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How I removed bazillion tags from Git

We use TeamCity to compile and generate packages for DNN Platorm. TeamCity has the option to tag the repository with every build it generates. Since we had this option enabled for a long time, we were having several tags created on our Github repository. Ernst Peter Tamminga suggested that we cleanup these tags before they go out of control. Don't get me wrong, TeamCity is an awesome tool and we an essential part of the development process at DNN Corp.

Before Cleanup

Prior to the cleanup we had close to 3500 tags.

 

Tools Used

I found the following two blogs to narrow down on my command line to perform the cleanup in a loop

Command Line


Here is my simple command line that did the trick. Note I supplied *-alpha to apply it on alpha tags only.

$ git ls-remote --tags origin | awk '/^(.*)(\s+)(.*-alpha)$/ {print ":" $2}' |  xargs git push origin

After Cleanup

We have less than 100 Releases / Tags left.

How to remove those Tags from your local repository

Best to delete your DNN Platform repository and re-clone. It can take a while though.

What's the difference between Tag and Release on GitHub

This stackoverflow item explains it really well:

tag is a git concept whereas a Release is GitHub higher level concept.

Release is created from an existing tag and exposes release notes and links to download the software or source code from GitHub.

What's next

We'll work with DNN MVPs to have a better tag / release management for DNN Platform

Comments

Ernst Peter Tamminga
Thank you for this cleanup. Tags for the DNN.Platform repo become useful now.
Ernst Peter Tamminga Sunday, March 1, 2015 3:54 PM (link)
Ernst Peter Tamminga
Instead of deleting your local repo and clone again in order to get rid of the not-so-interesting tags, you can also use some git commands to cleanup your local repo.

Assuming that you have no special tags for your own and use only the tags from the DNN.Platform repo.

Remove *all* tags from the local repo: "git tag | xargs git tag -d"

Now get the remaining tags from the DNN.Platform back: "git fetch --tags"

That's it, you are synchronized again and have only relevant tags in your local repo left.
Ernst Peter Tamminga Monday, March 2, 2015 3:26 AM (link)
Joe Brinkman
I have further cleaned up the tags to remove the few that remained. I then created the specific tags that represent each release since 7.2.0. I also added in release notes for each of those tags so that we now have a manageable list of just 9 release tags. I'll work with Ash to create a TeamCity task that will allow us to easily tag a release at the end of the cycle.
Joe Brinkman Tuesday, March 3, 2015 11:08 AM (link)
Ash Prasad
Thanks @ErnstPeter for the tip on cleaning up local tags.
@Joe - Releases look very clean and nice on Git with your changes.
Ash Prasad Tuesday, March 3, 2015 1:06 PM (link)

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