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Adding a directory to subversion, and ignoring the directory contents

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Sometimes when committing things to svn you want to commit a directory, but ignore all of the files inside it. The /sites/default/files/ directory within Drupal is a perfect example. Here's how:

  1. Add the directory, while ignoring all of the files it contains:
    svn add -N [directory]
  2. After adding the directory enter the directory and run the following command:
    svn propset svn:ignore '*.*' .
  3. Commit your changes:
    svn commit -m "Added the directory and set the files within it to be ignored"

All better now...!

Date posted: November 25, 2008


Hi there,

Would you happen to know how to svn add a directory that contains blank spaces in its title? For example:

svn add User accounts

where 'User accounts' is the directory title.

Many thanks and kind regards,


this is exactly what i was looking for, thanks

This didn't work for me. I ended up using:
svn add dirname --depth=empty

This doesn't cover sub directories inside the directory. For that you need svn propset svn:ignore '*' .


If I want to add a directory while this directory contains differet types of files and I want to add some special type of files how should I use add?
For example if a directory has two types of files such as .txt and .bin and I want add just onlt .txt files

This command prevents adding files in subfolder when performing an add, but it is temporary. You could also use:
svn add -N otherdir
But using svn:ignore is a "permanent" solution (until svn:ignore property is removed), which is less error-prone in large repositories, since add is recursive by default.

Didn't work for me. To ignore directories I had to use
> svn propset svn:ignore '*' .

Note '*' instead of '*.*'

pumbo is right, this only ignores all files inside the directory and with an extension.
It doesn't cover the cases:
- subdirectories and all the files inside these
- files without extensions

To ignore literrally everything, you need to do:
> svn propset svn:ignore '*' .

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Joaquin is a 20+ year technology veteran helping to lead businesses in the move to the Cloud. He frequently speaks on panels about the future of tech ranging from IoT and Machine Learning to the latest innovation in the entertainment industry.  He has helped to modernize software for industry leaders like Sony, Daimler, Intel, the Golden Globes, Siemens Wind Power, ABC, NBC, DC Comics, Warner Brothers & the Linux Foundation.

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