subgit convert SVN repo which contains empty folders

How can I add an empty directory (that contains no files) to a Git repository?

Replay

Another way to make a directory stay empty (in the repository) is to create a .gitignore file inside that directory that contains four lines:

# Ignore everything in this directory
*
# Except this file
!.gitignore

Then you don't have to get the order right the way that you have to do in m104's solution.

You can't. See the Git FAQ.

Currently the design of the git index (staging area) only permits files to be listed, and nobody competent enough to make the change to allow empty directories has cared enough about this situation to remedy it.

Directories are added automatically when adding files inside them. That is, directories never have to be added to the repository, and are not tracked on their own.

You can say "git add <dir>" and it will add files in there.

If you really need a directory to exist in checkouts you should create a file in it. .gitignore works well for this purpose; you can leave it empty, or fill in the names of files you expect to show up in the directory.

Create an empty file called .gitkeep in the directory, and add that.

You could always put a README file in the directory with an explanation of why you want this, otherwise empty, directory in the repository.

touch .keep

On Linux, this creates an empty file named .keep. This name is preferred over .gitkeep as the former is agnostic to Git, whereas the latter is specific to Git. Secondly, as another user has noted, the .git prefix convention should be reserved for files and directories that Git itself uses.

Alternatively, as noted in another answer, the directory can contain a descriptive README or README.md file instead.

Of course this requires that the presence of the file won't cause your application to break.

As described in other answers, Git is unable to represent empty directories in its staging area. (See the Git FAQ.) However, if, for your purposes, a directory is empty enough if it contains a .gitignore file only, then you can create .gitignore files in empty directories only via:

find . -type d -empty -exec touch {}/.gitignore \;

As stated by many users, an empty directory cannot be part of a tree under the Git versioning system. But there are many scenarios in which an empty directory could be useful (i.e. giving a folder structure for temp files, such as a cache/ directory. Many of the answers above suggest:

  1. Placing a README file or another file with some content in order to make the directory non-empty, or
  2. Creating a .gitignore file with a sort of "reverse logic" (i.e. to include all the files) with, at the end, the same purpose of approach #1.

I don't personally agree with either solution; while they both surely work, I find them unconsistent with a meaningful approach to Git versioning.

  • Why are you supposed to put bogus files or READMEs that maybe you don't really want in your project?
  • Why use .gitignore to do a thing (keeping files) that is the very opposite of what it's meant for (excluding files)?

My suggestion: actually this solution is leveraged from the Laravel framework; basically it's very simple, they use an empty file called .gitkeep in order to force the presence of the folder in the versioning system.

Although it may seem not such a big difference, here's why I feel that it is better:

  • You use a file that has the single purpose of keeping the folder. You don't put there any info you don't want to put. Separation of concerns is always a good thing.
  • Naming it .gitkeep makes it very clear and straightforward (also to other developers, which is good for a shared project and one of the core purposes of a Git repository) that this file is
    • A file unrelated to the code (because of the trailing dot and the name)
    • A file related to Git
    • Its purpose (keep) is clearly stated and consistent and semantically opposed in its meaning to ignore ... I, for example, understood by myself the meaning of these empty file immediately without reading any documentation, when I met them for the first time.

Andy Lester is right, but if your directory just needs to be empty, and not empty empty, you can put an empty .gitignore file in there as a workaround.

As an aside, this is an implementation issue, not a fundamental Git storage design problem. As has been mentioned many times on the Git mailing list, the reason that this has not been implemented is that no one has cared enough to submit a patch for it, not that it couldn’t or shouldn’t be done.

The Ruby on Rails way:

mkdir log && touch log/.gitkeep && git add log/.gitkeep

Now the log directory will be included in the tree. It is super-useful when deploying, so you won't have to write a routine to make log directories.

The logfiles can be kept out by issuing,

echo log/dev.log >> .gitignore

but you probably knew that.

