Help: filesets

Specifying File Sets

Mercurial supports a functional language for selecting a set of files.

Like other file patterns, this pattern type is indicated by a prefix, 'set:'. The language supports a number of predicates which are joined by infix operators. Parenthesis can be used for grouping.

Identifiers such as filenames or patterns must be quoted with single or double quotes if they contain characters outside of "[.*{}[]?/\_a-zA-Z0-9\x80-\xff]" or if they match one of the predefined predicates. This generally applies to file patterns other than globs and arguments for predicates. Pattern prefixes such as "path:" may be specified without quoting.

Special characters can be used in quoted identifiers by escaping them, e.g., "\n" is interpreted as a newline. To prevent them from being interpreted, strings can be prefixed with "r", e.g. "r'...'".

See also 'hg help patterns'.


There is a single prefix operator:

"not x"
Files not in x. Short form is "! x".

These are the supported infix operators:

"x and y"
The intersection of files in x and y. Short form is "x & y".
"x or y"
The union of files in x and y. There are two alternative short forms: "x | y" and "x + y".
"x - y"
Files in x but not in y.


The following predicates are supported:

File that is added according to 'hg status'.
File that appears to be binary (contains NUL bytes).
File that is clean according to 'hg status'.
File that is recorded as being copied.
Alias for "missing()".
File can be successfully decoded with the given character encoding. May not be useful for encodings other than ASCII and UTF-8.
File contains newlines of the given style (dos, unix, mac). Binary files are excluded, files with mixed line endings match multiple styles.
File that is marked as executable.
File contains the given regular expression.
File that matches the active .hgignore pattern.
File that is ignored according to 'hg status'.
File that is missing according to 'hg status'.
File that is modified according to 'hg status'.
File that has a portable name. (This doesn't include filenames with case collisions.)
File that is removed according to 'hg status'.
File that is marked resolved according to 'hg resolve -l'.
"revs(revs, pattern)"
Evaluate set in the specified revisions. If the revset match multiple revs, this will return file matching pattern in any of the revision.
File size matches the given expression. Examples:
  • size('1k') - files from 1024 to 2047 bytes
  • size('< 20k') - files less than 20480 bytes
  • size('>= .5MB') - files at least 524288 bytes
  • size('4k - 1MB') - files from 4096 bytes to 1048576 bytes
"status(base, rev, pattern)"
Evaluate predicate using status change between "base" and "rev". Examples:
  • "status(3, 7, added())" - matches files added from "3" to "7"
Subrepositories whose paths match the given pattern.
File that is marked as a symlink.
File that is under Mercurial control.
File that is unknown according to 'hg status'.
File that is marked unresolved according to 'hg resolve -l'.


Some sample queries:

  • Show status of files that appear to be binary in the working directory:
    hg status -A "set:binary()"
  • Forget files that are in .hgignore but are already tracked:
    hg forget "set:hgignore() and not ignored()"
  • Find text files that contain a string:
    hg files "set:grep(magic) and not binary()"
  • Find C files in a non-standard encoding:
    hg files "set:**.c and not encoding('UTF-8')"
  • Revert copies of large binary files:
    hg revert "set:copied() and binary() and size('>1M')"
  • Revert files that were added to the working directory:
    hg revert "set:revs('wdir()', added())"
  • Remove files listed in foo.lst that contain the letter a or b:
    hg remove "set: listfile:foo.lst and (**a* or **b*)"