On Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 06:33:11AM +0000, Damien Robert wrote:

> git init
> git commit --allow-empty -m "init"
> git checkout -b test
> echo foo > foo
> git add foo
> git commit -am 'add foo'
> git checkout master
> echo 'Important data' > foo #[1]
> echo foo > .gitignore
> git checkout test
> If I tried a `git checkout test` after [1], I would get the error message 
>     error: The following untracked working tree files would be overwritten by 
> checkout: foo
> But after adding foo to .gitignore, I am able to checkout to branch test
> without warning. Of course this overwrites foo to the version in test.

This is by design. Marking a file in .gitignore tells git that the
content is not precious and can be removed if need be. For most ignored
files, this is what you want (e.g., you mark "*.o" as ignored because it
is generated; you do not want to add it, and you can always make it

The less common case is a file that is precious and needs to live inside
your repository directory, but which you do not want to add (e.g., a
config file that affects your project, but should not ever be
committed).  People have occasionally asked for a .gitignore-like
mechanism to mark such files as "precious but do not add".  However,
nobody has actually implemented anything.

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