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thoughtbot dotfiles


Set zsh as your login shell.

chsh -s /bin/zsh


Clone onto your laptop:

git clone git://

(Or, fork and keep your fork updated).


cd dotfiles

This will create symlinks for config files in your home directory. If you include the line "DO NOT EDIT BELOW THIS LINE" anywhere in a config file, it will copy that file over instead of symlinking it, and it will leave everything above that line in your local config intact.

You can safely run ./ multiple times to update.

Make your own customizations

Put your customizations at the top of files, separated by "DO NOT EDIT BELOW THIS LINE."

For example, the top of your ~/.gitconfig might look like this:

  name = Joe Ferris
  email =


  default = current

The top of your ~/.zlogin might look like this:

# Productivity
alias todo='$EDITOR ~/.todo'


# recommended by brew doctor
export PATH="/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/sbin:$PATH"

What's in it?

vim configuration:

  • Ctrl-P for fuzzy file/buffer/tag finding.
  • Rails.vim for enhanced navigation of Rails file structure via gf and :A (alternate), :Rextract partials, :Rinvert migrations, etc.
  • Run RSpec specs from vim.
  • Set <leader> to a single space.
  • Switch between the last two files with space-space.
  • Syntax highlighting for CoffeeScript, Textile, Cucumber, Haml, Markdown, and HTML.
  • Use Ag instead of Grep when available.
  • Use Exuberant Ctags for tab completion.
  • Use GitHub color scheme.
  • Use Vundle to manage plugins.

tmux configuration:

  • Improve color resolution.
  • Remove administrative debris (session name, hostname, time) in status bar.
  • Set prefix to Ctrl+a (like GNU screen).
  • Soften status bar color from harsh green to light gray.

git configuration:

  • Adds a create-branch alias to create feature branches.
  • Adds a delete-branch alias to delete feature branches.
  • Adds a merge-branch alias to merge feature branches into master.

Shell aliases and scripts:

  • b for bundle.
  • g with no arguments is git status and with arguments acts like git.
  • git-churn to show churn for the files changed in the branch.
  • load-backup-into development or load-backup-into staging to load latest production database backup into development/staging.
  • m for rake db:migrate && rake db:rollback && rake db:migrate && rake db:test:prepare.
  • mcd to make a directory and change into it.
  • production backup, production migrate, production tail, watch production ps, etc. to interact with production Heroku environment. This script also acts as a pass-through so you can do anything with it that you can do with heroku _______ -r production.
  • rake is zeus rake if using Zeus on the project in current directory.
  • replace foo bar **/*.rb to find and replace within a given list of files.
  • rk for rake.
  • rspec is zeus rspec if using Zeus on the project in current directory.
  • staging version of production script.
  • tat to attach to tmux session named the same as the current directory.
  • v for $VISUAL.


Thank you, contributors!


Dotfiles is maintained by thoughtbot, inc The names and logos for thoughtbot are trademarks of thoughtbot, inc.

Dotfiles is © 2009-2013 thoughtbot, inc. It is free software and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the MIT-LICENSE file.

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