Author: Alan Franzoni

Project Homepage:


Mercurial extension that allows to skip some files when committing, even if they're marked as modified, something like "ignore on commit".

Use case

Even though it would be better to commit a template on a vcs - that every user or developer can then copy and customize, there are some situations where that's not possible, mostly because some externally managed software (e.g. a library, framework, or IDE) insists on using or modifying certain well-known filenames.

If developers, then, inadvertently modify and commit such files, many problem could arise.

This extension provides a simple way to prevent it; if a "wild commit" (i.e. a commit without file selection) occurs, any file matching the hgskipcommit pattern won't get committed, and will just stay modified on the repo.

how it works

Ehenever a commit without file selection is issued, the hgskipcommit pattern is taken into account and just added to the 'exclude' options for commit; the very same functionality can be achieved via command line -X option.

If at least one target file to be committed is passed on the command line this extension performs no action. Also, the extension is automatically disabled when committing a merge, since it would make little sense and you can't do partial commits of a merge anyway.


after cloning the repo or getting the tarball, edit your $HOME/.hgrc, and enable the extension:



Configuration, just like any mercurial config value, can be done system-wide, per user, or per repo. In the hgrc you choose, just add the section and configure the pattern value.

Small notice: at the time of this writing, patterns are not additive; anything specified in an higher priority config file just overrides the lower priority setting. Priority in descending order is repo -> user -> system.


Skip committing config files from the most well-known IDEs, since they often pollute commits

pattern = path:.idea path:nbproject path:.project path:.settings glob:*.iml


You can pass the --everything flag to prevent the extension from applying its exclusion patterns.

pattern syntax

pattern syntax just follows mercurial patterns - see `hg help patterns' more information.

Be aware that setting an absolute exclude (relative to repository root) will probably require a path: or re: file pattern, otherwise it'll be interpreted as an exclude relative to the current directory.

current status and known issues

Configuration is currently handled as extensions configuration, so it's not shared between repositories. If there're requests I may make a change and adopt an .hgignore like approach that could be shared between repositories.

There may be use cases - especially when doing backouts, patch queue and similar operations, that I've not considered yet. Feel free to open a ticket with your problems and I'll try fixing the issue ASAP.


Thanks to Erik Zielke from Aragost Trifork for his exclude extension which shares a common usage pattern with mine, and from which I've taken some parts of code.