Yet another dotfile post

Posted on: 27th March 2021

I know I sound like an idiot when I say I had no idea people used dotfile managers to manage.. well the dotfiles. Before reading this my belief was that the dotfiles were painstakingly copied over to a separate folder and then pushed to a git repo. A little bit of effort would have shown me how far off I was. That post eventually sent me down the path to find out what other means are out there to manage our precious dotfiles.

Turns out GNU Stow is quite a popular option judging by the number of posts talking about it in the search results. Though GNU Stow manages the dotfiles with the help of symlinks and git (which can be managed manually as well), other enterprising individuals rely solely on the power of a bare git repository! o7. I wanted something that can manage the files with less effort and without worrying about symlinks. Arch wiki was helpful as ever and had this documentation on dotfiles from where I found dotbare. Now dotbare is a wapper around git and uses the very same commands as git (with a slight difference - a prefix of ‘f’) but makes the process of setting up and adding dot files as easy as setting up a normal git repo. With the addition of fzf and an interactive log viewer, managing dotfiles is a pleasant experience. Just look at those screenshots in the github repo! 😍.

In the process of setting up my dotfiles repo, I managed to upload the password to my local Miniflux installation last night and didn’t realize it until today. A panic induced moment made me change the password and have Newsboat decrypt a gpg encrypted password file to log in to Miniflux. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway because the password wasn’t reused anywhere else and the local installation is not accessible from the outside world but this was necessary for operational security. Also, if somebody ends up reusing my config file, I definitely do not want them to use an insecure method. Not everybody uses miniflux locally.

Another git wrapper I tried meddling with was yadm. Featurewise, yadm has some neat tricks like using alternate files on different machines, encrypting/decrypting secrets and encryption keys, bootstraping a custom program and much more but dotbare felt much easier to work with. I can even edit the dot files right from within dotbare - useful for someone like me who has trouble recollecting whether the config file is sitting in $HOME or .local or .config or somewhere else entirely. Anyway, if you do try dotbare, I hope you have as much fun as I had using it. Here’s the link to my dotfiles.

Day 98 - Join Me in #100DaysToOffload

tags: 100daystooffload dotfiles gpg