As you work with Git, you will have many instances where, after adding new lines of code to your .gitignore file, the ignored files still show up in your “git commit” staging area. When you experience such instances, the best way to resolve the issue is to clear and clean your Git cache. This guide intends to show you how to clear your Git cache, but before diving into that, let’s briefly touch on what the Git cache is, what it does, and the advantages of clearing it.
What Is the Git Cache?
The Git cache, also called the staging area or index, contains the working tree directory, including the repository, commits, and branches that would be committed the instance you call the “git commit” command at any point in time.
The cache helps you make selected changes to the working tree before committing them or only download the most recent commits while caching most others.
Without the Git cache, the Git commit would inconveniently revert commit changes to the working tree before committing some of the commit changes in the next commit.
What Does the Git Cache Do?
The essence of the staging area or index is to enhance performance by resolving conflicting commit merges and minimizing the consistent need to redownload dependencies, libraries, and other content-types on the fly each time there’s a need to do so.
Where (and How) to Find the Git Cache
The Git cache is within a file named index within the .git directory.
To find or get to the Git cache file, run the following command to get to into the .git directory. Once you get the location of the .git directory, navigate into it using the
git rev-parse --git-dir cd .git
Once in the directory, you can locate the index file using the
To view the file, use the file command:
The command will give you an output showing the file type, version, and the number of entries inside the Git cache file.
index: Git index, version 2, 5 entries
Clear the Git Cache File
To remove a specific file from the Git cache, use the
git rm command followed by the specific file.
To recursively remove files from the cache, use the
-r flag with the
git rm command.
The general syntax for the command is:
git rm --cached filename
Replace the filename with the specific file you wish to remove from the Git cache.
For example, to remove the file “mte-info.c,” use the command:
git rm --cached mte-info.c
Next, verify the file has been removed successfully using the command:
Note: executing the
git rm --cached filename command does not delete the file from the working directory – only from the staging area.
On the other hand, to clear your entire cache and staging area, use the
git rm command with the recursive
git rm -r –cached
As you have learned from this tutorial, clearing your Git cache is easy to do. Meanwhile, you should learn about Git alias to make Git usage more efficient.
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