Python scripts for importing JIRA issues in XML format into Github Issues

Clone this repo:
  1. 2026c3e Merge pull request #2 from apache/gm/tweaks by Gavin McDonald · 4 weeks ago master
  2. 04f1727 tweaks and line endings by gmcdonald · 4 weeks ago gm/tweaks
  3. a184354 Merge pull request #1 from apache/gm/allow-empty-items by Chris Wells · 1 year, 6 months ago
  4. e63fc5c Allow empty or missing description, component - these are not always required. Set a sensible default by gmcdonald · 1 year, 6 months ago gm/allow-empty-items
  5. 9ad445c bump lxml by gmcdonald · 1 year, 6 months ago

JIRA issues importer

Python 3.x scripts for importing JIRA issues in XML format into an existing Github project without existing issues


  • Import JIRA milestones as Github milestones
  • Import JIRA labels as Github labels
  • Import JIRA components as Github labels
  • Configure colour scheme for labelling on import
  • Import multiple files to help overcome the export limit of 1000 (export multiple files by by using the JIRA key column as a range)
  • Import JIRA issues as Github issues where
    • issue ids are mapped one by one, e.g. PROJECT-1 becomes GH-1 and PROJECT-4711 becomes GH-4711
    • both issue label and component assignments are mapped to Github labels
    • issue relationships like “depends on”, “blocks” or “duplicates” are mapped to special Github comments
    • issue timestamps such as creation, close or update date are considered
    • issue states (open or closed) are considered
    • issue comments are mapped to Github comments
      • JIRA issue references in normal and relationship comments are replaced by references to the Github issue id


  • this project does not try to map JIRA users to Github users
    • the Github user (based on the personal access token used) which performs the import will appear as issue creator, the original JIRA issue reporter is noted in the first comment
    • the Github user which performs the import will also appear as comment creator, as the Github API doesn't support that (yet), the original JIRA commentator is noted in the comment text

Assumptions and prerequisites

  • use these scripts at your own risk, no warranties for a correct and successful migration are given
  • it's recommended to test your issue migration first with a test project on Github
  • input to the import script is the XML export file of your JIRA project, see below
  • works with JIRA Cloud, as of March 2019
  • your target Github project should already exist with the issue tracker enabled
  • there should be no existing issues and pull requests - else the issue id mapping will be incorrect

Getting started


  • clone this repository
  • run pip install -r requirements.txt
  • edit the if you want to change the logic of how the colours are set on labels
  • create a personal access token in GitHub (Be sure to save the token somewhere safe; you will have to enter it later. Warning: Treat your tokens like passwords and keep them secret.)

Running the tool

  • export the desired JIRA issues of your project (see section below)
  • to start the Github import, execute python
  • on startup it will ask for
    • the JIRA XML export file name (use a semi-colon to enter multiple XML paths)
    • the JIRA project name
    • the <statusCategoryId> element's id attribute that signifies an issue as Done (this is an integer)
    • the Github account name that owns the repository (user or organization)
    • the target Github repository name
    • the Github personal access token for authentication
    • the index at which to start from, enter 0 to begin, if you have a failure, enter the index number the import failed at. Entering a number higher than 0 will stop labels from re-importing and milestones will re-match to existing.
  • the import process will then
    • read the JIRA XML export file and create an in-memory project representation of the xml file contents
    • import the milestones with the regular Github Milestone API
    • import the labels with the regular Github Label API
    • import the issues with comments with the Github Import API
      • references to issues in the comments are replaced with placeholders in this step
      • the used import API will not run into abuse rate limits in contrast to the normal Github Issues API
    • post-process all comments to replace the issue reference placeholders with the real Github issue ids using the Github Comment API

Export JIRA issues

  1. Navigate to Issue search page for project. Issues --> Search for Issues

  2. Select project you are interested in

  3. Specify Query criteria, Sort as needed, if you have more than 1000 items use something like eg. project = INFRA and issuekey <= INFRA-3000 AND issuekey > INFRA-2000 ORDER BY created DESC to select a range and export each set into separate XML files

  4. From results page, click on Export icon at the top right of page

  5. Select XML output and save file