753 KB
Jan, 2021
2 months ago


My dotfiles for configuring literally everything (automatically!)

$HOME, sweet $HOME



What are dotfiles?

One of the beautiful things about Linux, is how easily customizable everything is. Usually these custom configurations are stored in files that start with a dot (hence dotfiles!), and typically located in your users home ~, or better yet ~/.config (even this can be customized, for apps that respect the XDG Base Directory spec). Some examples of dotfiles that you're likely already familiar with include .gitconfig, .zshrc or .vimrc.

You will often find yourself tweaking your configs over time, so that your system perfectly matches your needs. It makes sense to back these files up, so that you don't need to set everything up from scratch each time you enter a new environment. Git is a near-perfect system for this, as it allows for easy roll-backs, branches and it's well supported with plenty of hosting options (like here on GitHub).

Once everything's setup, you'll be able to SSH into a fresh system or reinstall your OS, then just run your script and go from zero to feeling at right at home within a minute or two.

It's not hard to create your own dotfile repo, it's great fun and you'll learn a ton along the way!

Why you need a Dotfile System?

By using a dotfile system, you can set up a brand new machine in minutes, keep settings synced across multiple environments, easily roll-back changes, and never risk loosing your precious config files.

This is important, because as a developer, we usually have multiple machines (work / personal laptops, cloud servers, virtual machines, some GH codespaces, maybe a few Pis, etc). And you're much more productive when working from a familiar environment, with all your settings applied just how you like them. But it would be a pain to have to set each of these machines up manually. Even if you've only got a single device, how much time would you loose if your data became lost or corrupted?

XDG Directories

The location of config files can usually be defined using the XDG base directory specification, which is honored by most apps. This lets you specify where config, log, cache and data files are stored, keeping your top-level home directory free from clutter. You can do this by setting environmental variables, usually within the .zshenv file.

For example, in my setup I've set these variables to:

Variable Location
XDG_DATA_HOME ~/.local/share
XDG_BIN_HOME ~/.local/bin
XDG_LIB_HOME ~/.local/lib
XDG_CACHE_HOME ~/.local/var/cache

Containerized Userspace

You can also containerize your dotfiles, meaning with a single command, you can spin up a fresh virtual environment on any system, and immediately feel right at home with all your configurations, packages, aliases and utils.

This is awesome for a number of reasons: 1) Super minimal dependency installation on the host 2) Blazing fast, as you can pull your built image from a registry, instead of compiling everything locally 3) Cross-platform compatibility, whatever your host OS is, you can always have a familiar Linux system in the container 4) Security, you can control which host resources are accessible within each container

There's several methods of doing this, like having a Docker container or spinning up VMs with a predefined config (with something like Vagrant or a NixOS-based config).

I went with an Alpine-based Docker container defined in the Dockerfile. To try it out, just run docker run lissy93/dotfiles.


Something that is important to keep in mind, is security. Often you may have some personal info included in some of your dotfiles. Before storing anything on the internet, double check there's no sensitive info (think SSH keys, API keys or plaintext passwords). There's several solutions for managing sensitve info.

The simplest is just to have a .gitignore, so no private files get committed. Be sure to make sure your setup doesn't depend on those files though, or you'll get an error while setting up a fresh system.

Another option, is to encrypt sensitive info. A great tool for this is pass as it makes GPG-encrypting passwords very easy (this article outlines how), or you could also just use plain old GPG (as outlined in this article).

I went with git-crypt, a GPG-based solution designed specifically for git repos. There's fallback (safe) plaintext versions, to prevent any errors if the GPG keys aren't present.

Dotfile Management Systems

In terms of managing and applying your dotfiles, you can make things simple, or complex as you like.

The two most common approaches are be either symlinking, or using git bare repo, but you could also do things manually by writing a simple script.

Option 1 - Symlinking

Symlinks let you maintain all your dotfiles in a working directory, and then link them to the appropriate places on disk, sort of like shortcuts.

For example, if your dotfiles are in ~/Documents/dotfiles, you could create a zshrc file there, and link it with:

ln -s ~/Documents/dotfiles/zsh/.zshrc ~/.zshrc

This would obviously get cumbersome very quickly if you had a lot of files, so you would really want to automate this process. You could either create your own script to do this, or use a tool specifically designed for this.

I personally use Dotbot, as it doesn't have any dependencies - just include it as a sub-module, define a list of links in a simple YAML file, and hit go. GNU Stow is also a popular choice, and it's usage is explained well in this article by Alex Pearce. There's many other tools which do a similar thing, like Homesick, Rcm, dotdrop or mackup.

Option 2 - Git Bare Repo

Bare repositories let you add files from anywhere on your system, maintaining the original directory structure, and without the need for symlinks (learn more). Just initiialize or clone using the --bare flag, then add a global alias to manage files with git.

