man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: July 2014

git-add (1)


git-add - Add file contents to the index


git add [-n] [-v] [--force | -f] [--interactive | -i] [--patch | -p]
[--edit | -e] [--all | [--update | -u]] [--intent-to-add | -N]
[--refresh] [--ignore-errors] [--ignore-missing] [--]


Git Manual                                             GIT-ADD(1)

     git-add - Add file contents to the index

     git add [-n] [-v] [--force | -f] [--interactive | -i] [--patch | -p]
               [--edit | -e] [--all | [--update | -u]] [--intent-to-add | -N]
               [--refresh] [--ignore-errors] [--ignore-missing] [--]

     This command updates the index using the current content
     found in the working tree, to prepare the content staged for
     the next commit. It typically adds the current content of
     existing paths as a whole, but with some options it can also
     be used to add content with only part of the changes made to
     the working tree files applied, or remove paths that do not
     exist in the working tree anymore.

     The "index" holds a snapshot of the content of the working
     tree, and it is this snapshot that is taken as the contents
     of the next commit. Thus after making any changes to the
     working directory, and before running the commit command,
     you must use the add command to add any new or modified
     files to the index.

     This command can be performed multiple times before a
     commit. It only adds the content of the specified file(s) at
     the time the add command is run; if you want subsequent
     changes included in the next commit, then you must run git
     add again to add the new content to the index.

     The git status command can be used to obtain a summary of
     which files have changes that are staged for the next

     The git add command will not add ignored files by default.
     If any ignored files were explicitly specified on the
     command line, git add will fail with a list of ignored
     files. Ignored files reached by directory recursion or
     filename globbing performed by Git (quote your globs before
     the shell) will be silently ignored. The git add command can
     be used to add ignored files with the -f (force) option.

     Please see git-commit(1) for alternative ways to add content
     to a commit.

         Files to add content from. Fileglobs (e.g.  *.c) can be
         given to add all matching files. Also a leading
         directory name (e.g.  dir to add dir/file1 and

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Git Manual                                             GIT-ADD(1)

         dir/file2) can be given to add all files in the
         directory, recursively.

     -n, --dry-run
         Don't actually add the file(s), just show if they exist
         and/or will be ignored.

     -v, --verbose
         Be verbose.

     -f, --force
         Allow adding otherwise ignored files.

     -i, --interactive
         Add modified contents in the working tree interactively
         to the index. Optional path arguments may be supplied to
         limit operation to a subset of the working tree. See
         "Interactive mode" for details.

     -p, --patch
         Interactively choose hunks of patch between the index
         and the work tree and add them to the index. This gives
         the user a chance to review the difference before adding
         modified contents to the index.

         This effectively runs add --interactive, but bypasses
         the initial command menu and directly jumps to the patch
         subcommand. See "Interactive mode" for details.

     -e, --edit
         Open the diff vs. the index in an editor and let the
         user edit it. After the editor was closed, adjust the
         hunk headers and apply the patch to the index.

         The intent of this option is to pick and choose lines of
         the patch to apply, or even to modify the contents of
         lines to be staged. This can be quicker and more
         flexible than using the interactive hunk selector.
         However, it is easy to confuse oneself and create a
         patch that does not apply to the index. See EDITING
         PATCHES below.

     -u, --update
         Only match <filepattern> against already tracked files
         in the index rather than the working tree. That means
         that it will never stage new files, but that it will
         stage modified new contents of tracked files and that it
         will remove files from the index if the corresponding
         files in the working tree have been removed.

         If no <filepattern> is given, default to "."; in other
         words, update all tracked files in the current directory

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Git Manual                                             GIT-ADD(1)

         and its subdirectories.

     -A, --all
         Like -u, but match <filepattern> against files in the
         working tree in addition to the index. That means that
         it will find new files as well as staging modified
         content and removing files that are no longer in the
         working tree.

     -N, --intent-to-add
         Record only the fact that the path will be added later.
         An entry for the path is placed in the index with no
         content. This is useful for, among other things, showing
         the unstaged content of such files with git diff and
         committing them with git commit -a.

         Don't add the file(s), but only refresh their stat()
         information in the index.

         If some files could not be added because of errors
         indexing them, do not abort the operation, but continue
         adding the others. The command shall still exit with
         non-zero status. The configuration variable
         add.ignoreErrors can be set to true to make this the
         default behaviour.

         This option can only be used together with --dry-run. By
         using this option the user can check if any of the given
         files would be ignored, no matter if they are already
         present in the work tree or not.

         This option can be used to separate command-line options
         from the list of files, (useful when filenames might be
         mistaken for command-line options).

     The optional configuration variable core.excludesfile
     indicates a path to a file containing patterns of file names
     to exclude from git-add, similar to $GIT_DIR/info/exclude.
     Patterns in the exclude file are used in addition to those
     in info/exclude. See gitrepository-layout(4).

     o   Adds content from all *.txt files under Documentation
         directory and its subdirectories:

             $ git add Documentation/\*.txt

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         Note that the asterisk * is quoted from the shell in
         this example; this lets the command include the files
         from subdirectories of Documentation/ directory.

     o   Considers adding content from all git-*.sh scripts:

             $ git add git-*.sh

         Because this example lets the shell expand the asterisk
         (i.e. you are listing the files explicitly), it does not
         consider subdir/

     When the command enters the interactive mode, it shows the
     output of the status subcommand, and then goes into its
     interactive command loop.

     The command loop shows the list of subcommands available,
     and gives a prompt "What now> ". In general, when the prompt
     ends with a single >, you can pick only one of the choices
     given and type return, like this:

             *** Commands ***
               1: status       2: update       3: revert       4: add untracked
               5: patch        6: diff         7: quit         8: help
             What now> 1

     You also could say s or sta or status above as long as the
     choice is unique.

