Read more

How to manage your dotfiles ?

Posted on:October 21, 2023 at 07:22 AM

When you change computer or distribution regularly, it’s not very convenient to copy your configuration files by hand. There are lots of solutions to automate the process, but I decided to use the one I saw in this article as I find it rather simple and elegant. The only tool needed is git (with an associated repository).

Table of contents


First of all, you need to have git installed and have created a repository on the platform of your choice (Github on my side).

Then run the commands :

git init --bare ~/.dotfiles
alias config='git --git-dir=$HOME/.dotfiles/ --work-tree=$HOME'
config config status.showUntrackedFiles no
config remote add origin <url-to-git-repository>

The second command can be inserted into the file where aliases are declared on our machine for persistence (probably .bashrc or .zshrc).

And that’s all !


To replicate your configuration :

alias config='git --git-dir=$HOME/.dotfiles/ --work-tree=$HOME'
git clone --bare <git-repo-url> ~/.dotfiles
config checkout
config config status.showUntrackedFiles no

Manage files

To manage your dotfiles :

config status
config add <file>
config commit -m <message>
config push

To retrieve your modifications from another computer :

config pull