# Initialise a new repo, or clone an existing one with the --bare flag
git init --bare $HOME/dotfiles

# Next create an alias that sets the directory to your dotfile (add to .zshrc/ .bashrc)
alias dotfiles='$(where git) --git-dir=$HOME/dotfiles/ --work-tree=$HOME'

# Hide untracked files
dotfiles config --local status.showUntrackedFiles no

Then, from anywhere in your system you can use your newly created alias to add, commit and push files to your repo using all the normal git commands, as well as pull them down onto another system.

dotfiles add ~/.config/my-file
dotfiles commit -m "A short message"
dotfiles push

Both Chezmoi and YADM are dotfile management tools, which wrap bare git repo functionality, adding some additional QoL features.

To learn more, DistroTube made an excellent video about bare git repos, and Marcel Krčah has written a post outlining the benefits.

Dotfile Dependencies

In terms of managing dependencies, using either git submodules or git subtree will let you keep dependencies in your project, while also separate from your own code and easily updatable. But again, you could do this yourself with a simple script.

So copy paste, right?

Zach Holman wrote a great article titled Dotfiles Are Meant to Be Forked. I personally disagree with this, since your dotfiles are usually highly personalized, so what's right for one developer, likely won't be what someone else is looking for. They're also typically something you build up over time, and although some repos may provide a great starting point, it's really important to know what everything does, and how it works.

By all means feel free to take what you want from mine. I've taken care to ensure that each file is standalone, and well documented so that certain files can just be dropped into any system. But I cannot stress enough the importance of reading through files to ensure it's actually what you want.

If you're looking for some more example dotfile repos to get you started, I can highly recommend taking a look at: @holman/dotfiles, @nickjj/dotfiles, @caarlos0/dotfiles, @cowboy/dotfiles, @drduh/config.

And for some more inspiration, check out webpro/awesome-dotfiles, and r/unixporn.

My Dotfiles


Warning Prior to running the setup script, read through everything and confirm it's what you want.

Let's Go!

bash <(curl -s

This will execute the quick setup script (in, which just clones the repo (if not yet present), then executes the script. You can re-run this at anytime to update the dotfiles. You can also optionally pass in some variables to change the install location (DOTFILES_DIR) and source repo (DOTFILES_REPO) to use your fork.

The install script does several things, it takes care of checking dependencies are met, updating dotfiles and symlinks, configuring CLI (Vim, Tmux, ZSH, etc), and will prompt the user to install listed packages, update the OS and apply any system preferences. The script is idempotent, so it can be run multiple times without changing the result, beyond the initial application.

Alternatively, you can clone the repo yourself, cd into it, allow execution of then run it to install or update.

git clone --recursive [email protected]:Lissy93/dotfiles.git ~/.dotfiles
chmod +x ~/.dotfiles/

You'll probably want to fork the repo, then clone your fork instead, so update the above commands with the path to your repo, and optionally change the clone location on your disk.

Once the repo is cloned, you can modify whatever files you like before running the install script. The Directory Structure section provides an overview of where each file is located. Then see the Configuring section for setting file paths and symlink locations.

Directory Structure

   ├── config/               # All configuration files
   │ ├── bash/               # Bash (shell) config
   │ ├── tmux/               # Tmux (multiplexer) config
   │ ├── vim/                # Vim (text editor) config
   │ ├── zsh/                # ZSH (shell) config
   │ ├── macos/              # Config files for Mac-specific apps
   │ └── desktop-apps/       # Config files for GUI apps
   ├── scripts/              # Bash scripts for automating tasks
   │ ├── installs/           # Scripts for software installation
   │ │ ├── Brewfile          # Package installs for MacOS via Homebrew
   │ │ ├──    # Package installs for Arch via Pacman
   │ │ └──        # Package installs for Linux desktops via Flatpak
   │ ├── linux/              # Automated configuration for Linux
   │ │ └──    # Setting GNOME settings via dconf util
   │ └── macos-setup/        # Scripts for setting up Mac OS machines
   │   ├──     # Sets app preferences
   │   ├──    # Sets MacOS system preferences
   │   └── # Applies MacOS security and privacy settings
   ├── utils/                # Handy Shell utilitis for various day-to-day tasks
   ├── .github/              # Meta files for GitHub repo
   ├── lib/                  # External dependencies, as git sub-modules
   ├──            # One-line remote installation entry point
   ├──            # All-in-one install and setup script
   └── symlinks.yml          # List of symlink locations

Install Script

The setup script ( will do the following:

  • Setup
    • Print welcome message, and a summary of proposed changes, and prompt user to continue
    • Ensure that core dependencies are met (git, zsh, vim)
    • Set variables by reading any passed parameters, or fallback to sensible defaults (see .zshenv)
  • Dotfiles
    • If dotfiles not yet present, will clone from git, otherwise pulls latest changes
    • Setup / update symlinks each file to it's correct location on disk
  • System Config
    • Checks default shell, if not yet set, will prompt to set to zsh
    • Installs Vim plugins via Plug
    • Installs Tmux plugins via TPM
    • Installs ZSH plugins via Antigen
    • Prompts to apply system preferences (for compatible OS / DE)
    • On MacOS arranges apps into folders within the Launchpad view
    • On MacOS prompts to set essential privacy + security settings
    • On MacOS prompts to set system preferences and app settings
  • App Installations
    • On MacOS if Homebrew is not yet installed, will prompt to install it
    • On MacOS will prompt to install user apps listed in Brewfile, via Homebrew
    • On Linux will prompt to install listed CLI apps via native package manager (pacman or apt)
    • On Linux desktop systems, will prompt to istall desktop apps via Flatpak
    • Checks OS is up-to-date, prompts to install updates if available
  • Finishing up
    • Outputs time taken and a summary of changes applied
    • Re-sources ZSH and refreshes current session
    • Prints a pretty Tux ASCII picture
    • Exits

