docs: move core.excludesFile from git-add to gitignore
[git/git.git] / Documentation / gitignore.txt
1 gitignore(5)
2 ============
3
4 NAME
5 ----
6 gitignore - Specifies intentionally untracked files to ignore
7
8 SYNOPSIS
9 --------
10 $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/git/ignore, $GIT_DIR/info/exclude, .gitignore
11
12 DESCRIPTION
13 -----------
14
15 A `gitignore` file specifies intentionally untracked files that
16 Git should ignore.
17 Files already tracked by Git are not affected; see the NOTES
18 below for details.
19
20 Each line in a `gitignore` file specifies a pattern.
21 When deciding whether to ignore a path, Git normally checks
22 `gitignore` patterns from multiple sources, with the following
23 order of precedence, from highest to lowest (within one level of
24 precedence, the last matching pattern decides the outcome):
25
26 * Patterns read from the command line for those commands that support
27 them.
28
29 * Patterns read from a `.gitignore` file in the same directory
30 as the path, or in any parent directory, with patterns in the
31 higher level files (up to the toplevel of the work tree) being overridden
32 by those in lower level files down to the directory containing the file.
33 These patterns match relative to the location of the
34 `.gitignore` file. A project normally includes such
35 `.gitignore` files in its repository, containing patterns for
36 files generated as part of the project build.
37
38 * Patterns read from `$GIT_DIR/info/exclude`.
39
40 * Patterns read from the file specified by the configuration
41 variable `core.excludesFile`.
42
43 Which file to place a pattern in depends on how the pattern is meant to
44 be used.
45
46 * Patterns which should be version-controlled and distributed to
47 other repositories via clone (i.e., files that all developers will want
48 to ignore) should go into a `.gitignore` file.
49
50 * Patterns which are
51 specific to a particular repository but which do not need to be shared
52 with other related repositories (e.g., auxiliary files that live inside
53 the repository but are specific to one user's workflow) should go into
54 the `$GIT_DIR/info/exclude` file.
55
56 * Patterns which a user wants Git to
57 ignore in all situations (e.g., backup or temporary files generated by
58 the user's editor of choice) generally go into a file specified by
59 `core.excludesFile` in the user's `~/.gitconfig`. Its default value is
60 $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/git/ignore. If $XDG_CONFIG_HOME is either not set or
61 empty, $HOME/.config/git/ignore is used instead.
62
63 The underlying Git plumbing tools, such as
64 'git ls-files' and 'git read-tree', read
65 `gitignore` patterns specified by command-line options, or from
66 files specified by command-line options. Higher-level Git
67 tools, such as 'git status' and 'git add',
68 use patterns from the sources specified above.
69
70 PATTERN FORMAT
71 --------------
72
73 - A blank line matches no files, so it can serve as a separator
74 for readability.
75
76 - A line starting with # serves as a comment.
77 Put a backslash ("`\`") in front of the first hash for patterns
78 that begin with a hash.
79
80 - Trailing spaces are ignored unless they are quoted with backslash
81 ("`\`").
82
83 - An optional prefix "`!`" which negates the pattern; any
84 matching file excluded by a previous pattern will become
85 included again. It is not possible to re-include a file if a parent
86 directory of that file is excluded. Git doesn't list excluded
87 directories for performance reasons, so any patterns on contained
88 files have no effect, no matter where they are defined.
89 Put a backslash ("`\`") in front of the first "`!`" for patterns
90 that begin with a literal "`!`", for example, "`\!important!.txt`".
91
92 - If the pattern ends with a slash, it is removed for the
93 purpose of the following description, but it would only find
94 a match with a directory. In other words, `foo/` will match a
95 directory `foo` and paths underneath it, but will not match a
96 regular file or a symbolic link `foo` (this is consistent
97 with the way how pathspec works in general in Git).
