Projectile is pretty great, but I'm finding it difficult to have it turned on only in places where it would be effective.

As I understand it, the two standard choices are to turn it on manually, as in major mode hooks, or to enable it globally with projectile-global-mode. I find the former not broad enough; I want to be able to access projectile commands while visting any file in a project, regardless of its type. But turning the mode on globally is too broad; it gets turned on even when visiting such manifestly non-project directories as my home directory, /tmp, /etc, etc.

Is there a standard way to activate projectile-mode only when visiting a file that lives in an actual project, as might be determined by, say, checking for the existence of a .git, .svn, etc, directory in some ancestor directory of the current file?

  • Checking for the existence of .git, .svn... should be the default. Maybe you have having projectile-require-project-root setting to nil.
    – Tu Do
    Apr 2, 2015 at 4:44
  • I just checked, and its value is t. But the mode is still activated in /etc for example.
    – Sean
    Apr 2, 2015 at 5:10
  • 1
    What's your Projectile version? When you run projectile-find-files on such non-project directories, Projectile simply gives you a message "You're no on a project". Are you sure you run the right command?
    – Tu Do
    Apr 2, 2015 at 5:13
  • 2
    Ah, OK, I do see that. But I still see Projectile[etc] in the mode line when I open /etc. It takes up valuable mode line real estate, and I'd rather just not activate the mode at all in non-project directories.
    – Sean
    Apr 2, 2015 at 5:29

1 Answer 1


So, it's about the modeline. You can set projectile-mode-line to check if you are in a project root; if so, displays in the modeline, otherwise displays nothing:

(setq projectile-mode-line
      '(:eval (if (projectile-project-p)
                  (format " Projectile[%s]"
  • 4
    That change should be in projectile itself.
    – abo-abo
    Apr 2, 2015 at 6:41
  • This is definitely useful, but the mode would still technically be active, right? Ideally the mode would not even be activated in such cases.
    – Sean
    Apr 2, 2015 at 6:55
  • 2
    @Sean what's for? There's a reason it's a global minor mode. Is there something get in the way if the global mode is active, aside from the modeline? When the global mode is active, all it does is giving you the Projectile key bindings.
    – Tu Do
    Apr 2, 2015 at 7:22
  • 2
    @abo-abo I also think it should work like this rather than then showing the current default-directory. I will make a PR.
    – Tu Do
    Apr 2, 2015 at 7:24
  • I put this in my init file, and eventually noticed a ton of errors in the *Messages* buffer, because projectile-project-root raises an exception if called from a non-project directory. So that function call needs to be wrapped in a condition-case, and also projectile-require-project-root needs to be bound to t.
    – Sean
    Apr 10, 2015 at 21:49

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