What are the differences between .gitignore and .gitkeep?

What are the differences between .gitignore and .gitkeep?

What are the differences between .gitignore and .gitkeep? Are they the same thing with a different name, or do they both serve a different function?

I don't seem to be able to find much documentation on .gitkeep.



.gitkeep isn’t documented, because it’s not a feature of Git.

Git cannot add a completely empty directory. People who want to track empty directories in Git have created the convention of putting files called .gitkeep in these directories. The file could be called anything; Git assigns no special significance to this name.

There is a competing convention of adding a .gitignore file to the empty directories to get them tracked, but some people see this as confusing since the goal is to keep the empty directories, not ignore them; .gitignore is also used to list files that should be ignored by Git when looking for untracked files.


Wouldn't it be a better solution to put a README file in the otherwise empty subdirectory that contains a bit of information about what that subdirectory is going to be used for? It seems confusing to have a file called .gitkeep that is not actually part of git. – tamouse Jul 14 '12 at 21:45


@tamouse many times, the path of the empty directory (e.g. names of the folders) is sufficient to express it's purpose (examples: templates/cache, upload/thumbs etc). In these cases putting a readme into each of these feels redundant. – Halil Özgür Jan 31 '13 at 8:33




is a text file comprising a list of files in your directory that git will ignore or not add/update in the repository.


Since Git removes or doesn't add empty directories to a repository, .gitkeep is sort of a hack (I don't think it's officially named as a part of Git) to keep empty directories in the repository.

Just do a touch /path/to/emptydirectory/.gitkeep to add the file, and Git will now be able to maintain this directory in the repository.




posted @ 2021-07-13 18:11  ChuckLu  阅读(11)  评论(0编辑  收藏  举报