Take care of your dotfiles

  • data-coding
  • how-to
  • idea
  • spring

What are dotfiles?

On your computer, there are hidden files called dotfiles, they’re hidden because they start with a '.' e.g. ~/.bashrc . they usually control configuration of tools or the terminal (command line) itself.

How should you organise your dotfiles?

They should be in their own folder, under version control, and symlinked into place using a script. This has the benefits of:

  • Easy installation: if you log in to a new machine, applying your customisations will only take a minute.
  • Portability: your tools will work the same way everywhere.
  • Synchronisation: you can update your dotfiles anywhere and keep them all in sync.
  • Change tracking: you’re probably going to be maintaining your dotfiles for your entire programming career, and version history is nice to have for long-lived projects.

Track dotfiles

Draw inspiration from others

Work on multiple machines

  • A common pain with dotfiles is that the configurations might not work when working with several machines or you might want some configuration to be applied only in a given machine.
  • There are some tricks for making this easier:
    • If statements
    • Use [include] (in ~/.gitconfig)
    • Use source (in ~/.zshrc)