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thoughtbot dotfiles


Set zsh as your login shell.

chsh -s /bin/zsh


Clone onto your laptop:

git clone git://

(Or, fork and keep your fork updated).

Install rcm:

brew bundle


rcup -d dotfiles -x -x LICENSE

This will create symlinks for config files in your home directory. The -x options, which exclude the and LICENSE files, are needed during installation but can be skipped once the .rcrc configuration file is symlinked in.

You can safely run rcup multiple times to update:


Make your own customizations

Put your customizations in dotfiles appended with .local:

  • ~/.aliases.local
  • ~/.gitconfig.local
  • ~/.gvimrc.local
  • ~/.tmux.conf.local
  • ~/.vimrc.local
  • ~/.vimrc.bundles.local
  • ~/.zshrc.local

For example, your ~/.aliases.local might look like this:

# Productivity
alias todo='$EDITOR ~/.todo'

Your ~/.gitconfig.local might look like this:

  l = log --pretty=colored
  colored = format:%Cred%h%Creset %s %Cgreen(%cr) %C(bold blue)%an%Creset
  name = Dan Croak
  email =

Your ~/.zshrc.local might look like this:

# load rbenv
eval "$(rbenv init -)"

# recommended by brew doctor
export PATH="/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/sbin:$PATH"

Your ~/.vimrc.bundles.local might look like this:

Bundle 'Lokaltog/vim-powerline'
Bundle 'stephenmckinney/vim-solarized-powerline'

What's in it?

vim configuration:

  • Ctrl-P for fuzzy file/buffer/tag finding.
  • Rails.vim for enhanced navigation of Rails file structure via gf and :A (alternate), :Rextract partials, :Rinvert migrations, etc.
  • Run RSpec specs from vim.
  • Set <leader> to a single space.
  • Switch between the last two files with space-space.
  • Syntax highlighting for CoffeeScript, Textile, Cucumber, Haml, Markdown, and HTML.
  • Use Ag instead of Grep when available.
  • Use Exuberant Ctags for tab completion.
  • Use GitHub color scheme.
  • Use Vundle to manage plugins.

tmux configuration:

  • Improve color resolution.
  • Remove administrative debris (session name, hostname, time) in status bar.
  • Set prefix to Ctrl+a (like GNU screen).
  • Soften status bar color from harsh green to light gray.

git configuration:

  • Adds a create-branch alias to create feature branches.
  • Adds a delete-branch alias to delete feature branches.
  • Adds a merge-branch alias to merge feature branches into master.
  • Adds an up alias to fetch and rebase origin/master into the feature branch. Use git up -i for interactive rebases.

Shell aliases and scripts:

  • b for bundle.
  • g with no arguments is git status and with arguments acts like git.
  • git-churn to show churn for the files changed in the branch.
  • m for rake db:migrate && rake db:rollback && rake db:migrate && rake db:test:prepare.
  • mcd to make a directory and change into it.
  • rake is zeus rake if using Zeus on the project in current directory.
  • replace foo bar **/*.rb to find and replace within a given list of files.
  • rk for rake.
  • rspec is zeus rspec if using Zeus on the project in current directory.
  • tat to attach to tmux session named the same as the current directory.
  • v for $VISUAL.


Thank you, contributors! Also, thank you to Corey Haines, Gary Bernhardt, and others for sharing your dotfiles and other shell scripts from which we derived inspiration for items in this project.


Dotfiles is maintained by thoughtbot, inc The names and logos for thoughtbot are trademarks of thoughtbot, inc.

Dotfiles is © 2009-2013 thoughtbot, inc. It is free software and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the LICENSE file.