Maybe adding an empty directory seems like it would be the path of least resistance because you have scripts that expect that directory to exist (maybe because it is a target for generated binaries). Another approach would be to modify your scripts to create the directory as needed.

mkdir --parents .generated/bin ## create a folder for storing generated binaries
mv myprogram1 myprogram2 .generated/bin ## populate the directory as needed

In this example, you might check in a (broken) symbolic link to the directory so that you can access it without the ".generated" prefix (but this is optional).

ln -sf .generated/bin bin
git add bin

When you want to clean up your source tree you can just:

rm -rf .generated ## this should be in a "clean" script or in a makefile

If you take the oft-suggested approach of checking in an almost-empty folder, you have the minor complexity of deleting the contents without also deleting the ".gitignore" file.

You can ignore all of your generated files by adding the following to your root .gitignore:

.generated

WARNING: This tweak is not truly working as it turns out. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Original post below:

I found a solution while playing with Git internals!

  1. Suppose you are in your repository.
  2. Create your empty directory:
    $ mkdir path/to/empty-folder
    
    
  3. Add it to the index using a plumbing command and the empty tree SHA-1:
    $ git update-index --index-info
    040000 tree 4b825dc642cb6eb9a060e54bf8d69288fbee4904    path/to/empty-folder
    
    

    Type the command and then enter the second line. Press Enter and then Ctrl + D to terminate your input. Note: the format is mode [SPACE] type [SPACE] SHA-1hash [TAB] path (the tab is important, the answer formatting does not preserve it).

  4. That's it! Your empty folder is in your index. All you have to do is commit.

This solution is short and apparently works fine (see the EDIT!), but it is not that easy to remember...

The empty tree SHA-1 can be found by creating a new empty Git repository, cd into it and issue git write-tree, which outputs the empty tree SHA-1.

EDIT:

I've been using this solution since I found it. It appears to work exactly the same way as creating a submodule, except that no module is defined anywhere. This leads to errors when issuing git submodule init|update. The problem is that git update-index rewrites the 040000 tree part into 160000 commit.

Moreover, any file placed under that path won't ever be noticed by Git, as it thinks they belong to some other repository. This is nasty as it can easily be overlooked!

However, if you don't already (and won't) use any Git submodules in your repository, and the "empty" folder will remain empty or if you want Git to know of its existence and ignore its content, you can go with this tweak. Going the usual way with submodules takes more steps that this tweak.

Git does not track empty directories. See the FAQ for more explanation. The suggested workaround is to put a .gitignore file in the empty directory. I do not like that solution, because the .gitignore is "hidden" by Unix convention. Also there is no explanation why the directories are empty.

I suggest to put a README file in the empty directory explaining why the directory is empty and why it needs to be tracked in Git. With the README file in place, as far as Git is concerned, the directory is no longer empty.

To list every empty directory use the following command:

find -name .git -prune -o -type d -empty -print

To create placeholder READMEs in every empty directory:

find -name .git -prune -o -type d -empty -exec sh -c \
  "echo this directory is intentionally left empty > {}/README.emptydir" \;

To ignore everything in the directory except the README file put the following lines in your .gitignore:

path/to/emptydir/*
!path/to/emptydir/README.emptydir
path/to/otheremptydir/*
!path/to/otheremptydir/README.emptydir

Alternatively, you could just exclude every README file from being ignored:

path/to/emptydir/*
path/to/otheremptydir/*
!README.emptydir

To list every README after they are already created:

find -name README.emptydir

Let's say you need an empty directory named tmp:

$ mkdir tmp
$ touch tmp/.gitignore
$ git add tmp
$ echo '*' > tmp/.gitignore
$ git commit -m 'Empty directory' tmp

In other words, you need to add the .gitignore file to the index before you can tell Git to ignore it (and everything else in the empty directory).

I've been facing the issue with empty directories, too. The problem with using placeholder files is that you need to create them, and delete them, if they are not necessary anymore (because later on there were added sub-directories or files. With big source trees managing these placeholder files can be cumbersome and error prone.

This is why I decided to write an open source tool which can manage the creation/deletion of such placeholder files automatically. It is written for .NET platform and runs under Mono (.NET for Linux) and Windows.

