problems with --ignore #385

cvlmtg opened this Issue Apr 18, 2014 · 30 comments


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cvlmtg commented Apr 18, 2014

what's the format of the --ignore pattern? If I do

ag --ignore '*.min.js' time website/public/vendor/ | less

ag still looks into website/public/vendor/jquery-ui.min.js

I've tried also '.*.min.js', '.min.js$' etc with no results.
I'm on OSX 10.9 with ag compiled through homebrew.

mislav commented Apr 22, 2014

Having the same problem… v0.21.0

nmk commented Apr 30, 2014

I am having the same problem. Patterns from .agignore are not taking effect either... v0.21.0

lorin commented May 5, 2014

Just hit this as well.

I hit this, and it looks like it's only when it's the filename that should match; if you can use a regex that matches part of the path to ignore (I know, not always possible) it will work ok. Just a possible work-around.

iizukanao added a commit to iizukanao/the_silver_searcher that referenced this issue May 9, 2014

I'm having this problem too on version 0.22.0. It fails even when I don't use a wildcard and just have "js/foo.js" in my .gitignore.

I've hit this too. 0.21.0 is the latest homebrew offers.

jwinter commented Jun 27, 2014

This is still an issue in version 0.22.0.

raine commented Jul 7, 2014

Maybe a separate issue, but:

--ignore foo/bar does not work, --ignore foo works

--ignore is supposed to be an alias to --ignore-dir of ack, in which --ignore-dir foo/bar does work.

ag version 0.23.0

mcphail commented Jul 7, 2014

There have been a few patches which have addressed this but none have been commented upon by @ggreer. I think it is the most glaring flaw in ag just now and the underlying problem seems fairly simple.

Now there is a functioning test suite, I'd suggest someone makes a pull request with failing tests related to directory recursion and ignore files. Someone with a bit of time on their hands might be able to polish up my old patch dae7f6c to rebase off the current master and see whether it satisfies the tests.

Found a temporary workaround. If you duplicate your ignore patterns like so:

ag --ignore *.min.js --ignore */*.min.js time

ag will correctly ignore files in subdirectories. Without the */ prefix, it only ignores files in the current working directory. Same thing works in the .agignore.



*Update: * looks like this only works for one level of subdirectories. Files 2 or three levels deep are still searched. 😿

@joechrysler With the latest version, I have the same problem for *~.

I put *~ in ~/.agignore, but it does not work.
Thus I am now using


It is a workaround for me.

Dev Folder

ag --ignore 20* model ~/Development/App

is a failure.

Is there a working version of Ag where --ignore did work?

I have tried 0.22.0 and 0.23.0

mmwtsn commented Jul 19, 2014

I'm seeing this as well with versions 0.22.0 and 0.23.0 installed with Homebrew on OS X 10.9.3. Ag's ignore flag works for me within the current directory but does not work recursively as @joechrysler pointed out above.

To reproduce:

$ mkdir dir
$ echo "test" > file.c
$ echo "test" > dir/file.c
$ ag --ignore=*.c test

Regarding @cvlmtg's original question, syntactically Ag it is fairly flexible; all of the following work in the current directory:

$ ag --ignore=*.c main
$ ag --ignore '*.c' main
$ ag --ignore "*.c" main

jkdf2 commented Jul 20, 2014

Having the same issue, not working recursively in subdirectories.

sprin commented Jul 22, 2014

Ran a git bisect, and it looks like this was introduced in 2cc28cc.

My test was ag -p .agignore needle pyproj/, where .agignore contained just "*.py".

It also looks like -p .agignore is required when the search path is not the current directory? Shouldn't .agignore be read from the current directory?

Thanks for ag! This is hands-down the fastest, non-indexed search tool I have seen.

@ggreer Please fix this.
Right now I have these to ignore ~, *## and *.pdf files.


sprin commented Jul 25, 2014

For those looking for a workaround (besides verbose ignore files!), just run tag 0.20.0... not that hard!

For those looking to give back to this awesome project, have a look at 2cc28cc and see if you can spot the problem. Seriously, someone with an hour should be able to read through ignore.c and figure this out.

