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git rm bug




OVERVIEW

"git rm" will remove more files than specified. This is either a bug or undocumented behavior (not in the man pages).

SETUP

1. In a git repository, create an empty directory OR a chain of empty directories

$ mkdir -p path/to/some/

2. Create a file in the deepest directory and add it to tracking

$ touch path/to/some/file
$ git add path/to/some/file
$ git commit -m 'add path/to/some/file'

THE BUG

Run 'git rm' on the tracked file. 

EXPECTED BEHAVIOR

$ git rm path/to/some/file
rm 'path/to/some/file'
$ ls path
to/
$ ls path/to
some/

Note that path/, path/to/, and path/to/some/ still exist.

ACTUAL BEHAVIOR

$ git rm path/to/some/file
rm 'path/to/some/file'
$ ls path
ls: cannot access 'path': No such file or directory

The entire chain of empty directories is removed, despite the fact the git outputs only "rm 'path/to/some/file'".

This ONLY occurs when all the directories in the chain are empty after the tracked file has been removed.

This behavior is NOT documented in the man pages.

I propose that 'rmdir' statements are added to 'git rm' output, or that the man pages be updated to reflect this behavior.

Best,
Thomas Fischer