The repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by homologous recombination commences by nucleolytic degradation of the 5'-terminated strand of the DNA break. This leads to the formation of 3'-tailed DNA, which serves as a substrate for the strand exchange protein Rad51. The nucleoprotein filament then invades homologous DNA to drive template-directed repair. In this review, I discuss mainly the mechanisms of DNA end resection in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which includes short-range resection by Mre11-Rad50-Xrs2 and Sae2, as well as processive long-range resection by Sgs1-Dna2 or Exo1 pathways. Resection mechanisms are highly conserved between yeast and humans, and analogous machineries are found in prokaryotes as well.