Another dotfiles manager

Pavel Avgustinov pavel at
Thu Mar 11 13:22:26 CET 2010

On Thursday 11 March 2010 12:02:23 martin f krafft wrote:
> also sprach chombee <chombee at> [2010.03.10.1822 +0100]:
> > I'm sure everyone already has their own one of these, but I just wanted
> > to post my dotfile manager:
> >
> >
> >
> > I've been using it for a while now and it seems to work well, I've
> > ironed out a couple of bugs that it initially had. It's basically a
> > re-implementation of Steve Kemp's dotfile manager in Python, but with
> > some minor design tweaks.
> I wonder what these offer that GNU stow or xstow couldn't do.

From what I can see, the host-specific linking (i.e. prefer a file with suffix 
"__foo" on host foo).

> Similarly, I wonder why people use symlinks instead of hardlinks.
> Sure thing, hardlinks are brittle, but if the manager keeps track
> anyway, it might just as well recreate hardlinks as necessary.

I think the killer point is that you can remove a file from the .config 
directory and detect dangling symlinks, while you wouldn't be able to tell a 
dangling hard link apart from an untracked config file.

Anyway, one feature that my custom-baked scripts provide which isn't present 
(I think -- happy to be corrected!) in either of the dotfile-manager solutions 
is merging multiple VCS-controlled files into one. Occasionally some program 
doesn't provide a useful import/include mechanism for its configuration (e.g. 
the .ssh/config file), but I still want some parts to be host-specific (use 
internal IPs for hostnames if I am on a host on the same network) and others 
global (most of the rest). A feature that took appropriate snippets from 
.config/_ssh/.config.d/* and concatenated them would address this.

- P

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