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Dotfiles

By Brian Sunter

Posted in Programming

What are dotfiles?

There are a number of important programs like your terminal, emacs, and vim which are configured by files starting with a dot (.zshrc) in your home directory.

How to manage dotfiles

Instead of editing your dotfiles in your home directory, I recommend creating a git repo and symlinking the files into your home directory. I create a .dotfiles folder in my home directory and use GNU stow to symlink the files in my home directory.

GNU stow

GNU stow is strictly a symlink manager. It has a folder structure convention that allows you to create symlinks in the folder above it. If I run stow it will create symlinks in the directory above where stow was run.

/Users/bsunter/.dotfiles
├── .gitmodules
├── Brewfile
├── README.md
├── emacs
│ ├── .emacs.d
│ └── .spacemacs
├── git
│ └── .gitconfig
├── iterm
│ └── ItermProfile.json
├── macos
│ └── bootstrap.sh
├── manage.sh
├── vim
│ └── .vimrc
└── zsh
├── .stow-local-ignore
├── .zshrc
└── lib
Brian Sunter
Brian Sunter

I've spent all my life on top of a mountain, learning the way of the Ninja Dev.