The install script can accept several flags and environmental variables to configure installation:

  • Flags
    • --help - Prints help menu / shows info, without making any changes
    • --auto-yes - Doesn't prompt for any user input, always assumes Yes (use with care!)
    • --no-clear - Doesn't clear the screen before starting (useful if being run by another app)
  • Env Vars
    • REPO_NAME - The repository name to pull, e.g. Lissy93/Dotfiles
    • DOTFILES_DIR - The directory to clone source dotfiles into, e.g. ~/.dotfiles


The locations for all symlinks are defined in symlinks.yaml. These are managed using Dotbot, and will be applied whenever you run the script. The symlinks set locations based on XDG paths, all of which are defined in .zshenv.

Color Theme


Into to Aliases

An alias is simply a command shortcut. These are very useful for shortening long or frequently used commands.

How to use Aliases

For example, if you often find yourself typing git add . you could add an alias like alias gaa='git add .', then just type gaa. You can also override existing commands, for example to always show hidden files with ls you could set alias ls='ls -a'.

Aliases should almost always be created at the user-level, and then sourced from your shell config file (usually .bashrc or .zshrc). System-wide aliases would be sourced from /etc/profile. Don't forget that for your changes to take effect, you'll need to restart your shell, or re-source the file containing your aliases, e.g. source ~/.zshrc.

You can view a list of defined aliases by running alias, or search for a specific alias with alias | grep 'search-term'. The unalias command is used for removing aliases.

My Aliases

All aliases in my dotfiles are categorised into files located in zsh/aliases/ which are imported in zsh/.zshrc.

The following section lists all (or most) the aliases by category:

Git Aliases


Alias Description
g git
gs git status - List changed files
ga git add - Add to the next commit
gaa git add . - Add all changed files
grm git rm - Remove
gc git commit - Commit staged files, needs -m ""
gcm git commit takes $1 as commit message
gps git push - Push local commits to
gpl git pull - Pull changes with
gf git fetch - Download branch changes, without modifying files
grb git rebase - Rebase the current HEAD into
grba git rebase --abort - Cancel current rebase sesh
grbc git rebase --continue - Continue onto next diff
gm git merge - Merge into your current HEAD
gi git init - Initiialize a new empty local repo
gcl git clone - Downloads repo from
gch git checkout - Switch the HEAD to
gb git branch - Create a new from HEAD
gd git diff - Show all changes to untracked files
gtree git log --graph --oneline --decorate # Show branch tree
gl git log
gt git tag - Tag the current commit, 1 param
gtl git tag -l - List all tags, optionally with pattern
gtlm git tag -n - List all tags, with their messages
gtp git push --tags - Publish tags
gr git remote
grs git remote show - Show current remote origin
grl git remote -v - List all currently configured remotes
grr git remote rm origin - Remove current origin
gra git remote add - Add new remote origin
grurl git remote set-url origin - Sets URL of existing origin
guc git revert - Revert a
gu git reset - Reset HEAD pointer to a , perserves changes
gua git reset --hard HEAD - Resets all uncommited changes
gnewmsg git commit --amend -m - Update of previous commit
gclean git clean -df - Remove all untracked files
glfsi git lfs install
glfst git lfs track
glfsls git lfs ls-files
glfsmi git lfs migrate import --include=
gplfs git lfs push origin "$(git_current_branch)" --all - Push LFS changes to current branch
gj Find and cd into the root of your current project (based on where the .git directory
clone Shorthand for clone, run clone user/repo, if user isn't specified will default to yourself
gsync Sync fork against upstream repo
gfrb Fetch, rebase and push updates to current branch. Optionally specify target, defaults to 'master'
gignore Integrates with to auto-populate .gitignore file
gho Opens the current repo + branch in GitHub
ghp Opens pull request tab for the current GH repo
Flutter Aliases


Alias Description
fl flutter - Main fultter command
flattach flutter attach - Attaches flutter to a running flutter application with enabled observatory
flb flutter build - Build flutter application
flchnl flutter channel - Switches flutter channel (requires input of desired channel)
flc flutter clean - Cleans flutter project
fldvcs flutter devices - List connected devices (if any)
fldoc flutter doctor - Runs flutter doctor
flpub flutter pub - Shorthand for flutter pub command
flget flutter pub get - Installs dependencies
flr flutter run - Runs flutter app
flrd flutter run --debug - Runs flutter app in debug mode (default mode)
flrp flutter run --profile - Runs flutter app in profile mode
flrr flutter run --release - Runs flutter app in release mode
flupgrd flutter upgrade - Upgrades flutter version depending on the current channel
Rust / Cargo Aliases

Aliases and shortcuts for frequently used Rust and Cargo commands and common tasks

