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dotfiles template

Cookiecutter template for dotfile projects.
These projects are generated that the actual files stay in the generated dotfile directory, and are managed using stow, which creates matching links in the target path (usually $HOME).


Install cookiecutter command line: pip install cookiecutter


Generate a new Cookiecutter template layout: cookiecutter gh:bdcaf/cookiecutter_dotfile. See the generated for further instructions.


stow config

  • stow-local-ignore is essential to keep your documentation and other local files out of the config dir.
  • stowrc allows to configure options for stow

git config

  • .gitignore keeps temporary files out of git.
  • .gitkeep is a hack so as git will not store empty directories - they may be empty as all files inside were ignored. They will miss in cloned repos and some software gives you errors due to this. Best to create as an empty file with touch .gitkeep in the correct location.

Makefile tricks

  • Makefile uses $ itself - so to work with environment variables you need to add another $ - like the $$HOME in the default config.
  • Makefile doesn't know about ~ - use $$HOME to point to it.
  • if you need to stow into multiple places you can add several lines like this
	stow -v --target="$$HOME/.vim/" -S config

I use this to stow vim config (in folder config) to both ~/.vim as well as ~/.config/nvim.

The trick is also handy if you don't like working with hidden directories.

a little warning make runs commands in the Makefile. Spend a little time familiarizing you with the code in there - bad people might hide malicious code in there. It could also be abused to exfiltrate data. The code in the default Makefile is reasonable simple - actually just one line doing anything (line 4) - and a few empty definitions. If you find one containing lots of code be wary.


This project is licensed under the terms of the MIT License


template for stowable dotfile dir








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