Keeping your computer settings and your favorite apps 'n scripts in one place is really easy with your own dotfiles collection. Store them in a Github repository and your personal preferences are safe and sound.
Dotfiles need maintenance
There is just one thing I find really difficult: maintaining those files. When I come across a setting or a useful script, I usually try it out, see if it sticks, and after a while it becomes part of my trusted toolkit. At which point I don't take the time to update my dotfiles. I don't touch them for a couple of months - and when I need them, they're incomplete.
The solution for me was Yet Another Dotfiles Manager (YADM):
- It syncs my local dotfiles with my Github repository by providing the
- It provides a way to bootstrap script files in the repo when they're deployed for the first time.
- It is available on both Linux and the Mac.
- Bonus: it can be easily installed through APT and Brew!
On a fresh Linux Box, I can simply enter:
$ sudo apt-get install -y yadm && yadm clone https://github.com/thijskok/dotfiles.git
This will install YADM, clone my dotfiles, configure my personal preferences and install all the apps and scripts I need. This includes setting up my VimRC, installing its plugins and installing its dependencies, for example.
When I change one of my dotfiles, I can just type:
yadm commit -a -m "Message" && yadm push
Which will update my repository. Maintenance has suddenly become a breeze 😀.