Cargo Basic Commands

Alias Description
cr cargo run - Compiles and runs the current project
cb cargo build - Compiles the current project
ct cargo test - Runs tests for the current project

Extended Cargo Commands

Alias Description
carc cargo clean - Removes the target directory
caru cargo update - Updates dependencies as recorded in the local lock file
carch cargo check - Checks the current project to see if it compiles without producing an executable
carcl cargo clippy - Lints the project with Clippy
card cargo doc - Builds documentation for the current project
carbr cargo build --release - Compiles the project with optimizations
carrr cargo run --release - Runs the project with optimizations
carws cargo workspace - Manages workspace-level tasks
carwsl cargo workspace list - Lists all members of the current workspace
carad cargo add - Adds a dependency to a Cargo.toml manifest file
carrm cargo rm - Removes a dependency from a Cargo.toml manifest file
carp cargo publish - Packages and uploads the project to
carau cargo audit - Audits Cargo.lock for crates with security vulnerabilities
cargen cargo generate --git - Generates a new project from a Git repository template
carfmt cargo fmt - Formats the code in the current project

Rustup Commands

Alias Description
ru-update rustup update - Updates the Rust toolchain
ru-default rustup default - Sets a default Rust toolchain

Helper Functions and Other Aliases

Function / Alias Description
new_rust_project Function to create a new Rust project with the specified name
search_crates Function to search for a given query
rustdoc Opens the Rust documentation in the default web browser
rustbook Opens 'The Rust Programming Language' book in the default web browser
update_rust Updates the Rust toolchain and all installed components
rvalgrind Runs Rust programs with Valgrind for memory leak analysis (if Valgrind is installed)
clean_rust_workspace Cleans up the target directory in all workspaces
Node.js Aliases


These short-hand aliases and helper functions speed up running common commands and tasks for web development, within Node / JavaScript projects.

  • After cd-ing into a directory which contains an .nvmrc file (to specify Node version), NVM will automatically switch to that version. Run nvmlts / nvmlatest to go back to LTS/latest Node version
  • If you try an use Yarn, and corepack isn't yet configured, Corepack will be enabled, and Yarn installed
  • Running yv will print a neatly formatted summary of the versions of core packages (Node, NPM, Yarn, NVM, Git, etc..) currently being used

Helper Functions

Function Description
yarn-nuke Removes and reinstalls all node_modules and associated lock files
print_node_versions Displays installed versions of Node.js and related packages
source_nvm Initializes NVM when using Node.js commands
enable_corepack Enables Corepack to use Yarn if not already installed
yarn_wrapper Wrapper function for Yarn, setting up Yarn if it's not yet found
install_nvm Installs or updates NVM
launch-url Opens a given URL using the system's default method
node-docs Opens Node.js documentation for a specific API section
open-npm Opens a specified module's page on
open_repo Opens the current Git repository's remote URL in a web browser

Special Node Commands

Alias Description
npmscripts Prints available scripts from the current project's package.json
docker-node Runs Node.js using Docker, mounting the current directory
nodesize Prints the size of the node_modules folder


Alias Description
ys yarn start - Runs the start command as defined in the package.json
yt yarn test - Runs tests associated with the project
yb yarn build - Builds the project
yl yarn lint - Runs the linting tool on the project codebase
yd yarn dev - Starts the development server
yp yarn publish - Publishes the package to the registry
yr yarn run - Runs a defined package script
ya yarn add - Installs a given dependency
ye yarn remove - Removes a specified dependency
yi yarn install - Installs project dependencies
yg yarn upgrade - Upgrades project dependencies
yu yarn update - Updates project dependencies
yf yarn info - Shows information about a package
yz yarn audit - Audits package dependencies for security vulnerabilities
yc yarn autoclean - Cleans and removes unnecessary dependencies
yk yarn check - Verifies the integrity of dependencies
yh yarn help - Displays help information about Yarn
yarn-nuke Removes node_modules, yarn.lock, package-lock.json and does a full fresh reinstall of dependencies
yv Prints out the current version of Node.js, Yarn, NPM, NVM, and Git


Alias Description
npmi npm install - Installs project dependencies
npmu npm uninstall - Uninstalls a specified dependency
npmr npm run - Runs a defined script in package.json
npms npm start - Runs the start script from package.json
npmt npm test - Runs tests in the project
npml npm run lint - Runs the linting tool on the project codebase
npmd npm run dev - Runs the development server
npmp npm publish - Publishes the package to the npm registry
npmo Opens NPM documentation for a specific module or the package's homepage


Alias Description
nvmi nvm install - Installs a specified version of Node.js
nvmu nvm use - Switches to a specific Node.js version
nvml nvm ls - Lists installed Node.js versions
nvmr nvm run - Runs a given version of Node.js
nvme nvm exec - Executes a command using a specified version of Node.js
nvmw nvm which - Identifies which version of Node.js is being used
nvmlr nvm ls-remote - Lists Node.js versions available for installation
nvmlts Installs and uses the latest LTS version of Node.js
nvmlatest Installs the latest version of Node.js with the latest npm
nvmsetup Installs or updates NVM (Node Version Manager)
General Aliases


