Git --fast-version-control
Topics ▾ Version 2.6.2 ▾ git-ls-files last updated in 2.6.2


git-ls-files - Show information about files in the index and the working tree


git ls-files [-z] [-t] [-v]
		[-x <pattern>|--exclude=<pattern>]
		[-X <file>|--exclude-from=<file>]
		[--error-unmatch] [--with-tree=<tree-ish>]
		[--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 (i.e. untracked) files in the output


Show only ignored files in the output. When showing files in the index, print only those matched by an exclude pattern. When showing "other" files, show only those matched by an exclude pattern.


Show staged contents' object name, mode bits and stage number 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.

-x <pattern>

Skip untracked files matching pattern. Note that pattern is a shell wildcard pattern. See EXCLUDE PATTERNS below for more information.

-X <file>

Read exclude patterns from <file>; 1 per line.


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


Add the standard Git exclusions: .git/info/exclude, .gitignore in each directory, and the user’s global exclusion file.


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


When using --error-unmatch to expand the user supplied <file> (i.e. path pattern) arguments to paths, pretend that paths which were removed in the index since the named <tree-ish> are still present. Using this option with -s or -u options does not make any sense.


This feature is semi-deprecated. For scripting purpose, git-status[1] --porcelain and git-diff-files[1] --name-status are almost always superior alternatives, and users should look at git-status[1] --short or git-diff[1] --name-status for more user-friendly alternatives.

This option identifies 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 assume unchanged (see git-update-index[1]).


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 a partial prefix. Non default number of digits can be specified with --abbrev=<n>.


After each line that describes a file, add more data about its cache entry. This is intended to show as much information as possible for manual inspection; the exact format may change at any time.


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.


git ls-files just outputs the filenames 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/SHA-1 pair, the index 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[1] 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. gitignore[5] specifies the format of exclude patterns.

These exclude patterns come from these places, in order:

  1. The command-line flag --exclude=<pattern> specifies a single pattern. Patterns are ordered in the same order they appear in the command line.

  2. The command-line flag --exclude-from=<file> specifies a file containing a list of patterns. Patterns are ordered in the same order they appear in the file.

  3. The command-line flag --exclude-per-directory=<name> specifies a name of the file in each directory git ls-files examines, normally .gitignore. Files in deeper directories take precedence. Patterns are ordered in the same order they appear in the files.

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.


Part of the git[1] suite