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dotfiles symbolic links management CLI
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dotfiles Command

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This repository provides dotfiles command to manage your dotfiles. It manages your dotfiles repository and symbolic links to use the configurations.

This command has below goals:

  • One binary executable: If you want to set configuration files in a remote server, all you have to do is sending a binary to the remote.
  • Do one thing and to it well: This command manages only a dotfiles repository. Does not handle any other dependencies. If you want full-setup including dependencies, you should use more suitable tool such as Ansible. And then use dotfiles command from it.
  • Less dependency: Only depends on git command.
  • Sensible defaults: Many sensible default symbolic link mappings are pre-defined. You need not to specify the mappings for almost all configuration files.

Note: My dotfiles is here

Getting Started

  1. Download a released executable and put it in $PATH or $ go get
  2. Change current directory to the directory you want to put a dotfiles repository.
  3. Clone your dotfiles repository with $ dotfiles clone.
  4. Enter the repository and run $ dotfiles link --dry to check which symlinks will be generated.
  5. Write .dotfiles/mappings.json if needed.
  6. $ dotfiles link
  7. After you no longer need your configuration, remove all links with $ dotfiles clean.


$ dotfiles {subcommand} [arguments]

clone subcommand

Clone your dotfiles repository from remote.

# Clone into current directory
$ dotfiles clone rhysd

# Clone into current directory
$ dotfiles clone rhysd --https

# You can explicitly specify the repository name
$ dotfiles clone rhysd/dogfiles

# You can also use full-path
$ dotfiles clone
$ dotfiles clone

link subcommand

Set symbolic links to put your configuration files into proper places.

$ dotfiles link [options] [files...]

You can dry-run this command with --dry option.

If some files in dotfiles repository are specified, only they will be linked.

list subcommand

Show all links set by this command.

$ dotfiles list

clean subcommand

Remove all symbolic link put by dotfiles link.

$ dotfiles clean

update subcommand

git pull your dotfiles repository from anywhere.

$ dotfiles update

selfupdate subcommand

Update dotfiles binary (or dotfiles.exe on Windows) itself.

$ dotfiles selfupdate

Default Mappings

It depends on your platform. Please see source code.

Symbolic Link Mappings

dotfiles command has sensible default mappings from configuration files in dotfiles repository to symbolic links put by dotfiles link. And you can flexibly specify the mappings for your dotfiles manner. Please create a .dotfiles directory and put a .dotfiles/mappings.json file in the root of your dotfiles repository.

Below is an example of mappings.json. You can use ~ to represent a home directory. As key, you can specify a name of file or directory in your dotfiles repository. They will be linked to the corresponding values as symbolic links.

  "gitignore": "~/.global.gitignore",
  "cabal_config": "~/.cabal/config"

In addition, you can define platform specific mappings with below mappings JSON files.

  • .dotfiles/mappings_unixlike.json: Will link the mappings in Linux or macOS.
  • .dotfiles/mappings_linux.json: Will link the mappings in Linux.
  • .dotfiles/mappings_darwin.json: Will link the mappings in macOS.
  • .dotfiles/mappings_windows.json: Will link the mappings in Windows.

Below is an example of .dotfiles/mappings_darwin.json.

  "keyremap4macbook.xml": "~/Library/Application Support/Karabiner/private.xml",
  "mac.vimrc": "~/.mac.vimrc"

Real world example is my dotfiles.


Licensed under the MIT license.

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