nonot1 nonot1 - 5 months ago 17
Git Question

git clean: What does "Would not remove" mean?

When I run

git clean --dry-run
the results are a bit like:

Would remove an_untracked_file
Would remove an_untracked_file_2
Would not remove some_unrelated_folder/subfolder/

The "unrelated" folders are tracked and have had no changes, so I would not expect git to remove them.

But, why does git report
Would not remove
for some, but not all, of my project's normal (and totally untouched) folders?

Can I tell what is causing git to consider, but then decide against, removing them?

git status
lists only the couple of un-tracked files I know about. As expected.

git ls-files --other --exclude-standard
returns those same un-tracked files. As expected.

git ls-files --other --exclude-standard --directory
returns those same un-tracked files, plus a bunch of seemingly normal directories. This is not what I expected to see since I thought the purpose of
was to reduce, not increase the number of results returned.

Upon spot checking the unexpected directories, it seems each one is empty, except for a ".gitignore"d .svn sub-folder. Perhaps this factors in to things.

Can anyone help me understand this behavior?

Thank you


By default, git clean doesn't remove folders. It's telling you that it sees an untracked folder, but it won't remove it. Give it the -d flag to instruct it to remove directories as well, as in git clean -d -n