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Re: removing .svn files from local copy

From: Bob Proulx <bob_at_proulx.com>
Date: 2006-05-28 06:39:19 CEST

Matt Doran wrote:
> That works. But the 'find' way of doing this is cleaner.
> > find . -name .svn | xargs rm -rf
> >
> >I almost always use zero terminated strings with find and xargs.
> >
> > find . -name .svn -print0 | xargs -r0 rm -rf
> Or an even more findy way to do it ...
> find . -name .svn -exec rm -rf {} \;
> ;)

Well, actually, no, not quite. Sure it is completely contained in
find. But doing it that way is slower and less efficient than find
plus xargs. It executes rm once for each file. That is much less
efficient than using find plus xargs to run find (probably only once)
with as large of an argument list as possible. The find and xargs
programs are designed to work together and make a great pair. That is
a very fast and efficient combination.

If you want to use only find but still be efficient and execute rm as
few times as possible then you need to look at the spiffy new POSIX
find "-exec {} +" syntax. Here is the snippet from gnu find's manual.

       -exec command {} +
              This variant of the -exec option runs the specified command on
              the selected files, but the command line is built by appending
              each selected file name at the end; the total number of invoca-
              tions of the command will be much less than the number of
              matched files. The command line is built in much the same way
              that xargs builds its command lines. Only one instance of ’{}’
              is allowed within the command. The command is executed in the
              starting directory.

So using this the command becomes:

  find . -name .svn -exec rm -rf {} +

This is a pretty new feature and not all GNU find installations will
have this feature yet. I still use find plus xargs most of the time.


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Received on Sun May 28 06:40:30 2006

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