Single-Letter Frequently-Used Commands (only set if not already in use)
Alias Description
a alias`
c clear
d date
e exit
f find
g grep
h history
i id
j jobs
l ls
m man
p pwd
s sudo
t touch
v vim
File listing options
Alias Description
la ls -A - List all files/ includes hidden
ll ls -lAFh - List all files, with full details
lm ls -tA -1 - List files sorted by last modified
lb ls -lhSA - List all files sorted by biggest
lr ls -R - List files in sub-directories, recursivley
lf ls -A | grep - Use grep to find files
ln find . -type f | wc -l - Shows number of files
ld ls -l | grep "^d" - List directories only
la exa -aF --icons - List all files, including hidden (only if exa is installed)
ll exa -laF --icons - Show files with all details (only if exa is installed)
lm exa -lahr --color-scale --icons -s=modified - Sort by date modified, most revent first (only if exa is installed)
lb exa -lahr --color-scale --icons -s=size - Sort by size largest first (only if exa is installed)
tree f() { exa -aF --tree -L=${1:-2} --icons };f - List files as tree (only if exa is installed)
lz List the contents of a specified compressed archive. Supported formats include zip, rar, tar, tar.gz and ace
Getting Around
Alias Description
mkcd Create new directory, and cd into it. Takes new directory name as param
mkcp Copies a directory, and navigates into it
mkmv Moves a directory, and navigates into it
Getting outa directories
Alias Description
c~ Navigate to ~
c. Go up 1 directory
c.. Go up 2 directories
c... Go up 3 directories
c.... Go up 4 directories
c..... Go up 5 directories
cg Navigate to base of git project
Finding files and directories
Alias Description
dud du -d 1 -h - List sizes of files within directory
duf du -sh * - List total size of current directory
ff find . -type f -name - Find a file by name within current directory
fd find . -type d -name - Find direcroy by name
Command line history
Alias Description
h history - Shows full history
h-search fc -El 0 | grep - Searchses for a word in terminal history
top-history history 0 | awk '{print $2}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -n -r | head - Most used
Head / tail shortcuts
Alias Description
H | head - Pipes output to head (the first part of a file)
T | tail - Pipes output to tail (the last part of a file)
G | grep - Pipes output to grep to search for some word
L | less - Pipes output to less, useful for paging
M | most - Pipes output to more, useful for paging
LL 2>&1 | less - Writes stderr to stdout and passes it to less
CA 2>&1 | cat -A - Writes stderr to stdout and passes it to cat
NE 2> /dev/null - Silences stderr
NUL > /dev/null 2>&1 - Silences both stdout and stderr
P 2>&1| pygmentize -l pytb - Writes stderr to stdout, and passes to pygmentize
Find + manage aliases
Alias Description
al alias | less - List all aliases
as alias | grep - Search aliases
ar unalias - Remove given alias
System Monitoring
Alias Description
meminfo free -m -l -t - Show free and used memory
memhog ps -eo pid,ppid,cmd,%mem --sort=-%mem | head - Processes consuming most mem
cpuhog ps -eo pid,ppid,cmd,%cpu --sort=-%cpu | head - Processes consuming most cpu
cpuinfo lscpu - Show CPU Info
distro cat /etc/*-release - Show OS info
Alias Description
myip curl - Fetches and displays public IP
weather curl - Fetches and displays local weather
weather-short curl ""
cheat curl - Gets manual for a Linux command
tinyurl curl -s " - URL shortening
ports netstat -tulanp - List currently used ports
crypto cointop - Launch cointop (only registered if installed)
gto gotop - Launch gotop (only registered if installed)
Random lolz
Alias Description
cls clear;ls - Clear and ls
plz `fc -l -1
yolo git add .; git commit -m "YOLO"; git push origin master - Why not..
when date - Show date
whereami pwd - Just show current path
dog cat - I don't know why...
gtfo exit - This just feels better than exit


The dotfile installation script can also, detect which system and environemnt you're running, and optionally prompt to update and install listed packages and applications.

Package lists are stored in scripts/installs/ directory, with separate files for different OSs. The install script will pick the appropriate file based on your distro.

You will be prompted before anything is installed. Be sure to remove / comment out anything you do not need before proceeding.

The following section lists apps installed for each category:

