modified conflicts.csv (or any other mapping csv in the correct format) to the target instance:

    $ scp -P 122 ~/Desktop/conflicts.csv admin@hostname:/home/admin/
  2. Re-map the migration data using the ghe-migrator map command, passing in the path to your modified csv file and the Migration GUID:

    $ ghe-migrator map -i conflicts.csv  -g MIGRATION_GUID
  3. If the ghe-migrator map -i conflicts.csv -g MIGRATION_GUID command reports that conflicts still exist, run through the migration conflict resolution process again.

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