git-ignore man page

git-ignore — Add .gitignore patterns


git-ignore [<context>] [<pattern> [<pattern>]...]


Adds the given _pattern_s to a .gitignore file if it doesn´t already exist.



-l, --local
Sets the context to the .gitignore file in the current working directory. (default)
-g, --global
Sets the context to the global gitignore file for the current user.


A space delimited list of patterns to append to the file in context.

Pattern Format

Pattern format as described in the git manual

  • A blank line matches no files, so it can serve as a separator for readability. To append a blank line use empty quotes "".
  • A line starting with # serves as a comment. For example, "# This is a comment"
  • 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 patterns sources. To use an exclamation ! as command line argument it is best placed between single quotes ´´. For example, ´!src´
  • 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 "Documentation/ppc/ppc.html" or "tools/perf/Documentation/perf.html".
  • A leading slash matches the beginning of the pathname. For example, "/*.c" matches "cat-file.c" but not "mozilla-sha1/sha1.c".


All arguments are optional so calling git-ignore alone will display first the global then the local gitignore files:

$ git ignore
Global gitignore: /home/alice/.gitignore
# Numerous always-ignore extensions

# OS or Editor folders
Local gitignore: .gitignore

If you only want to see the global context use the --global argument (for local use --local):

$ git ignore
Global gitignore: /home/alice/.gitignore

To quickly append a new pattern to the default/local context simply:

$ git ignore *.log
Adding pattern(s) to: .gitignore
... adding ´*.log´

You can now configure any patterns without ever using an editor, with a context and pattern arguments: The resulting configuration is also returned for your convenience.

$ git ignore --local "" "# Temporary files" *.tmp "*.log" tmp/*  "" "# Files I´d like to keep" ´!work´  ""
Adding pattern(s) to: .gitignore
... adding ´´
... adding ´# Temporary files´
... adding ´index.tmp´
... adding ´*.log´
... adding ´tmp/*´
... adding ´´
... adding ´# Files I´d like to keep´
... adding ´!work´
... adding ´´

Local gitignore: .gitignore

# Temporary files

# Files I´d like to keep


Written by Tj Holowaychuk <> and Tema Bolshakov <> and Nick Lombard <>

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December 2015