Command Line

CLI Essentials
  • git - Version controll
  • neovim - Text editor
  • ranger - Directory browser
  • tmux - Term multiplexer
CLI Basics
  • aria2 - Resuming download util (better wget)
  • bat - Output highlighting (better cat)
  • ctags - Indexing of file info + headers
  • diff-so-fancy - Readable file compares (better diff)
  • entr - Run command whenever file changes
  • duf - Get info on mounted disks (better df)
  • exa - Listing files with info (better ls)
  • exiftool - Reading and writing exif metadata
  • fdupes - Duplicate file finder
  • fzf - Fuzzy file finder and filtering
  • hyperfine - Benchmarking for arbitrary commands
  • jq - JSON parser
  • most - Multi-window scroll pager (better less)
  • procs - Advanced process viewer (better ps)
  • rip - Safe and ergonomic deletion tool (better rm)
  • ripgrep - Searching within files (better grep)
  • rsync - Fast, incremental file transfer
  • scc - Count lines of code (better cloc)
  • sd - RegEx find and replace (better sed)
  • thefuck - Auto-correct miss-typed commands
  • tldr - Community-maintained docs (better man)
  • tree - Directory listings as tree
  • trash-cli - Record + restore removed files
  • watch - Run commands periorically
  • xsel - Copy paste access to X clipboard
  • zoxide - Easy navigation (better cd)
CLI Monitoring and Performance Apps
  • bandwhich - Bandwidth utilization monitor
  • ctop - Container metrics and monitoring
  • bpytop - Resource monitoring (like htop)
  • glances - Resource monitor + web and API
  • gping - Interactive ping tool, with graph
  • ncdu - Disk usage analyzer and monitor (better du)
  • speedtest-cli - Command line speed test utility
  • dog - DNS lookup client (better dig)
CLI Productivity Apps
  • browsh - CLI web browser
  • buku - Bookmark manager
  • cmus - Music browser / player
  • khal - Calendar client
  • mutt - Email client
  • newsboat - RSS / ATOM news reader
  • rclone - Manage cloud storage
  • task - Todo + task management
CLI Dev Suits
  • httpie - HTTP / API testing testing client
  • lazydocker - Full Docker management app
  • lazygit - Full Git managemtne app
  • kdash - Kubernetes dashboard app
CLI External Sercvices
  • ngrok - Reverse proxy for sharing localhost
  • tmate - Share a terminal session via internet
  • asciinema - Recording + sharing terminal sessions
  • navi - Browse, search, read cheat sheets
  • cowsay - Have an ASCII cow say your message
  • figlet - Output text as big ASCII art text
  • lolcat - Make console output raibow colored
  • neofetch - Show system data and ditstro info

Software Development

Development Apps
Development Langs, Compilers, Package Managers and SDKs
  • docker - Containers
  • gcc - GNU C++ compilers
  • go - Compiler for Go Lang
  • gradle - Build tool for Java
  • lua - Lua interpreter
  • luarocks - Package manager for Lua
  • node - Node.js
  • nvm - Switching node versions
  • openjdk - Java development kit
  • python - Python interpriter
  • rust - Rust language
  • android-sdk - Android software dev kit
Development Utils
  • gh - Interact with GitHub PRs, issues, repos
  • scrcpy - Display and control Andrdroid devices
  • terminal-notifier - Trigger Mac notifications from terminal (MacOS Only)
  • tig - Text-mode interface for git
  • ttygif - Generate GIF from terminal commands + output
Network and Security Testing
Security Utilities
  • bcrypt - Encryption utility, using blowfish
  • clamav - Open source virus scanning suite
  • git-crypt - Transparent encryption for git repos
  • lynis - Scan system for common security issues
  • openssl - Cryptography and SSL/TLS Toolkit
  • rkhunter - Search / detect potential root kits
  • veracrypt - File and volume encryption

Desktop Applications

  • Audacity - Multi-track audio editor and recording
  • Blender - 3D modelling, rendering and sculpting
  • Cura - 3D Printing software, for slicing models
  • DarkTable - Organize and bulk edit photos (similar to Lightroom)
  • Dia - Versatile diagramming tool, useful for UML
  • Gimp - Image and photo editing application
  • HandBrake - For converting video from any format to a selection of modern codecs
  • InkScape - Digital drawing/ illustration
  • OBS Studio - Streaming and screencasting
  • Shotcut - Video editor
  • Synfig Studio - 2D animation
Personal Applications

MacOS Apps

MacOS Mods and Imrovments
  • alt-tab - Much better alt-tab window switcher
  • anybar - Custom programatic menubar icons
  • copyq - Clipboard manager (cross platform)
  • espanso - Live text expander (cross-platform)
  • finicky - Website-specific default browser
  • hiddenbar - Hide / show annoying menubar icons
  • iproute2mac - MacOS port of netstat and ifconfig
  • lporg - Backup and restore launchpad layout
  • m-cli - All in one MacOS management CLI app
  • mjolnir - Util for loading Lua automations
  • openinterminal - Finder button, opens directory in terminal
  • popclip - Popup options for text on highlight
  • raycast - Spotlight alternative
  • shottr - Better screenshot utility
  • skhd - Hotkey daemon for macOS
  • stats - System resource usage in menubar
  • yabai - Tiling window manager

System Preferences

The installation script can also prompt you to confiture system settings and user preferences. This is useful for setting up a completely fresh system in just a few seconds.


MacOS includes a built-in utility named defaults, which lets you configure all system and app preferences programatically through the command line. This is very powerful, as you can write a script that configures every aspect of your system enabling you to setup a brand new machine in seconds.

All settings are then updated in the .plist files stored in ~/Library/Preferences. This can also be used to configure preferences for any installed app on your system, where the application is specified by its domain identifier - you can view a full list of your configurable apps by running defaults domains.

