Even though BitBucket service warned everyone quite in advance that it would stop hosting Mercurial repositories, it seems that in many months no-one bothered to convert XEmacs repository to Git.

The instructions at xemacs.org are but obsolete now:

The list of repositories is now empty:

More, the old CVS repository (see http://xemacs.sourceforge.net/Develop/cvsaccess.html) is unavailable, either, since alioth.debian.org was shut down more than two years ago.

Update: there's also a recent topic on Reddit: Archive of Bitbucket.org Mercurial repositories.


Not quite. Mercurial is a distributed version control system, meaning that anyone with a clone of the repository has a copy of all of the history of the repository and could host their copy for others to clone.

In fact, the Software Heritage Archive has been cloning repositories for a while, and has a copy of the XEmacs repository.

Last I checked, however, cloning from the Software Heritage Archive wasn't yet possible. You can download a tarball though. The other alternative is to find people who were involved in the project at the time and have clones of the repository. If you get several of them to let you clone their copy, you can be fairly certain that little was lost.

  • Thank you. The problem with Software Heritage Archive is that it encounters an internal error when XEmacs codebase is requested. – Bass Dec 10 '20 at 10:45
  • Nothing I can do about that. Have you tried asking them about it? – db48x Dec 10 '20 at 12:02
  • @Bass Works for me. Perhaps it was a temporary problem? – Asteroids With Wings Dec 10 '20 at 19:27
  • @AsteroidsWithWings, indeed, after half a dozen attempts, I managed to download the HEAD state of the source tree. But it turned out this is just the source code snapshot at the HEAD commit, not the whole repository. – Bass Dec 10 '20 at 20:32
  • @Bass I hadn't thought of that – Asteroids With Wings Dec 10 '20 at 20:34

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