     The main command loop has 6 subcommands (plus help and

         This shows the change between HEAD and index (i.e. what
         will be committed if you say git commit), and between
         index and working tree files (i.e. what you could stage
         further before git commit using git add) for each path.
         A sample output looks like this:

                           staged     unstaged path
                  1:       binary      nothing foo.png
                  2:     +403/-35        +1/-1 git-add--interactive.perl

         It shows that foo.png has differences from HEAD (but
         that is binary so line count cannot be shown) and there
         is no difference between indexed copy and the working
         tree version (if the working tree version were also
         different, binary would have been shown in place of
         nothing). The other file, git-add--interactive.perl, has
         403 lines added and 35 lines deleted if you commit what

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Git Manual                                             GIT-ADD(1)

         is in the index, but working tree file has further
         modifications (one addition and one deletion).

         This shows the status information and issues an
         "Update>>" prompt. When the prompt ends with double >>,
         you can make more than one selection, concatenated with
         whitespace or comma. Also you can say ranges. E.g. "2-5
         7,9" to choose 2,3,4,5,7,9 from the list. If the second
         number in a range is omitted, all remaining patches are
         taken. E.g. "7-" to choose 7,8,9 from the list. You can
         say * to choose everything.

         What you chose are then highlighted with *, like this:

                        staged     unstaged path
               1:       binary      nothing foo.png
             * 2:     +403/-35        +1/-1 git-add--interactive.perl

         To remove selection, prefix the input with - like this:

             Update>> -2

         After making the selection, answer with an empty line to
         stage the contents of working tree files for selected
         paths in the index.

         This has a very similar UI to update, and the staged
         information for selected paths are reverted to that of
         the HEAD version. Reverting new paths makes them

     add untracked
         This has a very similar UI to update and revert, and
         lets you add untracked paths to the index.

         This lets you choose one path out of a status like
         selection. After choosing the path, it presents the diff
         between the index and the working tree file and asks you
         if you want to stage the change of each hunk. You can
         select one of the following options and type return:

             y - stage this hunk
             n - do not stage this hunk
             q - quit; do not stage this hunk nor any of the remaining ones
             a - stage this hunk and all later hunks in the file
             d - do not stage this hunk nor any of the later hunks in the file
             g - select a hunk to go to
             / - search for a hunk matching the given regex
             j - leave this hunk undecided, see next undecided hunk

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Git Manual                                             GIT-ADD(1)

             J - leave this hunk undecided, see next hunk
             k - leave this hunk undecided, see previous undecided hunk
             K - leave this hunk undecided, see previous hunk
             s - split the current hunk into smaller hunks
             e - manually edit the current hunk
             ? - print help

         After deciding the fate for all hunks, if there is any
         hunk that was chosen, the index is updated with the
         selected hunks.

         You can omit having to type return here, by setting the
         configuration variable interactive.singlekey to true.

         This lets you review what will be committed (i.e.
         between HEAD and index).

     Invoking git add -e or selecting e from the interactive hunk
     selector will open a patch in your editor; after the editor
     exits, the result is applied to the index. You are free to
     make arbitrary changes to the patch, but note that some
     changes may have confusing results, or even result in a
     patch that cannot be applied. If you want to abort the
     operation entirely (i.e., stage nothing new in the index),
     simply delete all lines of the patch. The list below
     describes some common things you may see in a patch, and
     which editing operations make sense on them.

     added content
         Added content is represented by lines beginning with
         "+". You can prevent staging any addition lines by
         deleting them.

     removed content
         Removed content is represented by lines beginning with
         "-". You can prevent staging their removal by converting
         the "-" to a " " (space).

     modified content
         Modified content is represented by "-" lines (removing
         the old content) followed by "+" lines (adding the
         replacement content). You can prevent staging the
         modification by converting "-" lines to " ", and
         removing "+" lines. Beware that modifying only half of
         the pair is likely to introduce confusing changes to the

     There are also more complex operations that can be
     performed. But beware that because the patch is applied only
     to the index and not the working tree, the working tree will

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Git Manual                                             GIT-ADD(1)

     appear to "undo" the change in the index. For example,
     introducing a new line into the index that is in neither the
     HEAD nor the working tree will stage the new line for
     commit, but the line will appear to be reverted in the
     working tree.

     Avoid using these constructs, or do so with extreme caution.

     removing untouched content
         Content which does not differ between the index and
         working tree may be shown on context lines, beginning
         with a " " (space). You can stage context lines for
         removal by converting the space to a "-". The resulting
         working tree file will appear to re-add the content.

     modifying existing content
         One can also modify context lines by staging them for
         removal (by converting " " to "-") and adding a "+" line
         with the new content. Similarly, one can modify "+"
         lines for existing additions or modifications. In all
         cases, the new modification will appear reverted in the
         working tree.

     new content
         You may also add new content that does not exist in the
         patch; simply add new lines, each starting with "+". The
         addition will appear reverted in the working tree.

     There are also several operations which should be avoided
     entirely, as they will make the patch impossible to apply:

     o   adding context (" ") or removal ("-") lines

     o   deleting context or removal lines

     o   modifying the contents of context or removal lines

     See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following

     |Availability   | developer/versioning/git |
     |Stability      | Uncommitted              |
     git-status(1) git-rm(1) git-reset(1) git-mv(1) git-commit(1)

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Git Manual                                             GIT-ADD(1)

     Part of the git(1) suite

     This software was built from source available at  The original
     community source was downloaded from  http://git-

     Further information about this software can be found on the
     open source community website at

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