1. Felix Hanley
  2. dm



dm: Dotfile Manager

A single-file "dotfile" manager written in POSIX shell. It creates and synchronises symlinks in your home directory to a central dotfile source.


Copy the file to somewhere in your path and ensure it is executable:

$ curl -L -o ~/bin/ https://git.userspace.com.au/dm/plain/dm
$ chmod +x ~/bin/dm


The script expects your dotfiles master to be in ~/.dotfiles or have the ENV variable DOTFILES set to the path. This master path can then be kept in revision control and be kept clean. The script will symbolically link files from the master path to your home directory.

dm check will list all files needing linking.

dm sync will link all files to your home directory.

dm add <file> will move the file into the master and then link it.

Each command has optional flags which modify the default behaviour as the usage help describes below:

    -q      Be quiet
    -s <path> Set dotfile source path (default: ~/.dotfiles)
    -r      Remove existing symlinks if broken (sync)
    -f      Force overwriting existing files, implies -r (sync, add)
    -b      Backup existing files (sync)
    -n      Dry run, don't actually do anything (sync, add)
    -h      This help


Q: What about deeply nested files?

All parent directories that do not exist will be created in your home directory. This enables linking only files. For example:

|-- blah
\-- bin
    \-- nested
        \-- foo -> /home/felix/.dotfiles/bin/foo

The nested and foo directories above will be created if need be.


Felix Hanley felix@userspace.com.au