Repository-Specific Ignored Files in Git

Have you ever been working in a Git repository and wanted Git commands like git status to ignore certain files, but you didn't want to contaminate the project's .gitignore file with your specific ignore rules? Well, with .git/info/exclude, you can!

Let's say you want to ignore a file called notes. I do this a lot, because I don't like polluting the revision history when I make changes to notes I have about a project.

Instead of doing this:

echo notes >> .gitignore

do this:

echo notes >> .git/info/exclude

.git/info/exclude is never shared between repositories, so you can keep some files to yourself without the extra output from git status and friends.

You can also add ignore patterns specific to your computer using ~/.gitconfig; simply add the following (or something like it):

  excludesfile = /home/myuser/.gitignore

Now /home/myuser/.gitignore will also be consulted for ignore patterns.

Published on 2011-10-19