98
99 - If the pattern does not contain a slash '/', Git treats it as
100 a shell glob pattern and checks for a match against the
101 pathname relative to the location of the `.gitignore` file
102 (relative to the toplevel of the work tree if not from a
103 `.gitignore` file).
104
105 - Otherwise, Git treats the pattern as a shell glob: "`*`" matches
106 anything except "`/`", "`?`" matches any one character except "`/`"
107 and "`[]`" matches one character in a selected range. See
108 fnmatch(3) and the FNM_PATHNAME flag for a more detailed
109 description.
110
111 - A leading slash matches the beginning of the pathname.
112 For example, "/{asterisk}.c" matches "cat-file.c" but not
113 "mozilla-sha1/sha1.c".
114
115 Two consecutive asterisks ("`**`") in patterns matched against
116 full pathname may have special meaning:
117
118 - A leading "`**`" followed by a slash means match in all
119 directories. For example, "`**/foo`" matches file or directory
120 "`foo`" anywhere, the same as pattern "`foo`". "`**/foo/bar`"
121 matches file or directory "`bar`" anywhere that is directly
122 under directory "`foo`".
123
124 - A trailing "`/**`" matches everything inside. For example,
125 "`abc/**`" matches all files inside directory "`abc`", relative
126 to the location of the `.gitignore` file, with infinite depth.
127
128 - A slash followed by two consecutive asterisks then a slash
129 matches zero or more directories. For example, "`a/**/b`"
130 matches "`a/b`", "`a/x/b`", "`a/x/y/b`" and so on.
131
132 - Other consecutive asterisks are considered regular asterisks and
133 will match according to the previous rules.
134
135 CONFIGURATION
136 -------------
137
138 The optional configuration variable `core.excludesFile` indicates a path to a
139 file containing patterns of file names to exclude, similar to
140 `$GIT_DIR/info/exclude`. Patterns in the exclude file are used in addition to
141 those in `$GIT_DIR/info/exclude`.
142
143 NOTES
144 -----
145
146 The purpose of gitignore files is to ensure that certain files
147 not tracked by Git remain untracked.
148
149 To stop tracking a file that is currently tracked, use
150 'git rm --cached'.
151
152 EXAMPLES
153 --------
154
155 --------------------------------------------------------------
156 $ git status
157 [...]
158 # Untracked files:
159 [...]
160 # Documentation/foo.html
161 # Documentation/gitignore.html
162 # file.o
163 # lib.a
164 # src/internal.o
165 [...]
166 $ cat .git/info/exclude
167 # ignore objects and archives, anywhere in the tree.
168 *.[oa]
169 $ cat Documentation/.gitignore
170 # ignore generated html files,
171 *.html
172 # except foo.html which is maintained by hand
173 !foo.html
174 $ git status
175 [...]
176 # Untracked files:
177 [...]
178 # Documentation/foo.html
179 [...]
180 --------------------------------------------------------------
181
182 Another example:
183
184 --------------------------------------------------------------
185 $ cat .gitignore
186 vmlinux*
187 $ ls arch/foo/kernel/vm*
188 arch/foo/kernel/vmlinux.lds.S
189 $ echo '!/vmlinux*' >arch/foo/kernel/.gitignore
190 --------------------------------------------------------------
191
192 The second .gitignore prevents Git from ignoring
193 `arch/foo/kernel/vmlinux.lds.S`.
194
195 Example to exclude everything except a specific directory `foo/bar`
196 (note the `/*` - without the slash, the wildcard would also exclude
197 everything within `foo/bar`):
198
199 --------------------------------------------------------------
200 $ cat .gitignore
201 # exclude everything except directory foo/bar
202 /*
203 !/foo
204 /foo/*
205 !/foo/bar
206 --------------------------------------------------------------
207
208 SEE ALSO
209 --------
210 linkgit:git-rm[1],
211 linkgit:gitrepository-layout[5],
212 linkgit:git-check-ignore[1]
213
214 GIT
215 ---
216 Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite