Skip to content
Minimalist dotfile management framework.
Shell Dockerfile Makefile
Branch: master
Clone or download
Brett W
Brett W releasing 4.1.3
Latest commit 1b6e8ec Jun 16, 2019
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
.circleci updated circle Mar 8, 2019
testdata updating ignored files Mar 30, 2019
.gitignore releasing version 3.0.0 Mar 28, 2019 updated changelog Jun 15, 2019
Dockerfile erroring when variables not set in template Mar 30, 2019
LICENSE.txt adding license Mar 8, 2019
Makefile rename to bashdot Mar 8, 2019 updated copy Apr 27, 2019
bashdot releasing 4.1.3 Jun 15, 2019
test.bats releasing 4.1.3 Jun 15, 2019



I am bashdot, a minimalist dotfile management framework with support for multiple profiles and templates.

I am a single script, written entirely in bash, which requires no additional dependencies.

The authors of bashdot focus on transparency in the code, providing clear log output and heavily testing the script using bats.


Bashdot works by symlinking files and directions, in a given profile, into the users home directory.

One or more profiles can be installed on a specific instance to provide the desired dotfiles for it's purpose (work, home, etc.), operating system (Linux, MacOS, Solaris, etc.) and version (Debian, RedHat, etc.).

Bashdot supports templates for replacing values in files during installation.


MacOS Homebrew

brew tap bashdot/tap
brew install bashdot

Manual Installation

curl -s > bashdot
sudo mv bashdot /usr/local/bin
sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/bashdot

Quick Start

  1. Create your initial profile directory, in this example, default.

    mkdir default
  2. Add any files you would like symlinked into your home directory. For example:

    echo 'set -o vi' > default/env

    Note, bashdot prepends a dot, in front of the filename, to the linked file.

  3. Install the profile.

    bashdot install default

    The above file default/env will now be linked to ~/.env.

  4. Continue adding your dotfiles.

    mv ~/.bashrc default/bashrc
  5. You can safely re-run bashdot install default to link newly added files.

  6. Thats it, store this directory in a cloud drive or check it into source. Repeat for additional profiles.


If you have values which need to be set in a file when bashdot is run, you can create a template.

  1. Append .template to any files which should be rendered.

  2. When installed, template files will have all variables replaced with the current environment variables set when bashdot is run.

  3. The rendered files will be created in the same directory, and have .template replaced with .rendered.

  4. For example:

    If you have the file default/env.template with the below contents:


    You can run the following to set the value ENV_SECRET_KEY when installing the home profile:

    env ENV_SECRET_KEY=test1234 bashdot install default

    This will result in the rendered file default/env.rendered being created and symlinkd to ~/.env with the below contents..

    env SECRET_KEY=test1234
  5. Rendered files will be removed when you uninstall their respective bashdot profile.

  6. Be sure to include **/*.rendered in .gitignore if you will be checking your dotfiles into a Git repo.

Managing Multiple Profiles

Bashdot works by symlinking files within the given profile directory into your home directory.

For example, if you run:

bashdot install default work

Bashdot will symlink all the files in default and work into your home directory.

Profiles installed on the same system must not contain overlapping files.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if I have secrets or other private information to install in my dotfile?

A: Never check in sensitive information in your dotfiles. To remove sensitive information, create a bashdot template and replace sensitive information with variables. This will the sensitive information to be provided during installation.

Q: How can I share my bashdot profiles?

A: Bashdot only manages dotfiles installation, not their distribution. To share your bashdot profile, make it available via source control, shared file system or cloud drive.

Q: Does bashdot work with zsh, fish or other shells?

A: Yes. Bashdot works by using standard unix commands and symlinks. It should work with any shell on a system that has bash installed.

Q: If bashdot supports other shells, why is it called bashdot?

A: It is a 100% self contained bash script with no dependencies.

Bashdot Development


Only requirement to run tests is docker. Once installed run:

make test


To shell into a container to test bashdot without affecting your local environment run:

make shell


To increase logging, set the BASHDOT_LOG_LEVEL environment variable to debug.

export BASHDOT_LOG_LEVEL=debug
You can’t perform that action at this time.