Quick Tip: Use rsync to recursively remove .svn folders from a directory [Field Notes]

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I have a directory structure that contains Subversion metadata folders (folders named “.svn”).

I would like to remove those folders but “svn export” won’t work.


Rsync to the rescue. Let’s say the folder containing .svn folder structures is named problemfolder. Do the following:

  • In the same directory as the problem folder, create a “clean” folder to output the contents of problemfolder to eventually.
"mkdir problemfolder_clean"
  • Run rsync, excluding .svn folders and their contents, to copy the problem directory to the clean directory.
rsync -avr --exclude='.svn*' /path/to/problemfolder/ path/to/problemfolder_clean

At this point, the contents of problemfolder (minus the .svn folders) will be in the clean folder you created.


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