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Removing untracked files

From: Git Essential Training

Video: Removing untracked files

To finish up our discussion of how we can undo changes that we've made, I want to look at a relatively simple one which is how we can remove untracked files from our working directory. The idea is that if we have a lot of files that have been added to our working directory that are not tracked that we don't want, we just want to get rid of them, is there an easy way that we can do that? We certainly could go through and just delete them one by one, but Git gives us a quick and easy way to just tell all those files that should be thrown away. So specially if you have things like log files, zipped directories, compiled code, things like that that you don't want in your Repo, and you'd like to get them out of your working directory too.

Removing untracked files

To finish up our discussion of how we can undo changes that we've made, I want to look at a relatively simple one which is how we can remove untracked files from our working directory. The idea is that if we have a lot of files that have been added to our working directory that are not tracked that we don't want, we just want to get rid of them, is there an easy way that we can do that? We certainly could go through and just delete them one by one, but Git gives us a quick and easy way to just tell all those files that should be thrown away. So specially if you have things like log files, zipped directories, compiled code, things like that that you don't want in your Repo, and you'd like to get them out of your working directory too.

We can get rid all of those by using the git clean command. Let's start by just creating some simple files. So we'll go into TextMate, and let's just make a new file, put Junk in it, and we'll save it, and we'll call it junk1, we'll put on the Desktop and then let's do a Save As, and we're going to call this one junk2, and then let's do Save As one more time, make this one junk3. So we'll close that up. We've now got these three junk files, we're going to add all of these to our working directory. So now when I do git status you'll see that they show up there as untracked files.

What we want to do is get rid of them. And the way that we just say throw them away is with git clean, and git clean on its own won't actually do anything. They will come and say you know what I need either a -n or a -f option. - in is a test run, so let's try that first, git clean -n, and it comes up and it says would not remove the folder explorers. Don't worry about that, we'll talk more about directories later. It says that it would remove junk1.txt, junk2, and junk3.txt, so it tells us the files that it would remove. That's what the -n option does.

git clean -f forces it to run, and essentially we have to add this extra flag to it because it is going to be destructive, it is going to throw away anything that is not in our repository. However, if we have something in our staging directory, junk1.txt like that, now if we run git clean -f, it did remove junk2 and junk3, but it did not remove junk1.

Junk1 is in our staging index, not in our working directory, so it didn't get thrown out. git reset HEAD on junk1.txt, now if we do git clean with the -f option, it throws it away as well, git status is empty. And we take a look, and we can see that all three of those files have been thrown away. So git clean is pretty simple, especially compared with all the work that we were doing with different kinds of resets. It has one simple purpose, which is just to throw away the untracked files.

Now be careful when using it, because of course it does destructively throw away these files. They're not stored in our Repo, they're not stored in our staging index. If we throw them out of the working directory, they're not stored there either, and they're not stored in your trashcan, they're just going to be permanently deleted.

