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):
· Patterns read from the command line for those commands that
· 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.
· Patterns read from $GIT_DIR/info/exclude.
· Patterns read from the file specified by the configuration
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
· 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 gitread-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
· A blank line matches no files, so it can serve as a separator for
· A line starting with # serves as a comment. Put a backslash ("\")
in front of the first hash for patterns that begin with a hash.
· Trailing spaces are ignored unless they are quoted with backslash
· 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".
· 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).
· 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).
· 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
· A leading slash matches the beginning of the pathname. For
example, "/*.c" matches "cat-file.c" but not
Two consecutive asterisks ("**") in patterns matched against full
pathname may have special meaning:
· 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
· 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.
· 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.
· Other consecutive asterisks are considered invalid.
$ 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
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
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Git 126.96.36.1997.g2949358 07/16/2016 GITIGNORE(5)