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dotfile starter

Welcome to the dotfile starter repo!

This is a little project designed to help you get started building and managing your own dotfile repo using gnu stow. This guide assumes you are on a macOS system.

Let's start off with symlinking some dotfiles with GNU Stow! First, make clone this repo into your home directory:

git clone https://github.com/jonleopard/dotfiles_starter.git && cd dotfiles_starter

If you don't have the following set up, go ahead and do so:

homebrew

A package manager for Mac

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

zsh

A bash shell alternative that includes things like file globbing, git command completion, etc. Since I personally use zsh, I've included it in this tutorial. Since this tutorial was written, zsh now ships with macOS, so you can skip this step if you wish.

brew install zsh && sudo dscl . -create /Users/$USER UserShell /usr/local/bin/zsh

stow

A symlink farm manager. This helps us keep our home / directory clean. Alternatives exists and I encourage you to compare them to find what you like.

brew install stow

Practice

Now we can start symlinking some dotfiles. To demonstrate, open a finder and navigiate to your home directory. Make sure invisable files are displaying with either CMD + SHIFT + . or run this defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES in your shell.

There is just one directory in this repo zsh. We will add more later. zsh contains a zsh dotfile named .zshrc_test. Once you run stow on the zsh directory, you should see that dotfile show up in your home directory. Try it out:

Run stow zsh, and then look at your home directory again

You can also avoid using stow altogether if you wish. But as your environment grows, its best to use some sort of dotfile/symlink farm manager to help you keep everything clean and organized. I chose stow because its very tiny (no dependencies, I believe?), and simple to use once you wrap your head how it works.

I wrote a small blog post on stow a while back, feel free to check it out.

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πŸŽ“ A quick starter for creating your own dotfile home.

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