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This video is part of

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Git Essential Training

89 video lessons · 30292 viewers

Kevin Skoglund
Author

 
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  1. 2m 46s
    1. Introduction
      1m 7s
    2. How to use the exercise files
      1m 39s
  2. 20m 24s
    1. Understanding version control
      4m 48s
    2. The history of Git
      7m 58s
    3. About distributed version control
      5m 4s
    4. Who should use Git?
      2m 34s
  3. 26m 12s
    1. Installing Git on a Mac
      3m 44s
    2. Installing Git on Windows
      5m 37s
    3. Installing Git on Linux
      1m 30s
    4. Configuring Git
      7m 29s
    5. Exploring Git auto-completion
      5m 35s
    6. Using Git help
      2m 17s
  4. 15m 49s
    1. Initializing a repository
      1m 58s
    2. Understanding where Git files are stored
      2m 34s
    3. Performing your first commit
      2m 4s
    4. Writing commit messages
      5m 22s
    5. Viewing the commit log
      3m 51s
  5. 17m 44s
    1. Exploring the three-trees architecture
      3m 57s
    2. The Git workflow
      3m 15s
    3. Using hash values (SHA-1)
      4m 7s
    4. Working with the HEAD pointer
      6m 25s
  6. 25m 52s
    1. Adding files
      5m 59s
    2. Editing files
      3m 56s
    3. Viewing changes with diff
      3m 35s
    4. Viewing only staged changes
      2m 28s
    5. Deleting files
      5m 29s
    6. Moving and renaming files
      4m 25s
  7. 19m 18s
    1. Introducing the Explore California web site
      2m 2s
    2. Initializing Git
      3m 48s
    3. Editing the support phone number
      6m 20s
    4. Editing the backpack file name and links
      7m 8s
  8. 38m 45s
    1. Undoing working directory changes
      3m 49s
    2. Unstaging files
      2m 37s
    3. Amending commits
      4m 50s
    4. Retrieving old versions
      4m 7s
    5. Reverting a commit
      3m 12s
    6. Using reset to undo commits
      3m 44s
    7. Demonstrating a soft reset
      4m 8s
    8. Demonstrating a mixed reset
      4m 7s
    9. Demonstrating a hard reset
      5m 8s
    10. Removing untracked files
      3m 3s
  9. 27m 22s
    1. Using .gitignore files
      8m 23s
    2. Understanding what to ignore
      4m 47s
    3. Ignoring files globally
      4m 49s
    4. Ignoring tracked files
      5m 26s
    5. Tracking empty directories
      3m 57s
  10. 26m 51s
    1. Referencing commits
      4m 52s
    2. Exploring tree listings
      3m 46s
    3. Getting more from the commit log
      7m 38s
    4. Viewing commits
      4m 4s
    5. Comparing commits
      6m 31s
  11. 39m 35s
    1. Branching overview
      4m 56s
    2. Viewing and creating branches
      2m 57s
    3. Switching branches
      2m 58s
    4. Creating and switching branches
      4m 53s
    5. Switching branches with uncommitted changes
      3m 26s
    6. Comparing branches
      4m 28s
    7. Renaming branches
      2m 28s
    8. Deleting branches
      4m 18s
    9. Configuring the command prompt to show the branch
      9m 11s
  12. 28m 32s
    1. Merging code
      3m 11s
    2. Using fast-forward merge vs. true merge
      6m 49s
    3. Merging conflicts
      7m 26s
    4. Resolving merge conflicts
      7m 5s
    5. Exploring strategies to reduce merge conflicts
      4m 1s
  13. 14m 34s
    1. Saving changes in the stash
      4m 5s
    2. Viewing stashed changes
      2m 39s
    3. Retrieving stashed changes
      4m 24s
    4. Deleting stashed changes
      3m 26s
  14. 1h 5m
    1. Using local and remote repositories
      6m 38s
    2. Setting up a GitHub account
      5m 39s
    3. Adding a remote repository
      4m 0s
    4. Creating a remote branch
      4m 3s
    5. Cloning a remote repository
      4m 26s
    6. Tracking remote branches
      4m 5s
    7. Pushing changes to a remote repository
      5m 8s
    8. Fetching changes from a remote repository
      5m 47s
    9. Merging in fetched changes
      4m 50s
    10. Checking out remote branches
      3m 22s
    11. Pushing to an updated remote branch
      2m 6s
    12. Deleting a remote branch
      3m 8s
    13. Enabling collaboration
      3m 40s
    14. A collaboration workflow
      8m 43s
  15. 16m 23s
    1. Setting up aliases for common commands
      5m 14s
    2. Using SSH keys for remote login
      2m 56s
    3. Exploring integrated development environments
      1m 4s
    4. Exploring graphical user interfaces
      4m 32s
    5. Understanding Git hosting
      2m 37s
  16. 55s
    1. Goodbye
      55s

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