With the introduction of my first Apple laptop a few years ago, my home
computers went from being half Unix-like (I had a healthy mix of Linux and
Windows machines) to mainly (two thirds) Unix-like. With it came a change in the
kind of software I use on a daily basis and an increased need to synchronize the
configuration of those programs between my machines.
Enter the “dotfiles community”: an informal group of people who, as Zach
Holman puts it, think that “dotfiles are meant to be forked”.
“Dotfiles” are rooted in Unix culture – the name refers to the configuration
files starting with a dot that clutter your home directory like crazy. This
means you will mostly find Mac and Linux users in there (that’s ok, they’re
pretty nice… usually), but to me it’s mostly about putting all your
configuration files in source control in a way that makes it easy to setup new
machines and share with others.
So like everybody else, I put my dotfiles out there for anyone to
poke around. They’re mostly boring, but you may find a few useful things, like
those I outline below (after the break). Nothing earth-shattering, but if it
saves you the 15 minutes needed to write it, that’s 15 minutes you can spend on
doing actual stuff.