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28.1.11.2 Deleting and Renaming Version-Controlled Files

M-x vc-delete-file
Prompt for a file name, delete the file from the working tree, and schedule the deletion for committing.
M-x vc-rename-file
Prompt for two file names, VAR and OLD, rename them in the working tree, and schedule the renaming for committing.

If you wish to delete a version-controlled file, use the command M-x vc-delete-file. This prompts for the file name, and deletes it via the version control system. The file is removed from the working tree, and in the VC Directory buffer (see VC Directory Mode), it is displayed with the ‘removed’ status. When you commit it, the deletion takes effect in the repository.

To rename a version-controlled file, type M-x vc-rename-file. This prompts for two arguments: the name of the file you wish to rename, and the new name; then it performs the renaming via the version control system. The renaming takes effect immediately in the working tree, and takes effect in the repository when you commit the renamed file.

On modern version control systems that have built-in support for renaming, the renamed file retains the full change history of the original file. On CVS and older version control systems, the vc-rename-file command actually works by creating a copy of the old file under the new name, registering it, and deleting the old file. In this case, the change history is not preserved.