No worries, I am sure someone will come through on this! ag works beautifully on 0.20.0. Cheers from Berkeley.

@ggreer ggreer closed this in #401 Jul 28, 2014

schmonz added a commit to schmonz/the_silver_searcher that referenced this issue Aug 13, 2014


lucascaton commented Oct 19, 2014

I'm having the same problem (ag version 0.25.0 here).

sheki commented Dec 22, 2014

still busted with ag 0.2.7 IMHO.


eksperimental commented Feb 1, 2015

As of version 0.28.0

$ ag -l -U --ignore '/doc/' '~r/./' elixir/*

$ ag -l -U --ignore '/doc/' '~r/./' elixir/

the * at the end of the PATH breaks the --ignore argument.


ggreer commented Feb 1, 2015

@eksperimental Two things:

  1. You put a forward slash at the start of your ignore pattern, which means, "Only ignore at the root level." This isn't causing a problem in your example, but it's worth noting.
  2. Ag doesn't see the star in the first example. Bash or zsh expansion is passing elixer/doc (among other paths) to ag. Ag doesn't ignore paths that are explicitly passed to it on the command line.

eksperimental commented Feb 2, 2015

sorry @ggreer , i didn't understand No. 2
thanks for answering,
but it is still no clear what should be the pattern to ignore any result that contains a folder named doc ?
--ignore '.*/doc/.*'

if so, it is not working:

$ ag -U -l --ignore '.*/doc/.*' '~r/./' elixir

the only one that seems to work is:

$ ag -U -l --ignore 'doc/' '~r/./' elixir

which is wrong according to your definition above, because the path of the ignored files does not start with "doc/"



ggreer commented Feb 2, 2015

In the first example of your previous comment, you put a forward slash at the start of your ignore pattern. That is, the pattern started with /. If it starts with /, that means "ignore only in the current directory. If it ends in a /, that means "only match if it's a directory."


  • doc ignores any file or directory anywhere that is called "doc".
  • /doc ignores any file or directory in the root dir called "doc".
  • doc/ ignores any directory anywhere that's called "doc".
  • /doc/ ignores any directory in the root called "doc".

These examples are typical behavior for .gitignore and .hgignore. Ag isn't doing anything strange here.

Second point: If you run ag blah elxir, that's the same as cd elixer && ag blah. That means "doc" is in the root. An ignore pattern like .*/doc/.* will only match doc directories in a sub-directory. Actually, I'm not even sure that will match anything sane. Ignore patterns are fnmatch() patterns, not PCREs.


eksperimental commented Feb 2, 2015

thanks @ggreer it is a bit more clear now.
I think you should put in the documentation what kind of pattern it expects,
seems you use the same word (PATTERN) do describe the search PATTERN (regex).
I searched the respository and there's not reference to fnmatch().

so answering myself.
$ag -U -l --ignore 'doc/' '~r/./' elixir/
is the right command.

thanks for creating ag, I use it every day I'm with the computer pretty much

This still doesn't seem to be working, with ag version 0.30.0 (the latest available on Homebrew).

This is my .agignore file:


and yet ag -l includes files like client-app/bower_components/ember/ember.min.js. What's going on?

I notice that putting *.js in my .agignore (even with nothing else) prevents ag from examining such a file.

decaff commented Jun 21, 2015

FYI. If an ignore pattern is set as '*.min.js' and the patch from #680 (by @epmatsw) is applied, the complaints about ag not ignoring .min.js files should be fixed. Example:

$ ls
jj.js  jj.min.js
$ ../ag  --ignore '*.min.js' -g 'js' -l

@decaff What is preventing #680 from being merged and released as part of ag?

I see lots of bugs (#413, #678 and this one #385) referencing this issue.

decaff commented Jun 21, 2015

@shreevatsar I think the author is very busy. Just a guess.

lencioni commented May 4, 2016

I seem to be having luck with **.min.js or **.min.*

I confirm that **.js works on ag version 0.31.0 but **/*.js like .gitignore still does not.

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