Meet the Dotfiles

For a long time I was amazed by UNIX like systems (MacOS and Ubuntu LInux are the ones I am most familiar with). There’s something about this feeling of control that I get when I see the lines of text in the terminal window… Although there was a part that confused a shit out of me – the configuration part, with its .bashrc, .zshrc, .bash_profile and other similar files. Basically every install I had to perform asked me to add a line to my “.%something%rc” file, like this one:

export PATH=$PATH:/path/to/folder/with/binaries

Every time I got confused what gets where and why should I put it there…

Today I was reading this post about the whole VIM setup and configuration (wanna learn that beast) and found that people often refer to those files as “dotfiles” (due to the dot at the front). Apparently it looks like its a pretty common practice to gather all those config files (for bash, zsh, vim, aliases, etc.) and manage them in a separate directory using Git or other version control system.

By digging deeper I found interesting tutorial that described all the variety of possible dotfiles and gave links to github repositories with dotfile configurations of famous people (e.g. Paul Irish).

Here I also found an example of basic installation script, which backups old dotfiles and creates symlinks to the files in the dotfile/ directory. This looks like super helpful thingy after for configuring freshly-installed systems.

Anyway, the topic seems pretty interesting, so I am going to do more research into the topic and come up with my own (pretty basic for starters) set of configurations.


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