One of my goals is to perfect my dotfile setup. I suppose this means that I’m not quite all in as a manager yet. Every self-respecting developer has their dotfiles in a public repository on GitHub, but I have a couple of requirements beyond just being able to clone my dotfiles on any machine. They are:
- I have some dotfile information that can go into a public repository, and some configuration and preferences that must live behind the firewall for use on work computers. I’d like for the behind the firewall stuff to be a supplement to my public dotfile information. For example, my
.vimrcshould be the same everywhere. My
.bashrcshould be mostly the same, with a few additions of stuff for work. I may also have some dotfiles that are exclusive to my work environment. Any setup should understand how to clone files first from my public repo, and then apply the dotfiles from the private repository.
- Homebrew can be bootstrapped using a single shell command. (Check it out under the Install Homebrew heading on the Homebrew page.) I’d like to have something similar for my dotfiles. Not only would it be cool, but it would also be useful at work. All of our servers at work are managed using Chef. It’s possible to check your dotfiles into our Chef repository and have them deployed automatically on all of our servers, so that when you log into a new server, it already has your preferred environment set up. I have two issues with just putting my dotfiles into Chef. The first is that I don’t want to clutter up the Chef repo with my junk. If everyone does that, our Chef runs will slow down. The second is that I don’t want to have to update them in two places whenever I make changes. If I have a bootstap command that pulls all of my dotfiles from their regular location, I can just put that into Chef.
I’m going to start hacking away on creating a dotfile installer that meets both of these requirements and blogging about my progress. My public dotfiles are in a GitHub repo. I’ll let you know how it goes.