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Welcome to my world! Here you'll find a collection of configuration files for various tools and programs that I use on a daily basis. These dotfiles have been carefully curated and customized to streamline my workflow and improve my productivity. Your results may vary, but feel free to give it a try! Whether you're a fellow developer looking to optimize your setup or just curious about how I organize my digital life, I hope you find something useful in these dotfiles. So take a look around and feel free to borrow, modify, or fork to your heart's content. Happy coding!


Did you arrive here through my YouTube talk, vim + tmux? My dotfiles have changed tremendously since then, but feel free to peruse the state of this repo at the time the video was recorded.


Initial setup

The first thing you need to do is to clone this repo into a location of your choosing. For example, if you have a ~/Developer directory where you clone all of your git repos, that's a good choice for this one, too. This repo is setup to not rely on the location of the dotfiles, so you can place it anywhere.


If you're on macOS, you'll also need to install the XCode CLI tools before continuing.

xcode-select --install
git clone


This dotfiles configuration is set up in such a way that it shouldn't matter where the repo exists on your system.

The script, is the one-stop for all things setup, backup, and installation.

> ./ help

Usage: {backup|link|homebrew|shell|terminfo|macos|all}


./ backup

Create a backup of the current dotfiles (if any) into ~/.dotfiles-backup/. This will scan for the existence of every file that is to be symlinked and will move them over to the backup directory. It will also do the same for vim setups, moving some files in the XDG base directory, (~/.config).

  • ~/.config/nvim/ - The home of neovim configuration
  • ~/.vim/ - The home of vim configuration
  • ~/.vimrc - The main init file for vim


./ link

The link command will create symbolic links from the dotfiles directory into the $HOME directory, allowing for all of the configuration to act as if it were there without being there, making it easier to maintain the dotfiles in isolation.


./ homebrew

The homebrew command sets up homebrew by downloading and running the homebrew installers script. Homebrew is a macOS package manager, but it also work on linux via Linuxbrew. If the script detects that you're installing the dotfiles on linux, it will use that instead. For consistency between operating systems, linuxbrew is set up but you may want to consider an alternate package manager for your particular system.

Once homebrew is installed, it executes the brew bundle command which will install the packages listed in the Brewfile.


./ shell

The shell command sets up the recommended shell configuration for the dotfiles setup. Specifically, it sets the shell to zsh using the chsh command.


./ terminfo

This command uses tic to set up the terminfo, specifically to allow for italics within the terminal. If you don't care about that, you can ignore this command.


./ macos

The macos command sets up macOS-specific configurations using the defaults write commands to change default values for macOS.

  • Finder: show all filename extensions
  • show hidden files by default
  • only use UTF-8 in
  • expand save dialog by default
  • Enable full keyboard access for all controls (e.g. enable Tab in modal dialogs)
  • Enable subpixel font rendering on non-Apple LCDs
  • Use current directory as default search scope in Finder
  • Show Path bar in Finder
  • Show Status bar in Finder
  • Disable press-and-hold for keys in favor of key repeat
  • Set a blazingly fast keyboard repeat rate
  • Set a shorter Delay until key repeat
  • Enable tap to click (Trackpad)
  • Enable Safari’s debug menu


./ all

This command runs all of the installation tasks described above, in full, with the exception of the backup script. You must run that one manually.

ZSH Configuration

The prompt for ZSH is configured in the zshrc.symlink file and performs the following operations.

  • Sets EDITOR to nvim
  • Loads any ~/.terminfo setup
  • Sets CODE_DIR to ~/Developer. This can be changed to the location you use to put your git checkouts, and enables fast cd-ing into it via the c command
  • Recursively searches the $DOTFILES/zsh directory for any .zsh files and sources them
  • Sources a ~/.localrc, if available for configuration that is machine-specific and/or should not ever be checked into git
  • Adds ~/bin and $DOTFILES/bin to the PATH

ZSH plugins

There are a number of plugins in use for ZSH, and they are installed and maintained separately via the zfetch command. zfetch is a custom plugin manager available here. The plugins that are used are listed in the .zshrc and include

Additional plugins can be added to the ~/.zshrc, or to ~/.localrc if you want them to stay out of git.

# Add a line like this and the plugin will automatically be downloaded and sourced
zfetch nicknisi/work-scripts


Aloxaf/fzf-tab The prompt is meant to be simple while still providing a lot of information to the user, particularly about the status of the git project, if the PWD is a git project. This prompt sets precmd, PROMPT and RPROMPT. The precmd shows the current working directory in it and the RPROMPT shows the git and suspended jobs info. The main symbol used on the actual prompt line is .

