#clean #case #projects #up

bin+lib makeclean

Clean up projects you're no longer working on

17 releases (3 stable)

1.1.0 Mar 31, 2022
0.9.1 Mar 28, 2022

#517 in Development tools

Download history 17/week @ 2022-11-22 1/week @ 2022-11-29 1/week @ 2022-12-06 17/week @ 2022-12-20 1/week @ 2022-12-27 2/week @ 2023-01-03 1/week @ 2023-01-17 6/week @ 2023-01-24 6/week @ 2023-01-31 19/week @ 2023-02-07 48/week @ 2023-02-14 19/week @ 2023-02-21

67 downloads per month

MIT license

1.5K SLoC


Crates.io docs.rs

Removes generated and downloaded files from code projects to free up space.


  • List, cleans and archives projects depending on how long you haven't touched them.
  • Respects .gitignore files even outside Git repositories. Build tools often create a .gitignore file when initializing a new project, so this makes sure that the dependencies are not traversed even in case you have not initialized the Git repository yet.
  • Supports .ignore files, which have the same semantics as .gitignore files and are supported by search tools such as ripgrep and The Silver Searcher.
  • Ignores hidden directories.

Currently supports the following build tools:

  • Cargo
  • Elm
  • Flutter
  • Gradle (Assumes $buildDir is set to the default value $projectDir/build! See gradle.rs)
  • Mix
  • NPM

Table of contents:


Install using Cargo:

cargo install makeclean

Current release: 1.1.0


Run makeclean --help to see all available options.

List projects

List all projects that are "stale", that is, have not been changed recently, under a given path, using --list/-l:

makeclean --list ~/projects

By default, a project is considered stale if there weren't any changed for at least a month. You can change this by using --min-stale/-m; for example, to consider all projects that have not been modified within the last 2 weeks:

makeclean --list --min-stale=2w ~/projects

Set --min-stale to zero to disable the check:

makeclean --list --min-stale=0 ~/projects

You can also filter by build tool using --type/-t:

makeclean --list --type npm ~/projects

Clean projects

By default, makeclean looks for any projects that haven't been touched for a month, and offers to clean them:

makeclean ~/projects

Use --dry-run/-n to see what would happen, without actually deleting anything:

makeclean --dry-run ~/projects

If you run makeclean in a script and don't want the prompt, you can pass --yes to proceed automatically:

makeclean --yes ~/projects

You can also specify multiple directories at once. For example, to regularly clean up some scratch directories, you could add something like this to crontab or a startup script:

makeclean --min-stale=1w --yes \
  ~/code/rust-playground \
  ~/code/elm-playground \

Clean + archive projects

If you also want to archive the projects after cleaning them up, pass --archive. For example, the following command would replace the contents of ~/projects/foo with ~/projects/foo.tar.xz, after cleaning it:

makeclean --archive ~/projects/foo

Note that while --archive also considers cleaned projects, it still respects --min-stale. If makeclean doesn't find your project but you think it should, try again with the environment variable RUST_LOG set to trace, e.g., RUST_LOG=trace makeclean --archive ~/projects/foo. You should see a hint as to why the project was not considered. If the logs don't tell you what's going on, please consider creating a GitHub issue.

To restore the project, use tar (which is probably already installed on your system):

cd ~/projects/foo
tar -xaf foo.tar.xz && rm foo.tar.xz

Hack it

PRs welcome! Check out the documentation on crates.io to get started. Feel free to create a GitHub issue if you have any questions.

Checklist for adding a new build tool

  1. Add applicable project types to the BuildToolKind enum in src/build_tools.rs.
  2. Add the new module to src/build_tools.rs, creating a file below src/build_tools/.
  3. Add register call to BuildToolManager::default in src/build_tool_manager.rs.
  4. Add module and init function to tests/util/ and to the tools array at tests/tests/build_tools.rs.


MIT. Any contributions are assumed MIT-licensed as well.


~661K SLoC