How to create a .gitignore file
I need to add some rules to my
.gitignore file. However, I can't find it in my project folder. Isn't it created automatically by Xcode? If not, what command allows me to create one?
If you're using Windows it will not let you create a file without a filename in Windows Explorer. It will give you the error "You must type a file name" if you try to rename a text file as .gitignore
To get around this I used the following steps
- Create the text file gitignore.txt
- Open it in a text editor and add your rules, then save and close
- Hold SHIFT, right click the folder you're in, then select Open command window here
- Then rename the file in the command line, with
ren gitignore.txt .gitignore
Alternatively @HenningCash suggests in the comments
You can get around this Windows Explorer error by appending a dot to the filename without extension: .gitignore. will be automatically changed to .gitignore
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As simple as things can (sometimes) be: Just add the following into your preferred command line interface (GNU Bash, Git Bash, etc.)
As @Wardy pointed out in the comments,
touch works on Windows as well as long as you provide the full path. This might also explain why it does not work for some users on Windows: The
touch command seems to not be in the
$PATH on some Windows versions per default.
C:\> "c:\program files (x86)\git\bin\touch.exe" .gitignore
The easiest way to create the .gitignore file in Windows Explorer is to create a new file named
This will skip the validation of having a file extension, since is actually has an empty file extension.
The .gitignore file is not added to a repository by default. Use vi or your favorite text editor to create the .gitignore file then issue a
git add .gitignore followed by
git commit -m "message" .gitignore. The following commands will take care of it.
> .gitignore git add .gitignore git commit -m "message" .gitignore
========== In Windows ==========
- Open Notepad.
- Add the contents of your gitignore file.
- Click "Save as" and select "all files".
- Save as
======== Easy peasy! No command line required! ========
MacOS / Linux one-liner
An easy way to get a default git ignore without messing about with create/copy/paste is to use the
curl command from the terminal. First
cd into your projects root directory and then run the command by replacing
MY_API_NAME with your API name from one of the following two sources:
curl -o .gitignore https://www.gitignore.io/api/MY_API_NAME
You can find your API name by searching from the list here and clicking Generate.
curl -o .gitignore https://www.gitignore.io/api/java
Alternatively you can use the ones at GitHub. Find the filename for your API here.
curl -o .gitignore https://raw.githubusercontent.com/github/gitignore/master/MY_API_NAME.gitignore
curl -o .gitignore https://raw.githubusercontent.com/github/gitignore/master/Java.gitignore
Here are some similar alternatives for Windows.
But honestly setting that up looks like more trouble that it is worth. If I had Windows then I would just create an empty file called
.gitignore in my project's root folder and then copy and paste the default text from gitignore.io or GitHub.