removing directories from repository

John Arbash Meinel john at
Wed Dec 17 17:32:09 GMT 2008

Hash: SHA1

Colin D Bennett wrote:
> On Wed, 17 Dec 2008 09:35:58 +1100
> "Andrew King" <eurokang at> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Is it possible to permanently remove a directory from the history of a
>> branch? ie.I have some tree external/mydir, I want to do a command
>> such that it is removed as though it was never in the repository.
>> If it is not possible, how hard would it be to implement?
>> The most obvious application of this is someone adds a big file by
>> mistake to the repo (or a library), and then you are stuck with all
>> those files for eternity.
> bzr devs:
> I attempted to demonstrate removing a file from history by using the
> rebase plugin's "replay" command as John suggested, but it appears that
> the file continues to take up space even when it is removed from view.
> I thought this would be a good thing to add to the bzr user guide (is
> there a bzr FAQ? I don't recall one).
> In this example, I make a couple of small commits, then check in a
> large (12 MB) file, then make a couple more small commits.  I then
> branch off from before the large file was committed and use 'bzr
> replay' to replay the changes after the large file was checked in.
> This seems to work, but the repository still takes up >12MB of space.

Replay doesn't remove things from the repository that are already there.

However, people who branch *from the new branch* won't copy the
unreferenced data.


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