Why doesn't Git ignore my specified file?


I added the following line to .gitignore:


but when I type git status it shows the file as unstaged file.

What's the problem? All other patterns work well.


Make sure that your .gitignore is in the root of the working directory, and in that directory run git status and copy the path to the file from the status output and paste it into the .gitignore.

If that doesn’t work, then it’s likely that your file is already tracked by Git. You can confirm this through the output of git status. If the file is not listed in the “Untracked files” section, then it is already tracked by Git and it will ignore the rule from the .gitignore file.

The reason to ignore files in Git is so that they won't be added to the repository. If you previously added a file you want to be ignored, then it will be tracked by Git and the ignore rules matching it will be skipped. Git does this since the file is already part of the repository.

In order to actually ignore the file, you have to untrack it and remove it from the repository. You can do that by using git rm --cached sites/default/settings.php. This removes the file from the repository without physically deleting the file (that’s what the --cached does). After committing that change, the file will be removed from the repository, and ignoring it should work properly.

As pointed out by @display-name below, sometimes it's neccessary to do a git add . after the git rm --cached to properly rebuild the index.

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