Why would I want my dotfiles on GitHub?
- Backup, restore, and sync the prefs and settings for your
toolbox. Your dotfiles might be the most important files on your machine.
- Learn from the community. Discover new tools for your toolbox and new
tricks for the ones you already use.
- Share what you've learned with the rest of us.
Get started with a bootstrap
If you're just starting out, before you go symlinking everything in
you may want to check out a few bootstrap projects that take the heavy lifting
out of the process. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Zach Holman's dotfiles features topical organization, auto sourcing Zsh files, easy Zsh completion extensions, and a local bin folder for executables. The included
Rakefile will symlink anything ending in
.symlink to your
- Mathias Bynens' dotfiles includes a bootstrap script that rsyncs your repo to your home folder. Mathias' OS X defaults script is legendary.
- Yan Pritzker's dotfiles bundles an opinionated set of Vim plugins and Zsh setup all tuned for using Solarized on OS X.
- Ben Alman's dotfiles support different configurations per OS, linking, copying and environment setup.
- Paul Miller’s dotfiles feature greatly customized Zsh with auto-completion and syntax highlighting, a bunch of useful Git extras and colourful themes for OS X Terminal and Sublime Text.
- xero's dotfiles are managed with GNU Stow, a free, portable, lightweight symlink farm manager.
- Adam Eivy's dotfiles are focused on Automation (no manual install/config) for Zsh and OS X with a friendly bot to guide your way.
- Andrew Schwartzmeyer's dotfiles use GNU Stow (like xero's) for symlink management, and
git-subtree for repository integration.
- Jeff Coffler's dotfiles has a bootstrap script that symlinks and doesn't require "." (hidden file) in the repo. The repo itself can live anywhere.
- Ashish Bhatia's dotfiles focus on Android development and reverse engineering on OS X.
- dotphiles are a community driven framework of dotfiles, for the usual terminal apps and shells, designed to work across multiple platforms and degrade for older versions of software or OS, allowing you to use the same settings on all your machines.
- jh3y's kody is a dotfiles runner/manager written with node inspired by Zach Holman's popular dotfiles.
- Awesome dotfiles contains articles, tools and other resources to get you up to speed with dotfiles.
Go further with a framework
For a lot of us, a big chunk of our
~ folder is devoted to our shell and
our text editor. Until you're ready to roll your own setup, these projects make
customization safe and easy.
- Liquid Prompt is a full-featured and carefully designed adaptive prompt for Bash and Zsh.
- bash-it is a "shameless ripoff of oh-my-zsh," but for bash.
- antigen is a framework for using plugins and themes in your Zsh configuration. It will automatically clone repositories containing the plugins you're using without you having to manually create submodules or clones, and supports using oh-my-zsh plugins and themes as well as ones published as separate repositories.
- antigen-hs is an antigen-inspired Zsh plugin manager that tries to do work statically and only on manual invocation, minimizing the Zsh startup time. Antigen-hs is much more minimalistic and emphasizes convention over configuration more strongly than antigen.
- dotzsh strives to be platform and version independent, some functionality may be lost when running under older versions of Zsh, but it should degrade cleanly and allow you to use the same setup on multiple machines of differing OS's without problems.
- oh-my-zsh is a community-driven framework for managing your Zsh configuration. It bundles 40+ plugins and 80+ themes.
- Prezto is a configuration framework for Zsh. It's a lightweight alternative to oh-my-zsh with sane defaults, aliases, functions, auto completion, prompt themes and dozens of well documented modules.
- slimzsh is a small starter framework for Zsh that features the pure prompt, syntax highlighting and tab completion.
- zgen is a lightweight plugin manager for Zsh inspired by Antigen. The goal is to have a minimal overhead when starting up the shell because nobody likes waiting. Zgen will also automatically handle cloning repositories for plugins you're using without you manually maintaining submodules or clones, and can use oh-my-zsh formatted plugins and themes.
- awesome-zsh-plugins is a list of Zsh plugins, themes and completions compatible with Zsh frameworks like antigen, oh-my-zsh and zgen.
- Cask is a package manager for Emacs.
- Prelude is an enhanced Emacs 24 distribution that should make your experience with Emacs both more pleasant and more powerful.
- Spacemacs is a Emacs 24 distribution that builds on Evil-mode with ports of popular Vim plugins to closer emulate a Vim environment.
- use-package is a declaration macro for simplifying your
- Janus is a distribution of plugins and mappings for Vim, Gvim and MacVim.
- Neobundle is a next generation Vim plugin manager.
- Pathogen is a plugin manager for Vim.
- Vundle is short for Vim Bundle and is a plugin manager for Vim. It works with Pathogen compatible vim plugins.
- vim-plug is a simple plugin manager that supports parallel installations / upgrades.
- dotvim is a community driven framework for vim.
- spf13-vim is Steve Francia's Vim distribution of vim plugins and resources for Vim, Gvim and MacVim.
