Why does glob pattern with double asterisk not match anything in subdirectories?

I’m trying to write a .gitignore rule to exclude some files in a particular directory that has multiple levels of subdirectories.

The folder structure looks something like this:

│ ├─source
│ │ ├─.keepme
│ │ ├─183597.txt
│ │ ├─271129.txt
│ │ └─288833.txt
│ └─parsed
│   ├─.keepme
│   ├─183597.csv
│   ├─271129.csv
│   └─288833.csv
│ └─(...)


I would like to keep the .keepme files (so that Git saves the directory structure), so I figure I’ll write a rule to match anything under out that matches the pattern ?*.*:


However, this does not match any files.

I thought that ** will match any number of subdirectories; why is this not working?

I’m running Git 1.8 in Bash 4.2 on a Fedora 18 VM.

  • Using .gitignore to ignore everything but specific directories
  • gitignore file type within root directory only
  • Regex-like shell glob patterns for gitignore
  • Using two asterisks to add a file in git
  • What pattern does .gitignore follow?
  • git log for commits matching branch or tag glob
  • Recursively add files by pattern
  • Git Glob syntax: ignoring files everywhere or in a specific folder
  • 2 Solutions collect form web for “Why does glob pattern with double asterisk not match anything in subdirectories?”

    First, make sure you are using Git 1.8.2 or up, since that’s when ** support was introduced.

    It sounds like you’re trying to exclude .keepme files by matching *.*. However, since * matches zero or more characters, it matches the empty string in front of the period in .keepme, including this file as well.

    Maybe you intended it to work like out/**/?*.*

    If you’d like to match all non-dotfiles, you can use out/**/[!.]* which will also include filenames without periods in them, like Makefile.

    I think that other guy’s answer is a good lead. The pattern out/**/[!.]*.*, which should match everything that contains a period and does not start with a period, also works in my test in bash, Arch Linux:

    $ find * -type f
    $ cat .gitignore
    $ git init && git add -A && git status --ignored
    # On branch master
    # Initial commit
    # Changes to be committed:
    #   (use "git rm --cached <file>..." to unstage)
    #   new file:   .gitignore
    #   new file:   out/a/parsed/.keepme
    #   new file:   out/a/source/.keepme
    # Ignored files:
    #   (use "git add -f <file>..." to include in what will be committed)
    #   out/a/parsed/1231222.csv
    #   out/a/parsed/5675675.csv
    #   out/a/parsed/9593343.csv
    #   out/a/source/1312312.txt
    #   out/a/source/4232352.txt
    #   out/a/source/4234234.txt

    EDIT: It seems this actually doesn’t work in the git bash bundled with the Windows version of git, there none of the above files are ignored by this .gitignore.

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