I have find command that display files in my project:

find . -type f -not -path './node_modules*' -a -not -path '*.git*' \
       -a -not -path './coverage*' -a -not -path './bower_components*' \
       -a -not -name '*~'

How can I filter the files so it don't show the ones that are in .gitignore?

I thought that I use:

while read file; do
    grep $file .gitignore > /dev/null && echo $file;

but .gitignore file can have glob patterns (also it will not work with paths if file is in .gitignore), How can I filter files based on patterns that may have globs?


git provides git-check-ignore to check whether a file is excluded by .gitignore.

So you could use:

find . -type f -not -path './node_modules*' \
       -a -not -path '*.git*'               \
       -a -not -path './coverage*'          \
       -a -not -path './bower_components*'  \
       -a -not -name '*~'                   \
       -exec sh -c '
         for f do
           git check-ignore -q "$f" ||
           printf '%s\n' "$f"
       ' find-sh {} +

Note that you would pay big cost for this because the check was performed for each file.

  • What is find-sh {} + at the end? – jcubic Apr 11 '17 at 10:57
  • @jcubic see unix.stackexchange.com/q/12902/38906 – cuonglm Apr 11 '17 at 10:58
  • Ok, and what's find-sh? – jcubic Apr 11 '17 at 11:04
  • @jcubic it's the name you gave for inline-sh script, so in case error occurs, you would have an meaningful error message – cuonglm Apr 11 '17 at 11:07
  • @jcubic Try find /tmp -exec sh -c ': "${non_existed_var:?foo}"' find-sh {} + for example – cuonglm Apr 11 '17 at 11:12

there is a git command for doing exactly this: e.g.

my_git_repo % git grep --line-number TODO                                                                                         
desktop/includes/controllers/user_applications.sh:126:  # TODO try running this without sudo
desktop/includes/controllers/web_tools.sh:52:   TODO: detail the actual steps here:
desktop/includes/controllers/web_tools.sh:57:   TODO: check if, at this point, the menurc file exists. i.e. it  was created

As you stated, it will do a basic grep will most of the normal grep options, but it will not search .git or any of the files or folders in your .gitignore file.
For more details, see man git-grep


If you have other git repos inside this git repo, (they should be in submodules) then you can use the flag --recurse-submodules to search in the submodules as well

  • Great, it almost work because I have other git repos inside current directory, that's why I have "*.git". – jcubic Apr 11 '17 at 10:53

To show files that are in your checkout and that are tracked by Git, use

$ git ls-files

This command has a number of options for showing, e.g. cached files, untracked files, modified files, ignored files etc. See git ls-files --help.

  • I also think about git ls-files but don't think it has option to show untracked files, which one? – cuonglm Apr 11 '17 at 10:41
  • 1
    @cuonglm -o (other). E.g., git ls-files -o -X .gitignore – Kusalananda Apr 11 '17 at 10:42
  • Ah yes, but can't handle the case where the file was tracked before but include in .gitignore. – cuonglm Apr 11 '17 at 10:47
  • Minor note: this does not list the actual files from the system but the files included in the git history. This can be a subtle difference on case-insensitive systems (e.g. Windows shares). Say, I committed ./foo.txt but then rename it to ./Foo.txt. Some git clients will not recognize this change and git ls-files outputs ./foo.txt while find would output ./Foo.txt – Griddo Aug 29 '17 at 8:07

You can use an array in which bash glob will be performed.

Having files like this :

touch file1 file2 file3 some more file here

And having an ignore file like this

cat <<EOF >ignore


arr=($(cat ignore));declare -p arr

Will result to this:

declare -a arr='([0]="file" [1]="file1" [2]="file2" [3]="file3" [4]="here")'

You can then use any technique to manipulate those data.

I personally prefer something like this:

awk 'NR==FNR{a[$1];next}(!($1 in a))'  <(printf '%s\n' "${arr[@]}") <(find . -type f -printf %f\\n)
  • gitignore is superset of bash glob, you will miss for something like !file* – cuonglm Apr 11 '17 at 10:29
  • @cuonglm What do you mean by !file* ? As a glob pattern in ignore file or as a filename? – George Vasiliou Apr 11 '17 at 10:37
  • gitignore accept file pattern like !file* to exclude files start with file, and also double star ** – cuonglm Apr 11 '17 at 10:39
  • .gitignore has a bunch of features, all of which might not be that easy to implement directly in Bash: git-scm.com/docs/gitignore . Though ignores consisting of just simple globs should be doable in plain Bash, without awk or such – ilkkachu Apr 11 '17 at 10:42
  • @cuonglm You mean translation of ! as not ? Maybe extended globing can handle this situation. About doublestar , bash can handle it with shopt -s globstar. – George Vasiliou Apr 11 '17 at 10:43

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