#gitignore #ignore

app fts_gitignore_nuke

CLI tool to find files hidden by .gitignore files so they can be deleted

5 releases

0.1.5 Jun 21, 2020
0.1.4 Jun 15, 2020
0.1.2 Jun 7, 2020
0.1.1 Jun 7, 2020
0.1.0 May 30, 2020

#915 in Command line utilities

36 downloads per month

Unlicense OR MIT

467 lines


fts_gitignore_nuke is a Rust-written CLI tool to find files and folders hidden by .gitignore files so they can be deleted.

This is useful because it allows deleting build output from many projects in one action. All operations are performed manually and git is never invoked. This is because .gitignore files are increasingly used in contexts outside Git. For example Mercurial, perforce or custom tooling may leverage .gitignore files.

Why Create This?

You may be wondering. Why make this at all? Why not run something like git clean -dX? That works, but only in some cases. fts_gitignore_nuke is motivated by a set of requirements.

  1. Delete files across many source repos at once.
  2. Delete files inside Git, Mercurial, and Perforce repos.
  3. Delete files within a monorepo.
  4. Support Windows, macOS, and Linux.

There's no existing tool that supports all my requirements. At home I have dozens of Git repos. At work I have a Mercurial monorepo plus Perforce. I want one tool to rule them all. One simple cmdline invocation that works across all of my personal use cases.

For more information refer to my blog post: Using Rust to Delete Gitignored Cruft.


fts_gitignore_nuke can currently be installed via cargo install fts_gitignore_nuke.


Compile fts_gitignore_nuke and run from or on any directory. No files will be deleted without explicit user inputs.

Default behavior starts from the current directory and tests all children. .gitignore files are stacked and evaluated in LIFO order.

Default behavior does NOT include parent or .gitignore files. Both can be included with --include_parent_ignores and --include_global_ignore respectively.

Deletes files hidden by .gitignore files

    fts_gitignore_nuke.exe [FLAGS] [OPTIONS]

    -b, --benchmark                Auto-quit after walking directory
    -h, --help                     Prints help information
        --include-global-ignore    Include global .gitignore for matches
        --print-errors             Prints errors if encountered
        --print-glob-matches       Prints which glob and which .gitignore matched each path
    -V, --version                  Prints version information

    -d, --directory <directory>            Root directory to start search
        --min-file-size <min-file-size>    Minimum size, in bytes, to nuke [default: 0]
        --num-threads <num-threads>        Number of threads to use. Default: num physical cores
    -r, --root <root>                      Include .gitignores between root and target directory


fts_gitignore_nuke should work for Window, macOS, and Linux. It was written primarily for my personal Windows based use cases. It may require slight modification to support different environments or workflows. Pull requests welcome!


fts_gitignore_nuke is relatively fast and multithreaded by default. Disk IO is an unavoidable bottleneck.

Question: Can I keep important local files, such as private keys, that are not added to source control?


In addition to .gitignore files, fts_gitignore_nuke will also look for .gitnuke files. A .gitnuke file is loaded exactly as a regular .gitignore file. Expected user behavior is for .gitnuke files to contain whitelist patterns (example: !foo.privatekey or !/LocalContent) for files and folders that are not part of a Git repo but should not be nuked. Examples of such content are private keys, local content, or expensive build artifacts.

When matching a path fts_gitignore_nuke will run through all hierarchical .gitnuke files and then all .gitignore files. This means that every .gitnuke file has higher precedence than every .gitignore file.

As always, please carefully review the list of files to be deleted before nuking them.


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