In my dotfiles, the MacOS preferences will configure everything from system security to launchpad layout. The Mac settings are located in scripts/macos-setup/, and are split into three files:

  • - Sets essential security settings, disables telementry, disconnects unused ports, enforces signing, sets logout timeouts, and much more
  • - Configures all user preferences, including computer name, highlight color, finder options, spotlight settings, hardware preferences and more
  • - Applies preferences to any installed desktop apps, such as Terminal, Time Machine, Photos, Spotify, and many others

Upon running each script, a summary of what will be changed will be shown, and you'll be prompted as to weather you'd like to continue. Each script also handles permissions, compatibility checking, and graceful fallbacks. Backup of original settings will be made, and a summary of all changes made will be logged as output when the script is complete.

If you choose to run any of these scripts, take care to read it through first, to ensure you understand what changes will be made, and optionally update or remove anything as you see fit.

Config Files

All config files are located in ./config/.

Configurations for ZSH, Tmux, Vim, and a few others are in dedicated sub-directories (covered in the section below). While all other, small config files are located in the ./config/general direcroty, and include:


ZSH (or Z shell) is a UNIX command interpriter (shell), similar to and compatible with Korn shell (KSH). Compared to Bash, it includes many useful features and enchanements, notably in the CLI editor, advanced behaviour customization options, filename globbing, recursive path expansion, completion, and it's easyily extandable through plugins. For more info about ZSH, see the Introduction to ZSH Docs.

My ZSH config is located in config/zsh/


The entry point for the Vim config is the vimrc, but the main editor settings are defined in vim/editor.vim

Vim Plugins

Vim plugins are managed using Plug defined in vim/plugins.vim. To install them from GitHub, run :PlugInstall (see options) from within Vim. They will also be installed or updated when you run the main dotfiles setup script (

The following plugins are being used:

Layout & Navigation
  • Airline: vim-airline/vim-airline - A very nice status line at the bottom of each window, displaying useful info
  • Nerd-tree: preservim/nerdtree - Alter files in larger projects more easily, with a nice tree-view pain
  • Matchup: andymass/vim-matchup - Better % naviagtion, to highlight and jump between open and closing blocks
  • TagBar: preservim/tagbar - Provides an overview of the structure of a long file, shows tags ordered by scope
  • Gutentags: ludovicchabant/vim-gutentags - Manages tag files
  • Fzf: junegunn/fzf and junegunn/fzf.vim - Command-line fuzzy finder and corresponding vim bindings
  • Deoplete.nvim: Shougo/deoplete.nvim - Extensible and asynchronous auto completion framework
  • Smoothie: psliwka/vim-smoothie - Smooth scrolling, supporting ^D, ^U, ^F and ^B
  • DevIcons: ryanoasis/vim-devicons - Adds file-type icons to Nerd-tree and other plugins
  • Nerd-Commenter: preservim/nerdcommenter - For auto-commenting code blocks
  • Ale: dense-analysis/ale - Checks syntax asynchronously, with lint support
  • Surround: tpope/vim-surround - Easily surround selected text with brackets, quotes, tags etc
  • IncSearch: haya14busa/incsearch.vim - Efficient incremental searching within files
  • Vim-Visual-Multi: mg979/vim-visual-multi - Allows for inserting/ deleting in multiple places simultaneously
  • Visual-Increment: triglav/vim-visual-increment - Create an increasing sequence of numbers/ letters with Ctrl + A/X
  • Vim-Test: janko/vim-test - A wrapper for running tests on different granularities
  • Syntastic: vim-syntastic/syntastic - Syntax checking that warns in the gutter when there's an issue
  • Git-Gutter: airblade/vim-gitgutter - Shows git diff markers in the gutter column
  • Vim-fugitive: tpope/vim-fugitive - A git wrapper for git that lets you call a git command using :Git
  • Committia: rhysd/committia.vim - Shows a diff, status and edit window for git commits
  • Vim-Git: tpope/vim-git - Runtime files for git in vim, for git, gitcommit, gitconfig, gitrebase, and gitsendemail
File-Type Plugins
  • Vim-JavaScript: pangloss/vim-javascript (JavaScript) - Syntax highlighting and improved indentation for JS files
  • Yats: HerringtonDarkholme/yats.vim (TypeScript) - Syntax highlighting and snippets for TypeScript files
  • Vim-jsx-pretty: MaxMEllon/vim-jsx-pretty (React) - Highlighting and indentation for React .tsx and .jsx files
  • Vim-CSS-Color: ap/vim-css-color (CSS/ SASS) - Previews colors as text highlight, where hex codes are present
  • Mustache and Handlebars: mustache/vim-mustache-handlebars (Mustache/ Handlebars) - Auto handles braces
  • Vim-Go: fatih/vim-go (GoLang) - Go support, with syntax highlighting, quick execute, imports, formatting etc
  • Indentpython: vim-scripts/indentpython.vim (Python) - Correct indentation for Python files
  • Semshi: numirias/semshi (Python) - Advanced syntax highlighting for Python files
  • SimpylFold: tmhedberg/SimpylFold (Python) - Code-folding for Python
  • Vimtex: lervag/vimtex (LaTex) - Completion of citations, labels, commands and glossary entries
  • Dockerfile.vim: ekalinin/Dockerfile.vim (Docker) - Syntax highlighting and snippets for Dockerfiles
  • Vim-Json: elzr/vim-json (JSON) - Syntax highlighting, warnings, and quote concealing foe .json files
  • Requirements: raimon49/requirements.txt.vim (Requirements) - Syntax highlighting for the requirements file format
  • Vim-Markdown: gabrielelana/vim-markdown (Markdown) - Syntax highlighting, auto format, easy tables and more
  • Zinit: zinit-zsh/zinit-vim-syntax (ZSH) - syntax definition for Zinit commands in any file of type zsh
  • Nginx:chr4/nginx.vim (Nginx) - Integer matching, hichlight syntax and IPv4/ IPv6, mark insecure protocols and more


