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 _    _    _
/\_\ /\_\ /\_\
\/_/ \/_/ \/_/   …because $HOME is where the <3 is!

Ellipsis is a package manager for dotfiles.


  • Creating new packages is trivial (any git repository is already a package).
  • Modular configuration files are easier to maintain and share with others.
  • Allows you to quickly see which dotfiles have been modified, and keep them updated and in-sync across systems.
  • Adding new dotfiles to your collection can be automated with ellipsis add.
  • Cross platform, known to work on Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD and even Cygwin.
  • Large test suite to ensure your $HOME doesn't get ravaged.
  • Completely customizable.
  • Works with existing dotfiles!


Requirements: bash, curl, git

Clone and symlink or use handy-dandy installer:

# Manual install
$ git clone .ellipsis

# Using installer
$ curl | sh you didn't read that wrong, the website also doubles as the installer

With the installer you can also specify which packages to install by setting the PACKAGES variable, i.e.:

$ curl | PACKAGES='vim zsh' sh

Add ~/.ellipsis/bin to your $PATH (or symlink somewhere convenient) and start managing your dotfiles in style :)

As of version 1.7.3 you can also use the init system to automatically setup you environment. As a bonus it will allow you to use the powerful pkg.init hook to do the same for your packages.


Ellipsis comes with no dotfiles out of the box. To install packages, use ellipsis install. Packages can be specified by github-user/repo or full ssh/git/http(s) urls:

$ ellipsis install ssh://
$ ellipsis install zeekay/vim
$ ellipsis install zsh

...all work. By convention username/package and package are aliases for (customizable using ELLIPSIS_PREFIX)

For full usage information you can read the docs or ask help from the command line with the -h option.


You can customize ellipsis by exporting a few different variables:

Variable Description
GITHUB_USER / ELLIPSIS_USER Customizes whose dotfiles are installed when you ellipsis install without specifying user or a full repo url. Defaults to $(git config github.user) or whoami.
ELLIPSIS_REPO Customize location of ellipsis repo cloned during a curl-based install. Defaults to
ELLIPSIS_PROTO Customizes which protocol new packages are cloned with, you can specify https,ssh, git. Defaults to https.
ELLIPSIS_PREFIX Customizes the prefix of ellipsis configuration packages (default: dot-).
ELLIPSIS_HOME Customize which folder files are symlinked into, defaults to $HOME. (Mostly useful for testing)
ELLIPSIS_PATH Customize where ellipsis lives on your filesystem, defaults to ~/.ellipsis.
ELLIPSIS_PACKAGES Customize where ellipsis installs packages on your filesystem, defaults to ~/.ellipsis/packages.
ELLIPSIS_LOGFILE Customize location of the logfile, defaults to /tmp/ellipsis.log.
export ELLIPSIS_USER="zeekay"
export ELLIPSIS_PROTO="ssh"
export ELLIPSIS_PATH="~/.el"


A package is any repo with files you want to symlink into $ELLIPSIS_HOME (typically $HOME). By default all of a repository's non-hidden files (read: not beginning with a .) will naively be linked into place, with the exception of a few common text files (README, LICENSE, etc).

You can customize how ellipsis interacts with your package by adding an file to the root of your project. Here's an example of a complete file:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

Yep, that's it :) If all you want to do is symlink some files into $HOME, adding an to your package is completely optional. But what if you need more? That's where hooks come in...


Please consult the docs for more information.

Specific parts that could be off interest:


Pull requests welcome! New code should follow the existing style (and ideally include tests).

Suggest a feature or report a bug? Create an issue!


Ellipsis is open-source software licensed under the MIT license.

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