Global Git Ignores14 Jul 2019
Git has a great feature that allows you to avoid committing lots of unnecessary
files to your repository. By creating a file called
.gitignore in your
repository, you can declare that files and directories which match certain name
patterns should never be added to the repository. This means that, for example,
when running Python code from a repostitory, all of the
.pyc files generated
by Python can be excluded from commits, but will also not be shown when running
git status which shows you what local files you have that are
.gitignore file for a Python project might look like:
*.py[co] __pycache__/ build/ dist/ .eggs/ *.egg-info/
which ignores a variety of files and directories created when running Python code or building it into packages.
One thing I do not tend to include in my project
.gitignore files, however,
is editor-specific ignores. Such ignores are hard to test as different people
use different editors, and can become increasingly idiosyncratic and hard to
maintain as more developers get involved in a project.
Instead, I prefer to maintain a ‘global’ git ignore file that handles editor- or system-specific files that are both common across many projects and likely to be different for different developers.
Creating a global git ignore file
To create a global git ignore, you need to configure it in your global git
configuration. This will likely be either
~/.gitconfig. If you do not have one of these files already, just create one
of them. (I prefer to use the former to reduce clutter in my home directory.)
In your config file, create an entry like the following:
[core] excludesfile = ~/.config/git/ignore
This configures git to read ignore rules from the specified location. In the
case that your config file is at
~/.gitconfig, you may want to use the
~/.gitignore location instead of that in the example above.
Once you’ve added this configuration, all you need to do is create a file at the configured location with the ignore rules you want applied to all projects.
My global ignore file currently looks like:
.python-version # Config for local Python environment with pyenv .DS_Store # Cruft created by macOS .ipynb_checkpoints # Working directory created by Jupyter
The editor I use, Neovim, does not create temporary files in the working
directory, however others do. IntelliJ and related tools like PyCharm
.idea project directory inside the project repository, which I’d
recommend adding to your global git ignore.