gitignore manpage

Search topic Section

GITIGNORE(5)			  Git Manual			  GITIGNORE(5)

       gitignore - Specifies intentionally untracked files to ignore

       $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/git/ignore, $GIT_DIR/info/exclude, .gitignore

       A gitignore file specifies intentionally untracked files that Git
       should ignore. Files already tracked by Git are not affected; see the
       NOTES below for details.

       Each line in a gitignore file specifies a pattern. When deciding
       whether to ignore a path, Git normally checks gitignore patterns from
       multiple sources, with the following order of precedence, from highest
       to lowest (within one level of precedence, the last matching pattern
       decides the outcome):

       o   Patterns read from the command line for those commands that support

       o   Patterns read from a .gitignore file in the same directory as the
	   path, or in any parent directory (up to the top-level of the
	   working tree), with patterns in the higher level files being
	   overridden by those in lower level files down to the directory
	   containing the file. These patterns match relative to the location
	   of the .gitignore file. A project normally includes such .gitignore
	   files in its repository, containing patterns for files generated as
	   part of the project build.

       o   Patterns read from $GIT_DIR/info/exclude.

       o   Patterns read from the file specified by the configuration variable

       Which file to place a pattern in depends on how the pattern is meant to
       be used.

       o   Patterns which should be version-controlled and distributed to
	   other repositories via clone (i.e., files that all developers will
	   want to ignore) should go into a .gitignore file.

       o   Patterns which are specific to a particular repository but which do
	   not need to be shared with other related repositories (e.g.,
	   auxiliary files that live inside the repository but are specific to
	   one user's workflow) should go into the $GIT_DIR/info/exclude file.

       o   Patterns which a user wants Git to ignore in all situations (e.g.,
	   backup or temporary files generated by the user's editor of choice)
	   generally go into a file specified by core.excludesFile in the
	   user's ~/.gitconfig. Its default value is
	   $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/git/ignore. If $XDG_CONFIG_HOME is either not set
	   or empty, $HOME/.config/git/ignore is used instead.

       The underlying Git plumbing tools, such as git ls-files and git
       read-tree, read gitignore patterns specified by command-line options,
       or from files specified by command-line options. Higher-level Git
       tools, such as git status and git add, use patterns from the sources
       specified above.

       o   A blank line matches no files, so it can serve as a separator for

       o   A line starting with # serves as a comment. Put a backslash ("\")
	   in front of the first hash for patterns that begin with a hash.

       o   Trailing spaces are ignored unless they are quoted with backslash

       o   An optional prefix "!" which negates the pattern; any matching file
	   excluded by a previous pattern will become included again. It is
	   not possible to re-include a file if a parent directory of that
	   file is excluded. Git doesn't list excluded directories for
	   performance reasons, so any patterns on contained files have no
	   effect, no matter where they are defined. Put a backslash ("\") in
	   front of the first "!" for patterns that begin with a literal "!",
	   for example, "\!important!.txt".

       o   The slash / is used as the directory separator. Separators may
	   occur at the beginning, middle or end of the .gitignore search

       o   If there is a separator at the beginning or middle (or both) of the
	   pattern, then the pattern is relative to the directory level of the
	   particular .gitignore file itself. Otherwise the pattern may also
	   match at any level below the .gitignore level.

       o   If there is a separator at the end of the pattern then the pattern
	   will only match directories, otherwise the pattern can match both
	   files and directories.

       o   For example, a pattern doc/frotz/ matches doc/frotz directory, but
	   not a/doc/frotz directory; however frotz/ matches frotz and a/frotz
	   that is a directory (all paths are relative from the .gitignore

       o   An asterisk "*" matches anything except a slash. The character "?"
	   matches any one character except "/". The range notation, e.g.
	   [a-zA-Z], can be used to match one of the characters in a range.
	   See fnmatch(3) and the FNM_PATHNAME flag for a more detailed

       Two consecutive asterisks ("**") in patterns matched against full
       pathname may have special meaning:

       o   A leading "**" followed by a slash means match in all directories.
	   For example, "**/foo" matches file or directory "foo" anywhere, the
	   same as pattern "foo". "**/foo/bar" matches file or directory "bar"
	   anywhere that is directly under directory "foo".

       o   A trailing "/**" matches everything inside. For example, "abc/**"
	   matches all files inside directory "abc", relative to the location
	   of the .gitignore file, with infinite depth.

       o   A slash followed by two consecutive asterisks then a slash matches
	   zero or more directories. For example, "a/**/b" matches "a/b",
	   "a/x/b", "a/x/y/b" and so on.

       o   Other consecutive asterisks are considered regular asterisks and
	   will match according to the previous rules.

       The optional configuration variable core.excludesFile indicates a path
       to a file containing patterns of file names to exclude, similar to
       $GIT_DIR/info/exclude. Patterns in the exclude file are used in
       addition to those in $GIT_DIR/info/exclude.

       The purpose of gitignore files is to ensure that certain files not
       tracked by Git remain untracked.

       To stop tracking a file that is currently tracked, use git rm --cached.

       Git does not follow symbolic links when accessing a .gitignore file in
       the working tree. This keeps behavior consistent when the file is
       accessed from the index or a tree versus from the filesystem.

       o   The pattern hello.*	matches any file or directory whose name
	   begins with hello.. If one wants to restrict this only to the
	   directory and not in its subdirectories, one can prepend the
	   pattern with a slash, i.e.  /hello.*; the pattern now matches
	   hello.txt, hello.c but not a/hello.java.

       o   The pattern foo/ will match a directory foo and paths underneath
	   it, but will not match a regular file or a symbolic link foo (this
	   is consistent with the way how pathspec works in general in Git)

       o   The pattern doc/frotz and /doc/frotz have the same effect in any
	   .gitignore file. In other words, a leading slash is not relevant if
	   there is already a middle slash in the pattern.

       o   The pattern "foo/*", matches "foo/test.json" (a regular file),
	   "foo/bar" (a directory), but it does not match "foo/bar/hello.c" (a
	   regular file), as the asterisk in the pattern does not match
	   "bar/hello.c" which has a slash in it.

	       $ git status
	       # Untracked files:
	       #       Documentation/foo.html
	       #       Documentation/gitignore.html
	       #       file.o
	       #       lib.a
	       #       src/internal.o
	       $ cat .git/info/exclude
	       # ignore objects and archives, anywhere in the tree.
	       $ cat Documentation/.gitignore
	       # ignore generated html files,
	       # except foo.html which is maintained by hand
	       $ git status
	       # Untracked files:
	       #       Documentation/foo.html

       Another example:

	       $ cat .gitignore
	       $ ls arch/foo/kernel/vm*
	       $ echo '!/vmlinux*' >arch/foo/kernel/.gitignore

       The second .gitignore prevents Git from ignoring

       Example to exclude everything except a specific directory foo/bar (note
       the /* - without the slash, the wildcard would also exclude everything
       within foo/bar):

	       $ cat .gitignore
	       # exclude everything except directory foo/bar

       git-rm(1), gitrepository-layout(5), git-check-ignore(1)

       Part of the git(1) suite

Git 2.38.4			  05/16/2024			  GITIGNORE(5)