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Jonathan Carter
Jonathan Carter

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Which dotfiles (e.g. .bashrc, .vimrc) do you actually customize/depend on for your daily dev machine setup?

As a follow-up to this discussion, I’m curious to learn exactly which dotfiles (user-specific application config) folks actually customize, and more importantly, rely on, as part of their daily dev machine setup.

For example, if you bought a new computer tomorrow, what would you immediately notice feels inefficient? Subsequently, what would be the first config files you would create in order to enable your “flow“?

Is it primarily just setting aliases and env vars for your shell (via a .bashrc/.zshrc/etc. file)? Maybe your editor and Git settings (e.g. .vimrc, .gitconfig)? Something else?

Top comments (10)

coreyja profile image
Corey Alexander

Without looking at my dotfiles, the first thing id miss is my gpg/ssh config since I use my Yubikey for all SSH and git interactions. This combined with my git config should at least let me pull code and get going.

Then I'd probably want my vim config. I wouldn't be able to code for too long in totally plain vim I don't think, I like vim for it's plugins and configuration and without those I'd feel lost.

Finally my bash profile, cause I do love all my dotfiles aliases!

That would get me productive, throw in my bash_prompt and I'll feel right at home

As I went I'd probably find different tools I didn't have installed, and then I'd want to reach for my Brewfile which contains all the tools I usually install

Off the top of my head that's what I think I'd miss most, in the order I'd want them. But I'm probably missing something that when I check out my dotfiles I wouldn't want to be without 😆

My dotfiles for reference:

seangwright profile image
Sean G. Wright

Although I'm on Windows I have a bunch of dot files in my home directory that are used by GitBash.

I have a handful of git aliases that I can't not type anymore, so I would at least need those.

I have a bash function vs that opens all Visual Studio sln files in a directory with Visual Studio. I love that thing so much 🥰.

cd into my repo directory and then type vs -> enter ... Bam, my solution(s) is open in front of me.

ryanwilldev profile image
Ryan Will

Definitely my .zshrc file. I couldn't survive without all my aliases. Close second would be my .vimrc. Followed by .tmux.conf

lostintangent profile image
Jonathan Carter

Thanks! Do you use Vim are your primary editor? And that’s why you’d rely on its config being present?

ryanwilldev profile image
Ryan Will

At the moment I do. I used Sublime and then VSCode before. Both with Vim key bindings.

I had trouble getting Vim configured to my liking so I always went back to a graphical editor. But kept the keybindings because they make me feel super-human 😄

This time switched to neovim and decided to build up my config as I ran into pain points. I love being able to fully customize every aspect of the editor despite having to use vimscript yo do it.

aturingmachine profile image

First thing is getting my .vimrc set up so I can feel comfortable editing my other dot files. Check it out here:

Then it is probably onto my .zshrc and getting my git aliases set up.

jhuebel profile image
Jason Huebel • Edited

.gitginore is the obvious one. .bashrc for aliases and PATHs I use all the time (Laravel and Composer stuff, mainly), along with loading keychain for loading SSH keys. .nanorc for when I need to make a quick edit and don't want to open Sublime.

rbourbotte profile image
rbourbotte • Edited


I use to create backup (based on a python script) of all my custom configs in a git repository (dotfiles, brew packages etc.). My dotfiles are essentially .zshrc or .gitconfig and .shallow-backup

val_baca profile image
Valentin Baca

git, vim, & shell aliases

For other tools I use (IDEs, iTerm) I don't save those configurations

rubiin profile image

.zshrc/.bashrc/.nprc and .vimrc