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Config Management, the UNIX way:

The configuration system is inspired by VIM's modelines, which are basically comments that can control VIM's settings separately for code files. So, something like

// vim: set nonumbers:

in a source code's top or bottom lines would turn off line numbering in VIM when opening that source file. This is elegant as every config file has some comment system (and isn't worth using if it doesn't) and file properties can be easily specified in this way for every file.

Let's look at the file structure.

    ├── backup
    │   ├── 2015-11-30_13-46-31
    │   └── ........
    ├── configs
    │   ├── nvimrc
    │   ├── Xdefaults
    │   └── ........
    └── current_state

During the initial setup, you are only concerned with, and the folder configs. An empty current_state file may be needed. Your dotfiles and config folders go inside configs folder. The files can have any name and do not need to be named the same as the final target. For eg. .vimrc when kept inside the configs folder can be named mysuperamazingvimconfig and it won't matter. You can also group files of similar purpose together as the files will be searched recursively.

Now how do the files know where to go? Here is the easy part. Inside the corrsponding file, you just mention where that files need to go. So, for your mysuperamazingvimconfig, you will have the following in your source:

" place ''~/.vimrc''

The first double quote is to start a comment and the rest is the needed command. Please note that the path is enclosed by a pair of two single quotes not a double quote. Also, this comment will be looked for in the top 3 and the bottom 3 lines of the source code.

Another alternative for the command is:

" place &~/.vimrc&

especially if the file has a special meaning for the single quote (like .Xdefaults).

What about the folders?

For the folder that need to be symlinked, you create a file named folder_config inside the folder and put the same command as above. If the folder itself is being symlinked, then it won't be checked further for symlinkable files/folders. The rest of the folders, obviously will still be. For example, if you have a folder named fonts in configs and you want to place it as ~/.fonts, you will make a file folder_config inside fonts folder with the content:

place ''~/.fonts''

and you are done. All you have to do to create/update the symlinks is run ./ or python2

Under the Hood:

A lot of cool stuff happens under under the hood to ensure that no data loss occurs and no redundant files are created when is executed. Your current symlink status is stored in current_status so that the next time you change a place ''<path>'', the old symlink is deleted to prevent redundancy. If you manually remove the file from configuration management and place the real file in the actual place, then it will take care not to touch it even if it was part of current_status. While adding a file to config system for first time, if the file at target path is not a symlink but a real file, it is copied to the backups folder under current date and time before being replaced by a symlink to prevent data loss.

Planned Features for future:

  • Ability to assert commands to run after placing a file. Eg to run fc-cache after placing fonts folder.
  • Ability to put condidtional statements. For example, place .vimrc only if which vim returns a zero exit code.

Recommended packages (no specific order)

alsa-plugins pulseaudio-alsa alsa-utils aplay dmenu
efibootmgr feh fprintd fwupd git google-chrome i3-gaps
ifconfig imagemagick iproute2 lxdm git base-devel
libfido2 libinput lightdm lightdm-slick-greeter lightdm-webkit2-greeter
neovim net-tools networkmanager network-manager-applet nodejs
pamixer pavucontrol pulseaudio python2 rofi
rxvt-unicode i3lock i3status ttf-dejavu sudo udisks2 vi xclip xsel
xf86-input-libinput xf86-input-synaptics xorg xorg-xinit xterm zsh
google-chrome-stable fingerprint-gui light-git usbutils


The most convinient configuration management system I have ever used. As it so happens, I made it.







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