git-ls-files [-z] [-t] [-v] (--[cached|deleted|others|ignored|stage|unmerged|killed|modified])\* (-[c|d|o|i|s|u|k|m])\* [-x <pattern>|--exclude=<pattern>] [-X <file>|--exclude-from=<file>] [--exclude-per-directory=<file>] [--error-unmatch] [--full-name] [--abbrev] [--] [<file>]\*


This merges the file listing in the directory cache index with the actual working directory list, and shows different combinations of the two.

One or more of the options below may be used to determine the files shown:



Show cached files in the output (default)


Show deleted files in the output


Show modified files in the output


Show other files in the output


Show ignored files in the output Note the this also reverses any exclude list present.


Show stage files in the output


If a whole directory is classified as "other", show just its name (with a trailing slash) and not its whole contents.


Do not list empty directories. Has no effect without --directory.


Show unmerged files in the output (forces --stage)


Show files on the filesystem that need to be removed due to file/directory conflicts for checkout-index to succeed.


\0 line termination on output.


Skips files matching pattern. Note that pattern is a shell wildcard pattern.


exclude patterns are read from <file>; 1 per line.


read additional exclude patterns that apply only to the directory and its subdirectories in <file>.


If any <file> does not appear in the index, treat this as an error (return 1).


Identify the file status with the following tags (followed by a space) at the start of each line:










to be killed




Similar to -t, but use lowercase letters for files that are marked as always matching index.


When run from a subdirectory, the command usually outputs paths relative to the current directory. This option forces paths to be output relative to the project top directory.


Instead of showing the full 40-byte hexadecimal object lines, show only handful hexdigits prefix. Non default number of digits can be specified with --abbrev=<n>.


Do not interpret any more arguments as options.


Files to show. If no files are given all files which match the other specified criteria are shown.


show files just outputs the filename unless --stage is specified in which case it outputs:

[<tag> ]<mode> <object> <stage> <file>

"git-ls-files --unmerged" and "git-ls-files --stage" can be used to examine detailed information on unmerged paths.

For an unmerged path, instead of recording a single mode/SHA1 pair, the dircache records up to three such pairs; one from tree O in stage 1, A in stage 2, and B in stage 3. This information can be used by the user (or the porcelain) to see what should eventually be recorded at the path. (see git-read-tree for more information on state)

When -z option is not used, TAB, LF, and backslash characters in pathnames are represented as \t, \n, and \\, respectively.

Exclude Patterns

git-ls-files can use a list of "exclude patterns" when traversing the directory tree and finding files to show when the flags --others or --ignored are specified.

These exclude patterns come from these places:

  1. command line flag --exclude=<pattern> specifies a single pattern.

  2. command line flag --exclude-from=<file> specifies a list of patterns stored in a file.

  3. command line flag --exclude-per-directory=<name> specifies a name of the file in each directory git-ls-files examines, and if exists, its contents are used as an additional list of patterns.

An exclude pattern file used by (2) and (3) contains one pattern per line. A line that starts with a # can be used as comment for readability.

There are three lists of patterns that are in effect at a given time. They are built and ordered in the following way:

Each pattern in the pattern list specifies "a match pattern" and optionally the fate; either a file that matches the pattern is considered excluded or included. A filename is matched against the patterns in the three lists; the --exclude-from list is checked first, then the --exclude-per-directory list, and then finally the --exclude list. The last match determines its fate. If there is no match in the three lists, the fate is "included".

A pattern specified on the command line with --exclude or read from the file specified with --exclude-from is relative to the top of the directory tree. A pattern read from a file specified by --exclude-per-directory is relative to the directory that the pattern file appears in.

An exclude pattern is of the following format:

An example:

    $ cat .git/info/exclude
    # ignore objects and archives, anywhere in the tree.
    $ cat Documentation/.gitignore
    # ignore generated html files,
    # except foo.html which is maintained by hand
    $ git-ls-files --ignored \
        --exclude='Documentation/*.[0-9]' \
        --exclude-from=.git/info/exclude \

Another example:

    $ cat .gitignore
    $ ls arch/foo/kernel/vm*
    $ echo '!/vmlinux*' >arch/foo/kernel/.gitignore

The second .gitignore keeps arch/foo/kernel/ file from getting ignored.

See Also



Written by Linus Torvalds <>


Documentation by David Greaves, Junio C Hamano and the git-list <>.


Part of the gitlink:git[7] suite