In http://subversion.tigris.org/servlets/ReadMsg?list=dev&msgNo=101324, Wesley J. Landaker forwarded a bug from the Debian bug tracker: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=310051 The problem looks serious. Here is the core of the report: svn diff's output is incomplete, it ignores the deletion of directories. Check these two commands, they only differ in the order of arguments. ametzler@costa:~$ svn diff \ svn://svn.debian.org/pkg-exim4/exim/tags/4.50-4 \ svn://svn.debian.org/pkg-exim4/exim/trunk \ | wc 2>/dev/null 6519 40286 293933 ametzler@costa:~$ svn diff \ svn://svn.debian.org/pkg-exim4/exim/trunk \ svn://svn.debian.org/pkg-exim4/exim/tags/4.50-4 \ | wc 2>/dev/null 10687 58798 452521 Redirecting the outputs to files and comparing their contents with lsdiff  shows that the former command does not show the information about deletion of the debian/exim4-config-medium and debian/exim4-config-simple directory trees. Uh, yeah, I'd say that's a problem :-).