Command line dotfile management tool written in ruby
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Dotty is a command line tool for managing your dotfiles (written in Ruby, using Thor)


  • Store dotfiles in multiple git repositories
  • Automate symlinking and other bootstrapping of dotfile repositories
  • Support profiles so that it's easy to switch between sets of dotfiles
  • Shows uncommited changes / unpushed commits for your dotfile repos
  • Easily update submodules in your dotfile repos

How dotty interacts with dotty repositories

By using one or more of the approaches below, you instruct dotty on how it can boostrap and implode (opposite of bootstrap) your dotty repository.


Dotty will symlink files and directories in the root your repos dotfiles/ directory, relative to ~. You can symlink stuff to sub directories of ~ by using the in+subdir directory naming convention.


dotfiles/.vim             => ~/.vim
dotfiles/in+.ssh/config   => ~/.ssh/config
dotfiles/in+a/in+b/c      => ~/a/b/c


If you want more control over the symlinking, you can create a dotty-symlink.yml in the repo root.




If you want to do more than symlinking, you can create a dotty-repository.thor that implements the 'bootstrap' and 'implode' thor tasks. The class must be named "DottyRepository".


class DottyRepository < Thor
  include Thor::Actions

  desc "bootstrap", "Bootstrap this repo"
  def bootstrap
    # Do stuff here

  desc "implode", "Implode this repo"
  def implode
    # Do stuff here

Installation / usage

gem install dotty


  • ruby (tested on 1.9.2) and rubygems
  • git (the git executable must be in your $PATH)


$ dotty       (or dottie if you have graphviz installed which has a dotty executable)

  dotty add <name> <git repo url>             # Add existing dotty git repository
  dotty bootstrap [name]                      # Bootstrap specified or all dotty repositories. Usually involves making symlinks in your home dir.
  dotty create <name> <git repo url>          # Create a new git repository with the specified git repo url as origin
  dotty create_profile <profile name>         # Create a new profile
  dotty execute <command to run> [repo name]  # For specified or all repositories, run given command
  dotty help [TASK]                           # Describe available tasks or one specific task
  dotty implode [name]                        # Opposite of bootstrap
  dotty import_repos <yaml_file_location>     # Imports dotty repositories from the specified yaml file location (http works)
  dotty list                                  # List installed dotty repositories
  dotty profile [profile name]                # Switch to given profile or show current profile if no profile name is given
  dotty profiles                              # List profiles
  dotty remove <name>                         # Remove dotty repository
  dotty remove_profile <profile name>         # Remove given profile
  dotty update [name]                         # Update specified or all dotty repositories
  dotty update_submodules [name]              # For specified or all repositories, for submodules and pull

Creating an example dotty repository

$ dotty create dotty-test

 create repo  dotty-test []
         run  git init /Users/trym/.dotty/default/dotty-test from "."
Initialized empty Git repository in /Users/trym/.dotty/default/dotty-test/.git/
         run  git remote add origin from "./.dotty/default/dotty-test"
      create  .dotty/default/dotty-test/dotfiles
      create  .dotty/default/dotty-test/

$ cd ~/.dotty/default/dotty-test
$ touch dotfiles/testfile
$ dotty bootstrap dotty-test
   bootstrap  dotty-test
      create    sers/trym/testfile

$ ls -al ~/testfile
lrwxr-xr-x  1 trym  staff  55 May  3 01:05 /Users/trym/testfile -> /Users/trym/.dotty/default/dotty-test/dotfiles/testfile

$ dotty implode dotty-test
     implode  dotty-test
      remove  /Users/trym/testfile


Released under the LGPL License. See the LICENSE file for further details.