Just have a look at: http://code.google.com/p/markemptydirs

When you add a .gitignore file, if you are going to put any amount of content in it (that you want Git to ignore) you might want to add a single line with just an asterisk * to make sure you don't add the ignored content accidentally.

You can't and unfortunately will never be able to. This is a decision made by Linus Torvald himself. He knows what's good for us.

There is a rant out there somewhere I read once.

I found Re: Empty directories.., but maybe there is another one.

You have to live with the workarounds...unfortunately.

As mentioned it's not possible to add empty directories, but here is a one liner that adds empty .gitignore files to all directories.

ruby -e 'require "fileutils" ; Dir.glob(["target_directory","target_directory/**"]).each { |f| FileUtils.touch(File.join(f, ".gitignore")) if File.directory?(f) }'

I have stuck this in a Rakefile for easy access.

There's no way to get Git to track directories, so the only solution is to add a placeholder file within the directory that you want Git to track.

The file can be named and contain anything you want, but most people use an empty file named .gitkeep (although some people prefer the VCS-agnostic .keep).

The prefixed . marks it as a hidden file.

Another idea would be to add a README file explaining what the directory will be used for.

I always build a function to check for my desired folder structure and build it for me within the project. This gets around this problem as the empty folders are held in Git by proxy.

function check_page_custom_folder_structure () {
    if (!is_dir(TEMPLATEPATH."/page-customs"))
        mkdir(TEMPLATEPATH."/page-customs");
    if (!is_dir(TEMPLATEPATH."/page-customs/css"))
        mkdir(TEMPLATEPATH."/page-customs/css");
    if (!is_dir(TEMPLATEPATH."/page-customs/js"))
        mkdir(TEMPLATEPATH."/page-customs/js");
}

This is in PHP, but I am sure most languages support the same functionality, and because the creation of the folders is taken care of by the application, the folders will always be there.

The solution of Jamie Flournoy works great. Here is a bit enhanced version to keep the .htaccess:

# Ignore everything in this directory
*
# Except this file
!.gitignore
!.htaccess

With this solution you are able to commit a empty folder, for example /log, /tmp or /cache and the folder will stay empty.

Here is a hack, but it's funny that it works (Git 2.2.1). Similar to what @Teka suggested, but easier to remember:

  • Add a submodule to any repository (git submodule add path_to_repo)
  • This will add a folder and a file .submodules. Commit a change.
  • Delete .submodules file and commit the change.

Now, you have a directory that gets created when commit is checked out. An interesting thing though is that if you look at the content of tree object of this file you'll get:

fatal: Not a valid object name b64338b90b4209263b50244d18278c0999867193

I wouldn't encourage to use it though since it may stop working in the future versions of Git. Which may leave your repository corrupted.

If you want to add an empty directory to a Git repository, then you can do one thing. Create a file named .gitignore and then write this inside it:

/directory/*
!.gitignore

The first line tells Git to ignore everything in this directory. The second line tells Git not to ignore the .gitignore file.

Add a file to the empty folder and name it PlaceHolder.

You can save this code as create_readme.php and run the PHP code from the root directory of your Git project.

> php create_readme.php

It will add README files to all directories that are empty so those directories would be then added to the index.

<?php
    $path = realpath('.');
    $objects = new RecursiveIteratorIterator(new RecursiveDirectoryIterator($path),       RecursiveIteratorIterator::SELF_FIRST);
    foreach($objects as $name => $object){
        if ( is_dir($name) && ! is_empty_folder($name) ){
            echo "$name\n" ;
            exec("touch ".$name."/"."README");
        }
    }

    function is_empty_folder($folder) {
        $files = opendir($folder);
        while ($file = readdir($files)) {
            if ($file != '.' && $file != '..')
                return true; // Not empty
            }
        }
?>

Then do

git commit -m "message"
git push

Just add empty.txt to the directory.

You can't. This is an intentional design decision by the Git maintainers. Basically, the purpose of a Source Code Management System like Git is managing source code and empty directories aren't source code. Git is also often described as a content tracker, and again, empty directories aren't content (quite the opposite, actually), so they are not tracked.

Category: git Time: 2008-09-22 Views: 0

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