git: what to do with untracked files

Adding untracked file to another branch

I’ve got a branch dev/branch with untracked files A, B.

I’m happy to delete or stash B but I’d like to add A to another branch test/branch.

How do I do that?


The easiest would have been if you were happy to stash them all. Then you could do git stash --all(which includes untracked and ignored files).


But, this has multiple parts.

1. let’s get rid of B

If we don’t know what to do with B, e.g. you don’t have time to look at it, then stash it. Otherwise, delete it.

  • stash:

git add B; git stash

  • delete:

rm B

2. let’s move A to test/branch

git checkout test/branch

git add A




Current docs say working directory but, as of 2.9.1, will read working tree.


Ignore untracked files

I’ve got a feature branch with a custom entry in .gitignore to ignore *.out.

However, I now checkout masterand find I’ve got a whole load of untracked files.

I don’t want to add it to the global .gitignore as I don’t want to change the behaviour for other developers.

Neat trick: add it to .git/info/exclude which acts as a local .gitignore.


Note: if you just want to temporarily exclude a file you can use:

git update-index --assume-unchanged <file>



RANT: I’m so sick of having to think about making my gitrepo clean again. I actually used to take a copy of the directory so I could just blast away the directory if I suspected I was going to end up in a messy git state.

Even git reset hard HEAD (I can’t even remember (or be bothered) trying to check I’ve got the right syntax) ) doesn’t always work – e.g. if you’ve got untracked files you’ve still got to remove them manually.

I finally tracked down the code to completely reset your git repo – the short and intuitive:

git reset --hard && git clean -dfx

Or if you have zsh then simply:


Way to go!


git rebase: CONFLICT

git rebase master
First, rewinding head to replay your work on top of it…
Applying: using feature branch for now
Applying: building from feature branch
Using index info to reconstruct a base tree…
M file/A
Falling back to patching base and 3-way merge…
Auto-merging file/A
CONFLICT (content): Merge conflict in file/A
error: Failed to merge in the changes.
Patch failed at 0002 building from feature branch
Use ‘git am –show-current-patch’ to see the failed patch

Resolve all conflicts manually, mark them as resolved with
“git add/rm <conflicted_files>”, then run “git rebase –continue”.
You can instead skip this commit: run “git rebase –skip”.
To abort and get back to the state before “git rebase”, run “git rebase –abort”.