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Pimp My Git – Generate Content for .gitignore From the Scratch

When I start a new Git repository, I lose a lot of time to set up my .gitignore file and normally, I don’t match everything on the first shoot. Fortunately, there exists some tools, that help to bootstrapping it. I’d like to show two of them. One is a website that can be used on the command line and the another is a plugin for the IDE IntelliJ IDEA.


There is a website that lists the common ignore pattern for you specific programming language, tool, IDE etc.
The usage is very simple: Fill the search with names of  tools, framework, programming language etc, which you want to use in your Git project, and the website generates the content for your .gitignore file.

You can also run from your command line. Therefore, you need an active internet connection and an environment function. I’ll demonstrate the integration of in zsh. For the integration in other shells or clients, please look into the documentation.

Firstly, we have to create a function gi in our ~/.zshrc:

echo "function gi() { curl -L -s\$@ ;}" >> ~/.zshrc && source ~/.zshrc

Now, we can use it on the command line.

$ gi java,maven # Preview of the content for .gitignore

# Created by,maven

### Java ###
# Compiled class file

# Log file

# BlueJ files

# Mobile Tools for Java (J2ME)

# Package Files #

# virtual machine crash logs, see

### Maven ###

# Avoid ignoring Maven wrapper jar file (.jar files are usually ignored)

# End of,maven

$ gi list # list currently available templates
.... furthermore

$ gi java,maven >> .gitignore # append the content in your project's .gitignore

IntelliJ IDEA Plugin – .ignore

There is a plugin for IntelliJ IDEA that helps creating .gitignore file with content for your selected tool, programming language etc. . At first you have to install the plugin .ignore (Go to File -> Settings -> Plugins and search for .ignore).

You can now create .gitignore file via the .ignore plugin. By the way, the plugin can also create ignore files for other tools like Docker or Mercurial. Then a file generator is opened and you can choose templates of tools, programming language etc that you will use in the Git project.A preview shows you the possible content. A click on Generate and you are ready.

Do you have other tips and tricks to boost the initialization time of a Git project? Share them and write a comment below.


  2. Website of .ignore