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gitignore - Specifies intentionally untracked files to ignore
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, with patterns in the higher level
files (up to the toplevel of the work tree) 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. 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. 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. 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.
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
o A blank line matches no files, so it can serve as a separator for
o A line starting with # serves as a comment.
o An optional prefix ! which negates the pattern; any matching file
excluded by a previous pattern will become included again. If a
negated pattern matches, this will override lower precedence
o If the pattern ends with a slash, it is removed for the purpose of
the following description, but it would only find a match with a
directory. In other words, 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 If the pattern does not contain a slash /, git treats it as a shell
glob pattern and checks for a match against the pathname relative
to the location of the .gitignore file (relative to the toplevel of
the work tree if not from a .gitignore file).
o Otherwise, git treats the pattern as a shell glob suitable for
consumption by fnmatch(3) with the FNM_PATHNAME flag: wildcards in
the pattern will not match a / in the pathname. For example,
"Documentation/*.html" matches "Documentation/git.html" but not
o A leading slash matches the beginning of the pathname. For example,
"/*.c" matches "cat-file.c" but not "mozilla-sha1/sha1.c".
The purpose of gitignore files is to ensure that certain files not
tracked by git remain untracked.
To ignore uncommitted changes in a file that is already tracked, use
git update-index --assume-unchanged.
To stop tracking a file that is currently tracked, use git rm --cached.
$ git status
# Untracked files:
$ 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:
$ cat .gitignore
$ ls arch/foo/kernel/vm*
$ echo '!/vmlinux*' >arch/foo/kernel/.gitignore
The second .gitignore prevents git from ignoring
git-rm(1), git-update-index(1), gitrepository-layout(5)
Part of the git(1) suite