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Oh My Zsh meets dotfiles
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You got your Oh My Zsh in my dotfiles!

The flexibility of dotfiles meets the power of Oh My Zsh and Homebrew.

Inspired by and compatible with Zach Holman's dotfiles.


The framework is only currently tested on macOS.

  1. Clone this repository to ~/.oh-your-dotfiles
git clone ~/.oh-your-dotfiles
  1. Link the zshrc file to ~/.zshrc
ln -s ~/.oh-your-dotfiles/oh-your.zshrc ~/.zshrc
  1. Change your default shell to zsh
chsh -s /bin/zsh
  1. Start a new terminal session and run dotfiles_install. If you haven't yet got the Command-line Developer Tools installed you'll be prompted to install them.

Post Install

After installation, optionally switch to the Homebrew managed zsh:

sudo sh -c "echo /usr/local/bin/zsh >> /etc/shells"
chsh -s /usr/local/bin/zsh

You're good to go!

Create yourself a dotfiles repository using the conventions below. See for an example of a dotfiles repository.

Built-in Functions

  • dotfiles - list dotfiles locations
  • dotfiles_find - find files within dotfiles locations, for example dotfiles_find \*.gitrepo
  • dotfiles_install - run dotfiles installers
  • dotfiles_update - update dotfiles installed files. Equivalent to running dotfiles_install and choosing S to skip existing

How it works

Dotfiles sources are found using the pattern $HOME/.*dotfiles*.

The files within are processed automatically by .zshrc or the installation process depending on their extension.

Scripts set the environment, manage files, perform installation or enable plugins depending on the file name or extension. Bootstrap can be safely run repeatedly, you'll be prompted for the action you want to take if a destination file or directory already exists.


These files set your shell's environment:

  • oh-my-zsh.zsh Loaded before oh my zsh is sourced, useful for configuration of a theme (ZSH_THEME)
  • path.zsh: Loaded first after oh my zsh is sourced, and expected to setup $PATH
  • *.zsh: Get loaded into your environment
  • completion.zsh: Loaded last, and expected to setup autocomplete


The following extensions will cause files to be created in your home directory:

  • *.symlink: Automaticlly symlinked into your $HOME as a dot file during bootstrap. For example, myfile.symlink will be linked as $HOME/.myfile
  • *.gitrepo: Contains a URL to a Git repository to be cloned as a dotfile. For example myrepo.gitrepo will be cloned to $HOME/.myrepo
  • *.themegitrepo: Contains a URL to a Git repository to be cloned as a custom zsh theme. For example mytheme.gitrepo will be cloned to $HOME/.oh-my-zsh/custom/themes/mytheme
  • *.gitpatch: Name repo-<number>.gitpatch to apply custom patches to a gitrepo repository
  • *.otf, *.ttf, *.ttc: Fonts are copied to ~/Library/Fonts during bootstrap
  • *.plist: Preference lists are copied to ~/Library/Preferences during bootstrap
  • *.launchagent: Files are copied to ~/Library/LaunchAgents during bootstrap


Installation steps during bootstrap can be handled in three ways:

  • An installation shellscript
  • install.homebrew: A list of Homebrew formulas to install
  • install.homebrew-cask: A list of Homebrew casks to install
  • install.homebrew-tap: A list of Homebrew taps
  • install.mas: A list of App Store apps to install
  • A list of files to be handled by the default application association using the open command

Installing from the App Store with install.mas files

Applications from the App Store are referenced by a numeric id rather than a name. In order to find out the id you can use the command mas search <term>. Entries in install.mas should be in the format <id> <name> (the same format as the results of mas search).


  • All topic directory names are implicitly added to the plugin list, so you get osx and brew automatically
  • Plugins listed in oh-my-zsh.plugins files are read and added to this list

Profiling Startup Time

If your shell is taking an excessive amount of time to start, run zsh with the PROFILE_STARTUP environment variable:


Then run tools/ against the output in /tmp to determine the contributors to startup time. For more details, see:

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