Recursively delete .svn directories


This is a simple example of a unix command, which recursively deletes subversion .svn folders. Subversion is a well-spread open-source revision control application. Every copy of source code received from subversion repository has .svn folders, which store metadata. However, if you want to use or distribute source code for end-user consumption, these folders are not necessary. A simple svn export [repository] is suitable.

Compatible Systems

  • Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, Cygwin
  • Nearly any unix-compatible system with rm and find

We use find command to find all .svn folders beginning from current directory.

$ find . -type d -name .svn


It is possible to pass these directories directly to rm command, using grave accent quotes (key to left of ‘1’)

$ rm -rf `find . -type d -name .svn`

So, this will remove every .svn folder beginning from current directory.



echo "recursively removing .svn folders from"
rm -rf `find . -type d -name .svn`

You may save this script to /usr/bin/csvn (or other binary folder included in path) and use later to get ‘clean’ project source without typing lengthy commands.

For example:

$ svn checkout svn://
A    project/index.php
A    project/sourceA/a.php
A    project/sourceA/a1.php
A    project/sourceA/a2.php
A    project/sourceB/b.php
A    project/sourceB/module/lib.php
A    project/sourceC/c.php
Checked out revision 15.

$ cd project
$ csvn


Always check you current working directory before calling ‘csvn’.