General-purpose dotfile utilities
- Alterant by Andrew Rynhard is a self-contained dotfile manager and lightweight provisioning tool that supports encryption of sensitive data, multiline command execution, and a single file configuration for multiple machines.
- Config Curator lets you define how your complete configuration should be installed in a single YAML file which you check into VCS. Supports files, entire directories, and creating symlinks.
- Dotbot is a lightweight standalone tool to bootstrap dotfiles, making it easy to have a "one click" installation/upgrade process for your dotfiles.
- dotfiler is inspired by homesick and Zach Holman's dotfiles, made using principle of KISS.
- dotfiles.sh by Trevor King. Dotfiles.sh manages multiple dotfile repositories so you can keep your public and private configuration separate. It also supports locally patching your dotfiles before symlinking to adapt to the local machine. Dotfile repositories may be fetched via either Git or (where Git is not available) wget.
- Dotsync utility for syncing dotfiles between multiple machines from a Git repo or push using rsync.
- dotty by Vibhav Pant.
dotty uses a simple JSON-formatted file to symlink and/or copy your dotfiles. It can also execute shell commands and check for directories, and create them accordingly.
- Ellipsis is a package manager for dotfiles.
- exogenesis by Lucas Dohmen.
exogenesis uses a simple YAML-formatted file to symlink your dotfiles and install npms/bundlers.
- fresh is a tool to source dotfiles from others into your own. It supports shell configuration (aliases, functions, etc.) as well as config files (e.g.
gitconfig). Think of it as Bundler for your dotfiles.
- Ghar by Brandon Philip. Ghar is a standalone Python script for managing Git repos symlinked into your home.
- GNU Stow is a symlink farm manager, useful for automatically (and safely) linking your dotfiles folder into your home directory.
- Homemaker by Alex Yatskov. Homemaker is a standalone tool written in Golang to manage both common and machine-specific dotfile settings. Homemaker can be configured in TOML, YAML or JSON.
- Homeshick by Anders Ingemann is like Homesick but written in bash. Great to combine with myrepos.
- Homesick, by Josh Nichols. Homesick makes it easy to symlink and clone dotfiles repos.
- myrepos is a tool to manage all your version control repositories at once.
- Pearl is a brand new revolutionary package manager that allows to automatically activate dotfiles whenever shells or editors start via a smart hook mechanism. Dotfiles are treated as packages that coexist together seamlessly and can be fully controlled and synced across different systems. There is a wide range of packages already available in the Official Pearl Hub.
- rcm is a set of well-documented shell scripts that help manage your dotfiles. It is easily installable on OS X with the homebrew package manager, but works on all Unix operating systems.
- The Super User Spark is a declarative domain specific language that allows you to specify the deployment of your dotfiles. It also includes a compiler and interpreter for the language.
- vcsh by Richard "RichiH" Hartmann.
vcsh manages all your dotfiles in Git without the need for symlinks. Any number of Git repositories will co-exist in parallel in your
$HOME without interferring with each other. Advanced use cases with different branches for different systems are supported by default. An extensive hook system lets you customize your repositories.
vcsh includes batch push, pull, and status commands which operate on all your repositories at once.
- yadm by Tim Byrne.
yadm is a dotfile management tool with 3 main features: Manages files across systems using a single Git repository. Provides a way to use alternate files on a specific OS or host. Supplies a method of encrypting confidential data so it can safely be stored in your repository.
- Lars Kappert wrote a tutorial about getting started using a dotfiles repository.
- Anish Athalye wrote a guide on dotfiles management highlighting organizational approaches, installation tools, and general tips and tricks.
- Wes Bos has a series of free videos introducing Zsh, oh-my-zsh, and z.
Don't ignore your
GitHub has a great collection of
.gitignore templates for a wide range of languages and editors. We recommend Simon Whitaker's gitignore-boilerplates to help you manage them.
Embrace submodules / subtrees
Consider using Git submodules as you
start to add 3rd party frameworks, scripts, and plugins. Submodules make
managing dotfile dependencies so much easier.
If you get fed up with submodules, many people prefer
which lets you merge subtrees (other repositories) into one Git repository, and
later split and push changes back out.
Talk to others
In addition to the GitHub dotfiles community, there is a great vcs-home
group, with a mailing list, IRC channel, and wiki.
Why create this site?
Some of your fellow GitHub friends have
found incredible value in digging through Other People's Dotfiles
(OPD). We aim to share that knowledge with you, our fellow wayfaring
stranger in the shell.
You totally need to know about a great bootstrap or framework, how do I submit?
Great! We're always looking for new projects to follow. Please submit a PR or connect
with us on Twitter.
Oh no! I've committed passwords/API keys/other sensitive data!
We've got you covered! Take a look at the sensitive data removal
Your FAQ is weak. It so did not answer my question.
That's not a question. But feel free to ask us anything on
Twitter, or to create an issue on this repository. Maybe we can expand this list.
Want to help out? Great! Submit a feature request, open an issue, or submit a patch.