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ignore is a manager, filter and parser which implemented in pure JavaScript according to the .gitignore spec 2.22.1.

ignore is used by eslint, gitbook and many others.

Pay ATTENTION that minimatch (which used by fstream-ignore) does not follow the gitignore spec.

To filter filenames according to a .gitignore file, I recommend this npm package, ignore.

To parse an .npmignore file, you should use minimatch, because an .npmignore file is parsed by npm using minimatch and it does not work in the .gitignore way.

Tested on

ignore is fully tested, and has more than five hundreds of unit tests.

  • Linux + Node: 0.8 - 7.x
  • Windows + Node: 0.10 - 7.x, node < 0.10 is not tested due to the lack of support of appveyor.

Actually, ignore does not rely on any versions of node specially.

Since 4.0.0, ignore will no longer support node < 6 by default, to use in node < 6, require('ignore/legacy'). For details, see CHANGELOG.

Table Of Main Contents


npm i ignore


import ignore from 'ignore'
const ig = ignore().add(['.abc/*', '!.abc/d/'])

Filter the given paths

const paths = [
  '.abc/a.js',    // filtered out
  '.abc/d/e.js'   // included

ig.filter(paths)        // ['.abc/d/e.js']
ig.ignores('.abc/a.js') // true

As the filter function

paths.filter(ig.createFilter()); // ['.abc/d/e.js']

Win32 paths will be handled

ig.filter(['.abc\\a.js', '.abc\\d\\e.js'])
// if the code above runs on windows, the result will be
// ['.abc\\d\\e.js']

Why another ignore?

  • ignore is a standalone module, and is much simpler so that it could easy work with other programs, unlike isaacs's fstream-ignore which must work with the modules of the fstream family.

  • ignore only contains utility methods to filter paths according to the specified ignore rules, so

    • ignore never try to find out ignore rules by traversing directories or fetching from git configurations.
    • ignore don't cares about sub-modules of git projects.
  • Exactly according to gitignore man page, fixes some known matching issues of fstream-ignore, such as:

    • '/*.js' should only match 'a.js', but not 'abc/a.js'.
    • '**/foo' should match 'foo' anywhere.
    • Prevent re-including a file if a parent directory of that file is excluded.
    • Handle trailing whitespaces:
      • 'a '(one space) should not match 'a '(two spaces).
      • 'a \ ' matches 'a '
    • All test cases are verified with the result of git check-ignore.


.add(pattern: string | Ignore): this

.add(patterns: Array<string | Ignore>): this

  • pattern String | Ignore An ignore pattern string, or the Ignore instance
  • patterns Array<String | Ignore> Array of ignore patterns.

Adds a rule or several rules to the current manager.

Returns this

Notice that a line starting with '#'(hash) is treated as a comment. Put a backslash ('\') in front of the first hash for patterns that begin with a hash, if you want to ignore a file with a hash at the beginning of the filename.

ignore().add('#abc').ignores('#abc')    // false
ignore().add('\\#abc').ignores('#abc')   // true

pattern could either be a line of ignore pattern or a string of multiple ignore patterns, which means we could just ignore().add() the content of a ignore file:


pattern could also be an ignore instance, so that we could easily inherit the rules of another Ignore instance.


REMOVED in 3.x for now.

To upgrade ignore@2.x up to 3.x, use

import fs from 'fs'

if (fs.existsSync(filename)) {


.filter(paths: Array<Pathname>): Array<Pathname>

type Pathname = string

Filters the given array of pathnames, and returns the filtered array.

  • paths Array.<Pathname> The array of pathnames to be filtered.

Pathname Conventions:

1. Pathname should be a path.relative()d pathname

Pathname should be a string that have been path.join()ed, or the return value of path.relative() to the current directory,

// WRONG, an error will be thrown

// WRONG, for it will never happen, and an error will be thrown
// If the gitignore rule locates at the root directory,
// `'/abc'` should be changed to `'abc'`.
// ```
// path.relative('/', '/abc')  -> 'abc'
// ```

// WRONG, that it is an absolute path on Windows, an error will be thrown

// Right

// Right
ig.ignores(path.join('./abc'))  // path.join('./abc') -> 'abc'

In other words, each Pathname here should be a relative path to the directory of the gitignore rules.

