Dotfiles backup and restore

Dotfiles backup and restore

For some time, I’ve wanted a backup of my dotfiles, just in case.

Backing up configuration files

I could keep a Git repository, but currently, a simple folder on my laptop, for which I have complete backups via restic, is good enough for me. I rarely change dotfiles, I prefer using tools that do the heavy lifting for me without too much configuration.

Restoring our configuration

Whenever I need to restore dotfiles, I have this little script that will make symlinks as needed:


set -euo pipefail

cd dotfiles
for f in `find . -type f | sed 's#^./##'`; do
    # create the directory in which to put the config file's symlink
    echo -n mkdir $HOME/`dirname $f`
    mkdir -p $HOME/`dirname $f`

    # create the symlink
    echo -n ln -sf $HOME/dotfiles/$f $HOME/$f
    ln -sf $HOME/dotfiles/$f $HOME/$f
cd ..

It shows me what it is about to do, asks for confirmation and then creates the symlink where it should be. For instance, ~/dotfiles/.bashrc gets symlinked to ~/.bashrc. Then, when Bash looks for its configuration, it will to ~/.bashrc which will point to ~/dotfiles/.bashrc.