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How to Update Tracked Data

Updating tracked files or directories may mean either modifying some of the data contents, or completely replacing them (under the same file name).

See also dvc move.

When the cache.type config option is set to symlink or hardlink (not the default, see dvc config cache for more info.), updating tracked files has to be carried out with caution, to avoid data corruption. This is due to the way in which DVC handles linking data files between the cache and the workspace (refer to Large Dataset Optimization for details).

If you use dvc.yaml files and dvc repro, there is no need to manage stage outputs manually. DVC removes them for you before regenerating them.

Otherwise (the data was tracked with dvc add), use one of the procedures below to "unlink" the data from the cache prior to updating it. We'll be working with a train.tsv file:

Modifying content

Unlink the file with dvc unprotect. This will make train.tsv safe to edit:

$ dvc unprotect train.tsv

Then edit the content of the file, for example with:

$ echo "new data item" >> train.tsv

Add the new version of the file back with DVC:

$ dvc add train.tsv
$ dvc push # If you have remote storage.

$ git add train.tsv.dvc
$ git commit -m "modify train data"
$ git push # If you have an upstream repo.

Replacing files

If you want to replace the file altogether, you can take the following steps.

First, stop tracking the file by using dvc remove on the .dvc file. This will remove train.tsv from the workspace (and unlink it from the cache):

$ dvc remove train.tsv.dvc

Next, replace the file with new content:

$ echo new > train.tsv

And start tracking it again:

$ dvc add train.tsv
$ git add train.tsv.dvc .gitignore
$ git commit -m "new train data"

# If you have remote storage and/or an upstream repo:
$ dvc push
$ git push

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