Suppose the dir structure is:

    |-- a
    |   |-- a.js
    |-- .b
    |-- .c
         |-- .DS_store

Then the paths might be like this:


2. filenames and dirnames

node-ignore does NO fs.stat during path matching, so for the example below:

// First, we add a ignore pattern to ignore a directory

// `ig` does NOT know if 'config', in the real world,
//   is a normal file, directory or something.

// `ig` treats `config` as a file, so it returns `false`

// returns `true`

Specially for people who develop some library based on node-ignore, it is important to understand that.

Usually, you could use glob with option.mark = true to fetch the structure of the current directory:

import glob from 'glob'

glob('**', {
  // Adds a / character to directory matches.
  mark: true
}, (err, files) => {
  if (err) {
    return console.error(err)

  let filtered = ignore().add(patterns).filter(files)

.ignores(pathname: Pathname): boolean

new in 3.2.0

Returns Boolean whether pathname should be ignored.

ig.ignores('.abc/a.js')    // true


Creates a filter function which could filter an array of paths with Array.prototype.filter.

Returns function(path) the filter function.

.test(pathname: Pathname) since 5.0.0

Returns TestResult

interface TestResult {
  ignored: boolean
  // true if the `pathname` is finally unignored by some negative pattern
  unignored: boolean
  • {ignored: true, unignored: false}: the pathname is ignored
  • {ignored: false, unignored: true}: the pathname is unignored
  • {ignored: false, unignored: false}: the pathname is never matched by any ignore rules.

static ignore.isPathValid(pathname): boolean since 5.0.0

Check whether the pathname is an valid path.relative()d path according to the convention.

This method is NOT used to check if an ignore pattern is valid.

ignore.isPathValid('./foo')  // false


options.ignorecase since 4.0.0

Similar as the core.ignorecase option of git-config, node-ignore will be case insensitive if options.ignorecase is set to true (the default value), otherwise case sensitive.

const ig = ignore({
  ignorecase: false


ig.ignores('*.PNG')  // false

options.ignoreCase?: boolean since 5.2.0

Which is alternative to options.ignoreCase

options.allowRelativePaths?: boolean since 5.2.0

This option brings backward compatibility with projects which based on ignore@4.x. If options.allowRelativePaths is true, ignore will not check whether the given path to be tested is path.relative()d.

However, passing a relative path, such as './foo' or '../foo', to test if it is ignored or not is not a good practise, which might lead to unexpected behavior

  allowRelativePaths: true
}).ignores('../foo/bar.js') // And it will not throw

Upgrade Guide

Upgrade 4.x -> 5.x

Since 5.0.0, if an invalid Pathname passed into ig.ignores(), an error will be thrown, unless options.allowRelative = true is passed to the Ignore factory.

While ignore < 5.0.0 did not make sure what the return value was, as well as

.ignores(pathname: Pathname): boolean

.filter(pathnames: Array<Pathname>): Array<Pathname>

.createFilter(): (pathname: Pathname) => boolean

.test(pathname: Pathname): {ignored: boolean, unignored: boolean}

See the convention here for details.

If there are invalid pathnames, the conversion and filtration should be done by users.

import {isPathValid} from 'ignore' // introduced in 5.0.0

const paths = [
  // invalid

  // valid


Upgrade 3.x -> 4.x

Since 4.0.0, ignore will no longer support node < 6, to use ignore in node < 6:

var ignore = require('ignore/legacy')

Upgrade 2.x -> 3.x

  • All options of 2.x are unnecessary and removed, so just remove them.
  • ignore() instance is no longer an EventEmitter, and all events are unnecessary and removed.
  • .addIgnoreFile() is removed, see the .addIgnoreFile section for details.


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  • kael