Fairly standard Tmux configuration, strongly based off Tmux-sensible. Configuration is defined in .tmux.conf

Tmux plugins are managed using TMP and defined in .tmux.conf. To install them from GitHub, run prefix + I from within Tmux, and they will be cloned int ~/.tmux/plugins/.

  • Tmux-sensible: tmux-plugins/tmux-sensible - General, sensible Tmux config
  • Tmux-continuum: tmux-plugins/tmux-continuum - Continuously saves and environment with automatic restore
  • Tmux-yank: tmux-plugins/tmux-yank - Allows access to system clipboard
  • Tmux-prefix-highlight: tmux-plugins/tmux-prefix-highlight - Highlight Tmux prefix key when pressed
  • Tmux-online-status: tmux-plugins/tmux-online-status - Displays network status
  • Tmux-open: tmux-plugins/tmux-open - Bindings for quick opening selected path/ url
  • Tmux-mem-cpu-load: thewtex/tmux-mem-cpu-load - Shows system resources



Git aliases for ZSH are located in /zsh/aliases/git.zsh, and are documented under the Aliases section, above.


It's strongly recomended to have the following packages installed on your system before proceeding:

  • zsh - Interactive Shell
  • nvim - Extensible Vim-based text editor
  • tmux - Detachable terminal multiplexer
  • ranger - CLI-based file manager with VI bindings
  • git - Version control system

They can be easily installed/ updated with your package manger, e.g:

  • Ubuntu Server: sudo apt install -y zsh neovim tmux ranger git
  • Arch Linux: sudo pacman -S zsh neovim tmux ranger git
  • Alpine: apk add zsh neovim tmux ranger git
  • MacOS: brew install zsh neovim tmux ranger git


The dotfiles also contains several handy bash scripts to carry out useful tasks with slightly more ease.

Each of these scripts is standalone, without any dependencies, and can be executed directly to use. Alternatively, they can be sourced from within a .zshrc / .bashrc, for use anywhere via their alias.

For usage instructions about any of them, just append the --help flag.

  • Transfer - Quickly transfer files or folders to the internet
  • Web Search - Open a specific search engine with a given query
  • QR Code - Generates a QR code for a given string, to transfer data to mobile device
  • Weather - Shows current and forecasted weather for your location
  • Color Map - Just outputs your terminal emulators supported color pallete
  • Welcome - Used for first login, prints personalised greeting, system info, and other handy info
  • Online - Checks if you are connected to the internet


Quickly transfer a file, group of files or directory via the service.
To get started, run transfer <file(s) / folder>, for more info, run transfer --help

If multiple files are passed in, they will automatically be compressed into an archive. You can change the file transfer service, or use a self-hosted instance by setting the URL in FILE_TRANSFER_SERVICE The file can be either run directly, or sourced in your .zshrc and used via the transfer alias.

For info, run transfer --help
Source: utils/

Quickly open web search results for a given query using a selected search engine. To get started, run web-search, or web-search --help for more info.


All parameters are optional, to get started just run web-search or web-search <search provider (optional)> <query (optional)>, the ws alias can also be used. If a search engine isn't specified, you'll be prompted to select one from the list. Similarly, if a query hasn't been included you'll be asked for that too.

  • web-search - Opens interactive menu, you'll be prompted to select a search engine from the list then enter your query
  • web-search <search term> - Specify a search term, and you'll be prompted to select the search engine
    • For example, web-search Hello World!
  • web-search <search engine> - Specify a search engine, and you'll be prompted for your search term
    • For example, web-search duckduckgo
  • web-search <search engine> <search engine> - Specify both a search engine and query, and results will open immediately
    • For example, web-search wikipedia Matrix Defense
Supported Search Providers

The following search engines are supported by default:

  • DuckDuckGo: ws duckduckgo (or wsddg)
  • Wikipedia: ws wikipedia or (wswiki)
  • GitHub: ws github (or wsgh)
  • StackOverflow: ws stackoverflow (or wsso)
  • Wolframalpha: ws wolframalpha (or wswa)
  • Reddit: ws reddit (or wsrdt)
  • Maps: ws maps (or wsmap)
  • Google: ws google (or wsggl)
  • Grep App: ws grepapp (or wsgra)

The alias ws will also resolve to web-search, if it's not already in use. You can either run the script directly, e.g.~/.config/utils/ (don't forget to chmod +x the file first, to make it executable), or use the web-search / ws alias anywhere, once it has been source'd from your .zshrc.

For info, run web-search --help
Source: utils/

Try now!
bash <(curl -s

© Alicia Sykes 2022
Licensed under MIT

Thanks for visiting :)