The Mercurial system uses a file called .hgignore in the root directory of a repository to control its behavior when it searches for files that it is not currently tracking.
The working directory of a Mercurial repository will often contain files that should not be tracked by Mercurial. These include backup files created by editors and build products created by compilers. These files can be ignored by listing them in a .hgignore file in the root of the working directory. The .hgignore file must be created manually. It is typically put under version control, so that the settings will propagate to other repositories with push and pull.
An untracked file is ignored if its path relative to the repository root directory, or any prefix path of that path, is matched against any pattern in .hgignore.
For example, say we have an an untracked file, file.c, at a/b/file.c inside our repository. Mercurial will ignore file.c if any pattern in .hgignore matches a/b/file.c, a/b or a.
In addition, a Mercurial configuration file can reference a set of per-user or global ignore files. See the hgrc(5) man page for details of how to configure these files. Look for the "ignore" entry in the "ui" section.
To control Mercurial's handling of files that it manages, see the hg(1) man page. Look for the "-I" and "-X" options.
An ignore file is a plain text file consisting of a list of patterns, with one pattern per line. Empty lines are skipped. The "#" character is treated as a comment character, and the "\" character is treated as an escape character.
Mercurial supports several pattern syntaxes. The default syntax used is Python/Perl-style regular expressions.
To change the syntax used, use a line of the following form:
where NAME is one of the following:
The chosen syntax stays in effect when parsing all patterns that follow, until another syntax is selected.
Neither glob nor regexp patterns are rooted. A glob-syntax pattern of the form "*.c" will match a file ending in ".c" in any directory, and a regexp pattern of the form "\.c$" will do the same. To root a regexp pattern, start it with "^".
Here is an example ignore file.
# use glob syntax. syntax: glob
*.elc *.pyc *~
# switch to regexp syntax. syntax: regexp ^\.pc/
Vadim Gelfer <m[blue]email@example.com>
Mercurial was written by Matt Mackall <m[blue]firstname.lastname@example.org>.
This manual page is copyright 2006 Vadim Gelfer. Mercurial is copyright 2005-2009 Matt Mackall. Free use of this software is granted under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).