General usage for “cleaning” your working directory:
$ git clean [-d] [-f] [-i] [-n] [-q] [-e <pattern>] [-x | -X] [--] <path>...
The single config setting for this command:
Prerequisites: You should understand
Cleans the working tree by recursively removing files that are not under version control, starting from the current directory. Normally, only files unknown to Git are removed, but if the -x option is specified, ignored files are also removed. This can, for example, be useful to remove all build products. If any optional <path>... arguments are given, only those paths are affected.
Note how both ignored files and new, staged files are not cleaned by default. Currently, there is some dissension regarding what is meant by files “known to Git.”
General execution options:
-i, --interactive Show what would be done and clean files interactively. -n, --dry-run Don’t actually remove anything, just show what would be done. -q, --quiet Be quiet, only report errors, but not the files that are successfully removed.
Forcing the issue:
-f, --force If the Git configuration variable clean.requireForce is not set to false, git clean will refuse to delete files or directories unless given -f, -n or -i. Git will refuse to delete directories with .git sub directory or file unless a second -f is given.
Removing directories as well:
-d Remove untracked directories in addition to untracked files. If an untracked directory is managed by a different Git repository, it is not removed by default. Use -f option twice if you really want to remove such a directory.
The explanation below oddly does not mention the use of the configuration setting
-e <pattern>, --exclude=<pattern> In addition to those found in .gitignore (per directory) and $GIT_DIR/info/exclude, also consider these patterns to be in the set of the ignore rules in effect. -x Don’t use the standard ignore rules read from .gitignore (per directory) and $GIT_DIR/info/exclude, but do still use the ignore rules given with -e options. This allows removing all untracked files, including build products. This can be used (possibly in conjunction with git reset) to create a pristine working directory to test a clean build. -X Remove only files ignored by Git. This may be useful to rebuild everything from scratch, but keep manually created files.
Create a shell alias:
alias gpristine='git reset --hard && git clean -dfx'