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How can I globally ignore files?

This has been something that has plagued me for years and I’ve never sat down to properly fix it.

Instead, I’ve just added .DS_Store to .gitignore files probably over one hundred times by over.

Anyway, the git documentation mentions the existence of a variable called core.excludesFile.

If you don’t set it, and $XDG_CONFIG_HOME isn’t overridden, you can add global ignores to $HOME/.config/git/ignore.

Let’s see this in action. First we’ll make a brand new Git repository and add a .DS_Store file.

> mkdir sports
> cd sports
> git init
Initialized empty Git repository in /Users/marcus/Code/sports/.git/
> touch .DS_Store
> git status
On branch main

No commits yet

Untracked files:
  (use "git add <file>..." to include in what will be committed)
	.DS_Store

nothing added to commit but untracked files present (use "git add" to track)

Ah yes, the perpetual hell but let’s try out our new trick.

> echo ".DS_Store" >> ~/.config/git/ignore
> git status
On branch main

No commits yet

nothing to commit (create/copy files and use "git add" to track)

Mwah, beautiful.