This document is obsolete. Just use git, mercurial or subversion to create a workspace in the root of your homedir. See github.com/holsta/dotfiles as an example.
So, you have 15 dotfiles and you use them regularly on 7 different machines.
Sometimes you tweak a file and forget which account on which machine has the
.vimrc. This is a brief
tutorial on managing your dotfiles with CVS. (Shameless plug: If you are not
familiar with CVS, have a read through our brief introduction
The initial procedure went something like this. First, I copied my relevant dotfiles to a temp directory from which they would be imported into CVS. In the process, I removed the initial dot because it is a pain to work with on a daily basis:
$ pwd /home/holsta $ mkdir tmp $ cp .muttrc tmp/muttrc $ cp .slrnrc tmp/slrnrc $ cp .vimrc tmp/vimrc
And so on. You probably want to look carefully at the output of
-a in your home directory and determine which dotfiles are suitable for
Once I had all the files I need, I imported them to my CVS repository:
$ cd tmp $ cvs -d /path/to/repository import dotfiles holsta dotfiles_0_1
This import only needs to be done once, and you can easily
add any additional files later.
Now you will want to deploy these files on the various machines you use. Being able to manage these files under CVS and use them on the daily basis requires a little trick, because we don't really want CVS/ directories in the root of our home directory. For this reason, we checkout our files to a suitable directory, and since we will not be working with it every day, we hide it by prefixing the name with a dot:
$ cvs -d /path/to/repository co -d .dotfiles dotfiles
~/.dotfiles with all our needed files, but is not
quite what we want considering
If you perform this CVS operation on every machine you use regularly, you
can upgrade to the latest set of dotfiles simply by running
update in the
.dotfiles directory. It helps your situation if
you place the repository with your dotfiles on a machine you can always get to.
So, create a Makefile or shell script similar to the one I have created. It
will create links in your home directory, so that
becomes a link to
~/.dotfiles/muttrc. This lets applications find
the correct configuration files without much hassle, and still gives you a
seperate directory for CVS operations. Do note that some applications do not
like symlinks (e.g. procmail), and hence the '
ln' command might
need to be replaced with '
Now activate the symlinked files:
$ make shell (or whatever you used)
When you need to make a change just edit the required file and commit it to the repository.
$ vim .vimrc $ cd .dotfiles $ cvs ci -m "email and news textwidth is 72" vimrc
This setup means you will virtually have working directories with this module on each of the machines, and if you don't apply some simple rules, it too can become hard to manage. Make it a habit to commit a file as soon as you are happy with the change. Otherwise you will have locally modified copies on half of your machines, and having to resolve conflicts by hand is so boring.