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ghar (ghar: home as repositories)

ghar can help you manage your $HOME in git using a collection of git repos seperated by topic or privacy. For example if you work on a variety of machines and want to share your .emacs on github but not your .ssh then ghar is for you.

Brandon Philips


ghar aims to be self contained to make it easy to use on machines where you may not have root. The clone of ghar you make below contains the ghar tool and will be the directory in which you clone all of your dotfile repos.

$ git clone
$ export PATH=$PATH:`pwd`/ghar/bin/ # You may wish to make this permanent

If you'd like bash tab completion, either move the included into /etc/bash_completion.d/ (requires root), or source the file directly:

$ . `pwd`/ghar/

Getting Started

Now, lets create a devel repo which will contain your .vimrc config file (or any other dotfile you choose). And then have ghar install it.

"ghar repos" are git repositories contained under the root ghar directory. For example if you cloned ghar in a directory called $HOME/tools in the INSTALL step above you will want to cd into $HOME/tools/ghar now to create your first ghar repo called devel:

$ cd ghar	# cd into the clone of ghar you made in the INSTALL step
$ ls
$ mkdir devel
$ cd devel
$ git init
$ mv ~/.vimrc .
$ git add .vimrc
$ git commit -m "vimrc: initial commit"
$ ghar install
    installed	/home/philips/.vimrc
$ ghar install --status
   ok	/home/philips/.vimrc

Adding External Repos

Adding an external repo is easy. ghar will do a git clone of the external repo into the proper directory and then install the symlinks with two commands:

$ ghar add git:// oh-my-zsh
$ ghar install
   installed	/home/philips/.oh-my-zsh

Upgrading a machine

To upgrade a machine to the latest version of all of the repos do the following:

$ ghar pull		# pull in all repos
$ ghar install	# install any new files

DONE! Enjoy the latest version of your configs.

Ignoring Files

ghar looks for a .gharignore file in each ghar repo it installs. This file lists, one per line, fnmatch-style patterns (e.g. README.*, *.txt, etc.) to ignore when creating symlinks.

Example .gharignore:



These two chaps helped me on the original bash implementation. However, our original plan of attack ended up being too unwieldy as it used the --git-dir directive to do the magic instead of symlinks.

  • Graham Forest
  • Gavin McQuillan


  • Jeff Wong
  • Matthew Batema
  • Torne Wuff
  • Jacob Kaplan-Moss
  • aff0
  • Charles R. Hogg III

Notes about Windows support

Creating symlinks under Windows requires Administrator rights. This means that you will have to run ghar as Administrator / with elevated privileges (Windows Vista and higher).