The dvc gc command in DVC (Data Version Control) is used to remove unused files and directories from the cache or remote storage. It helps to clean up unnecessary data and optimize storage usage.
Here’s a more detailed explanation of the dvc gc command:
- Data Cache: DVC uses a cache system to store data files efficiently. The cache is a local storage directory that stores the data files associated with different versions of your DVC project.
- Data Dependencies: DVC tracks the dependencies of your data files to ensure reproducibility. When you modify or switch versions of your data, DVC manages the data dependencies and fetches the necessary files from the cache or remote storage.
- Unused Files: Over time, as you make changes and switch between versions, some data files may no longer be needed. These unused files can accumulate in the cache or remote storage, occupying disk space unnecessarily.
- Garbage Collection: The dvc gc command performs garbage collection by identifying and removing unused files and directories from the cache or remote storage. It helps reclaim storage space by deleting data that is no longer referenced by any version or stage in your DVC project.
- Local Cache: By default, dvc gc cleans up the local cache, removing unused files and directories from the cache directory on your local machine.
- Remote Storage: If you have configured DVC to use remote storage, such as Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage, dvc gc can also remove unused files from the remote storage. This helps optimize storage usage and reduce costs associated with remote storage services.
Here’s an example usage of dvc gc:
$ dvc gc
Running dvc gc without any additional arguments initiates the garbage collection process. It identifies and removes the unused files and directories from the local cache, freeing up storage space.
When using remote storage, you can specify the remote storage location using the -c/–cloud option:
$ dvc gc -c
This command removes unused files and directories from both the local cache and the specified remote storage.
It’s important to note that dvc gc only removes unused files and directories. It does not delete any data that is still referenced by stages or versions in your DVC project. By periodically running dvc gc, you can efficiently manage your storage space, remove unnecessary data, and optimize the storage usage of your DVC project.
dvc gc Command Examples
1. Garbage collect from the cache, keeping only versions referenced by the current workspace:
# dvc gc --workspace
2. Garbage collect from the cache, keeping only versions referenced by branch, tags, and commits:
# dvc gc --all-branches --all-tags --all-commits
3. Garbage collect from the cache, including the default cloud remote storage (if set):
# dvc gc --all-commits --cloud
4. Garbage collect from the cache, including a specific cloud remote storage:
# dvc gc --all-commits --cloud --remote remote_name