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IBM i Dotfiles

IBM i Dotfiles is a command line tool used to create configuration files, otherwise known as dotfiles, in the home directory of your user on IBM i. Dotfiles are used to configure BASH, vim, git, and many other command line tools. You can create a beautiful BASH prompt, alias commands, build helpful functions, set environment variables, customize vim, and the list goes on and on.

Use these dotfiles as a jumping off point. Customize them to your heart's desire to create a comfortable and efficient BASH environment on IBM i for your user. These dotfiles are installed in your home directory and will not effect anyone else on the system.


This software requires that the IBM i Open Source Environment (yum) be installed.


Add SoBored RPM Repo to yum

Make sure to have yum-utils isntalled in order to run yum-config-manager:

yum install yum-utils


yum-config-manager --add-repo

Just to be safe, make sure you clean your metadata:

yum clean metadata

Install ibmi-dotfiles via yum

yum install ibmi-dotfiles


ibmi-dotfiles is used from the command line. BASH suggested, as these dotfiles are configured for BASH.

Copy IBM i Dotfiles to current user's home directory.


Be sure to logout and log back in for the dotfiles to take effect. The installed dotfiles come with a helpful alias, reload, that you can use after logging in again to reload your dotfiles after editing them instead of having to logout/login each time.




The git config not only sets your name and email during installation, but it also comes with some helpful aliases like co, ci, st, br, hist, and others. I particularly like the hist alias, as it prints a much prettier and understandable history of commits.

git co <branch-name>       # git checkout <branch-name>
git co -b <branch-name>    # git checkout -b <branch-name>
git ci -m "Commit message" # git commit -m "Commit message"
git st                     # git status -sb
git br                     # git branch
git br -d <branch-name>    # git branch -d <branc-name>
git hist                   # git log --pretty=format:\"%h %ad | %s%d [%a]\" --graph --date=short

The git config also sets push to simple, and it can be used for much more. Learn more.


The installed dotfiles come with a global gitignore file. This can potentially become annoying if for some reason you want to track a .DS_Store file (not recommended), but all of the files in it are standardly ignored. Just keep it in mind if ever a directory is ignored and you cannot figure out why.

Git prompt and git bash completion

Installing ibmi-dotfiles through yum also installs git-completion and git-prompt.

git-completion is used to complete git commands, like checkout, on command line. For example, while writing git checkout <branch-name>, you can tab-complete the branch name. Double-tapping tab will list any branch names matching what you've typed so far, so you can easily search through branches while typing the branch name.

git-prompt is used to add git information to your BASH prompt. With these default dotfiles, the prompt will show the current branch name and its status. Learn more about what you can do with your git prompt.


The BASH environment on IBM i comes unconfigured by default, which is the motivation behind ibmi-dotfiles and the default dotfiles it installs. The default dotfiles installed by ibmi-dotfiles are meant to be nearly barebones and a jumping off point. There's a lot one can do with dotfiles, and below are some of the key features that come with what is installed by ibmi-dotfiles.


Aliases on command line are just shortcuts for other commands.

ibmi-dotfiles aliases:

  • reload is short for source ~/.bash_profile, which will reload your dotfiles
  • ls, dir, vdir, grep, fgrep, and egrep are all aliases with --color=auto included, which will use dircolors to color directories, symlinks, files, etc in the output list
  • ll is short for ls -alF
  • la is short for ls -A
  • l is short for ls -CF
  • .. is short for cd ..
  • ... is short for cd ../..
  • .... is short for cd ../../.. and so on and so on for this alias.


Functions, when defined in dotfiles and sourced in BASH, can be treated as simple scripts. For example, mkcdr will take an option of a path, create it, and cd to it.

ibmi-dtofiles functions:

  • mkcdr <path> will create the path defined and cd to it
  • extract <zip>.[tar.bz2,tar.gz,bz2,rar,gz,tar,tbz2,tgz,zip,Z,7z] will unpack nearly any zip
  • h <path> will go to a path relative to the home directory
  • d <path> will go to a path relative to the development directory, currently set to ~/Development and can be changed


The default history is small. ibmi-dotfiles defines a much larger history and makes sure history is appending and not overwriting, so the history will include many commands over a long period of time.


ibmi-dotfiles makes sure to include anything it can in the $PATH, so you can have access to zendphp7, QOpenSys, and other binaries. ~/.local/bin is included in the path, and this is a nice place to include custom scripts you've written and would like to run conveniently through command line.


Your BASH prompt is what appears before every command you write. Most systems come with a useful prompt that gives information about your user and the system you're using. The default one on IBM i appears like so:


While good enough, this doesn't tell us much. ibmi-dotfiles will make your prompt appear like so:

username@hostname:current_dir (git-branch-if-in-git-repo)$

Or, with actual values:

josh@DEVLPAR:project-dir (master)$

You can do a lot with your prompt. Learn more.


This is where you should put all your environment variables. For now, there are a few included in the inital install, like JAVA_HOME, TERM, and PAGER.


The inputrc is usually included under /etc/inputrc on most systems and doesn't require any customization. IBM i does not have this yet, so ibmi-dotfiles includes a default one in your home directory. This will fix some bugs, like the home/end/delete keys not working on command line.

Terminal size and globstar

  • shopt -s checkwinsize will check the window size each resize and reset $LINES and $COLUMNS accordingly
  • shopt -s globstar will allow us use ** in path names to expand the path and check all directories/subdirectories


Vim is a powerful text editor, especially when you start customizing it. Some features included from ibmi-dotfiles are:

  • Fixed backspace
  • Relative line numbers
  • jk as a shortcut for esc


Feedback and contributions are welcome. If you find any bugs or think any features should be added, please create an issue.

If you want to contribute code, please follow standard forking and pull requests. That is, create a fork, make a branch, commit your changes to that branch, and submit a PR between this repository and your branch.

Note for those that used beta versions

Please note that the repo URL has changed: This must be updated in /QOpenSys/etc/yum/repos.d/sobored.repo

Since I've changed the architecture to noarch, you'll probably have to:

yum clean metadata
yum remove ibmi-dotfiles
yum install ibmi-dotfiles


IBM i BASH configuration dotfiles and a CLI to install them.







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