BitBucket, Alternative and Archival

Georges Racinet

After BitBucket's decision to discontinue support for the Mercurial version control system, and to remove Mercurial-based repositories by June 30, 2020, we decided to step up and make sure that all these precious projects would not be lost.

We have created a new hosting platform for active projects to move to, and we are archiving all public projects, in order to include them in the Software Heritage Archive, the universal archive of source code.

We are delighted to announce today that the intense work we have done over the past months is now bearing fruits.

Heptapod: a new home for Mercurial-based projects

We're excited to open up to the world, in a joint effort with Clever Cloud, the ultimate Mercurial BitBucket replacement. is a brand new code hosting platform where active projects using Mercurial can now migrate seamlessly.

Heptapod sports a powerful and intuitive BitBucket import feature that allows you to recover not only the repository itself, but also issues and pull requests. Not only do they become Heptapod (GitLab) issues and merge requests, but they also preserve their original numbering.

This feature will help reduce the disruption for lots of project: it is indeed common that commit messages reference issues or pull requests by number, be it in an explicit form (#123) or as a link ( How many of us developers have been frustrated trying to understand a change done a while ago because such references have become useless in the meantime? How many emails or spreadsheets have turned into useless noise because of that? After an import to Heptapod, these references will still be usable. Learn more in our presentation at FOSDEM.

In addition to the commercial instance,, we've also launched a free instance for open source project at If you are an open-source project, please submit a hosting request.

Archiving data and metadata of 250 000 projects

Over 250 000 mercurial repositories are at risk of disappearing in the next few weeks, and we could not let this happen. In collaboration with Software Heritage, we've started a project to archive hard copies of all public project data and metadata. This means the source code repositories, of course, but also the wikis, the issues, the pull requests, attachments, associated comments and inline images.

The project is public and available on You can track its progress on the software heritage mailing list. After June 30th, once BitBucket deletes the archived result, we will make them available to the public.

Importing source code in the Software Heritage database

For the last few months, we have been working with Software Heritage to improve its capability to import Mercurial repositories.

Thanks to an European grant managed by NLNet, we are developing specialized connectors that allow for efficiently archiving software developed using the Mercurial version control system. This effort will ensure that no Mercurial public repository will be lost.

Hurry up!

Would you like to import your BitBucket Mercurial projects? Register to the Clever Cloud platform, create a Clever Cloud organization, and sign-in to the Heptapod instance.

Contact-us for more information!