The prompt attempts to speed up certain information lookups by allowing for the prompt itself to be asynchronously rewritten as data comes in. This prevents the prompt from feeling sluggish when, for example, the user is in a large git repo and the git prompt commands take a considerable amount of time.

It does this by writing the actual text that will be displayed int he prompt to a temp file, which is then used to update the prompt information when a signal is trapped.

Git Prompt

The git info shown on the RPROMPT displays the current branch name, along with the following symbols.

  • + - New files were added
  • ! - Existing files were modified
  • ? - Untracked files exist that are not ignored
  • » - Current changes include file renaming
  • - An existing tracked file has been deleted
  • $ - There are currently stashed files
  • = - There are unmerged files
  • - Branch is ahead of the remote (indicating a push is needed)
  • - Branch is behind the remote (indicating a pull is needed)
  • - The branches have diverged (indicating history has changed and maybe a force-push is needed)
  • - The current working directory is clean

Jobs Prompt

The prompt will also display a character in the RPROMPT indicating that there is a suspended job that exists in the background. This is helpful in keeping track of putting vim in the background by pressing CTRL-Z.

Node Prompt

If a package.json file or a node_modules directory exists in the current working directory, display the node symbol, along with the current version of Node. This is useful information when switching between projects that depend on different versions of Node.

Neovim setup


This is no longer a vim setup. The configuration has been moved to be Neovim-specific and (mostly) written in Lua. vim is also set up as an alias to nvim to help with muscle memory.

The simplest way to install Neovim is to install it from homebrew.

brew install neovim

However, it was likely installed already if you ran the ./ brew command provided in the dotfiles.

All of the configuration for Neovim starts at config/nvim/init.lua, which is symlinked into the ~/.config/nvim directory.


The first time you run nvim with this configuration, it will likely have a lot of errors. This is because it is dependent on a number of plugins being installed.

Installing plugins

On the first run, all required plugins should automaticaly by installed by lazy.nvim, a plugin manager for neovim.

All plugins are listed in plugins.lua. When a plugin is added, it will automatically be installed by lazy.nvim. To interface with lazy.nvim, simply run :Lazy from within vim.


Plugins can be synced in a headless way from the command line using the vimu alias.

tmux configuration

I prefer to run everything inside of tmux. I typically use a large pane on the top for neovim and then multiple panes along the bottom or right side for various commands I may need to run. There are no pre-configured layouts in this repository, as I tend to create them on-the-fly and as needed.

This repo ships with a tm command which provides a list of active session, or provides prompts to create a new one.

> tm
Available sessions

1) New Session
Please choose your session: 1
Enter new session name: open-source

This configuration provides a bit of style to the tmux bar, along with some additional data such as the currently playing song (from Apple Music or Spotify), the system name, the session name, and the current time.


It also changes the prefix from ⌃-b to ⌃-a (⌃ is the control key). This is because I tend to remap the Caps Lock button to Control, and then having the prefix makes more sense.

tmux key commands

Pressing the Prefix followed by the following will have the following actions in tmux.

Command Description
h Select the pane to the left
j Select the pane to the bottom
k Select the pane to the top
l Select the pane to the right
⇧-H Enlarge the pane to the left
⇧-J Enlarge the pane to the bottom
⇧-K Enlarge the pane to the top
⇧-L Enlarge the pane to the right
- (dash) Create a vertical split
| (pipe) Create a horizontal split

Minimal tmux UI

Setting a $TMUX_MINIMAL environment variable will do some extra work to hide the tmux status bar when there is only a single tmux window open. This is not the default in this repo because it can be confusing, but it is my preferred way to work. To set this, you can use the ~/.localrc file to set it in the following way.


Docker Setup

A Dockerfile exists in the repository as a testing ground for linux support. To set up the image, make sure you have Docker installed and then run the following command.

docker build -t dotfiles --force-rm --build-arg PRIVATE_KEY="$(cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa)" --build-arg PUBLIC_KEY="$(cat ~/.ssh/" .

This should create a dotfiles image which will set up the base environment with the dotfiles repo cloned. To run, execute the following command.

docker run -it --rm dotfiles

This will open a bash shell in the container which can then be used to manually test the dotfiles installation process with linux.

Preferred software

I almost exclusively work on macOS, so this list will be specific to that operating system, but several of these reccomendations are also available, cross-platform.

  • WezTerm - A GPU-based terminal emulator


If you have questions, notice issues, or would like to see improvements, please open a new discussion and I'm happy to help you out!