Chris Gmyr
Developer, entrepreneur, drummer, biker, dog owner, husband, and proud dad. Loves Laravel and coffee

Using BitBucket and GitHub with hg-git


I’ve been using Mercurial and BitBucket since 2010 and my experiences have been really great with it. BitBucket has a great service and Mercurial is very easy to use. However, within my need to learn new and different things (and seeing everyone else use it), I decided to take a look at Git and GitHub. The reason I initially went with Mercurial over Git is because EllisLab/CodeIgniter was initially using it too (they have since moved to Git), but I also found it easier to use and understand compared to Git. Now it seems like Git and the services and resources around it have improved a lot, so I figured I would try it out.

The first thing that I wanted to accomplish is to be able to copy my public BitBucket repos over to GitHub. After doing some looking around, I came across this brilliant blog post/video done by Phil Sturgeon. However, I was having some trouble setting everything up on my systems – so I figured I would write about it to hopefully help some of you out too.


  • Take existing BitBucket repos and mirror them on GitHub
  • Use BitBucket/GitHub together without too much work moving forward
  • Use multiple development environments (PC/Mac)

 Mac Setup:

  1. Open the terminal and run: easy_install hg-git
  2. Edit your ~/.hgrc file to make sure it includes:
    hgext.bookmarks =
    hggit =
  3. Setup SSH keys for Git and Mercurial: and once you have created a key, add that to GitHub and BitBucket

PC Setup:

  1. Clone: to C:\
  2. Edit your mercurial.ini file (C:\Users{USERNAME}\mercurial.ini – or you can edit through the TortoiseHG workbench) to include:
    hgext.bookmarks =
    hggit = C:\hg-git\hggit
  3. Setup SSH keys for Mercurial: and once you have created a key, add that to GitHub and BitBucket
  4. Note: You will need to open Pageant and import your key before you will be able to use SSH through command prompt

Update your repo:

  1. Create a new repo on GitHub that is similar to the one on BitBucket:
    1. Current:
    2. New:
  2. Edit your local repo’s hgrc file to look like:
    default = ssh://
    gh = git+ssh://
  3. Note that we are keeping the BitBucket location as “default”, this is so that you can work with this location without using a specified name. Also note that our GitHub location is named “gh” and also has a “git+” prefix to the URL string…this is very important!
  4. Open a terminal/command prompt pointing to your local repo and enter the following: hg gexport
  5. If you look in your .hg directory now, you will see that there has been a “git” directory and a “git-mapfile” added
  6. Now to see if everything works, enter: hg push – which should connect you to BitBucket and return that there were no changes found (assuming nothing changed).
  7. To push everything to GitHub, enter: hg push gh – which should connect and push everything to GitHub
  8. Check your GitHub repo and you will see that everything has been replicated: files, commits, tags, branches, etc

Moving Forward:

Now that you have properly set up a replicated repo on your system you can now work with Mercurial/TortoiseHG/BitBucket as usual. When you would like to move everything up to GitHub, just open the terminal and enter the hg push gh command and you will be all set!

Note: You can also use this similar process if your initial repo is on GitHub and you would like to replicate it on BitBucket.