Using Subversion to Maintain your Configuration Files
I got this tip from Jerry Jackson who told me about storing all of my configuration files, like
.vimrc, in an
etc directory inside of my home directory. Once the files are in that directory, you could create a subversion repository; and inside of this repository, put the
etc directory in that. Once the files are in a repository, you can check out that repository on any machine. Now you have a way to keep all of your config files easily in sync.
/etc contains any configuration file, why not have the home directory mimic this?
So I have moved a bunch of files into
When I moved the files, I renamed them to not include the dot in front of the name, that way the files would not be hidden.
So that everything still works correctly, I make a bunch of symlinks for the files in my
etc directory to the home directory, i.e.
ln -s ~/etc/bash_profile ~/.bash_profile. This is so that the configuration files work like they used to.
The Subversion Repository
By moving these files into a directory, that directory can now be put into a repository. This is the beauty of it all. Once in a repository, the
etc directory can be checked out anywhere. This means that anytime I want to change a config, like a new wim setting, I can make sure that vim behaves the same no matter what machine I'm using by committing that change and then performing an update.
Because I'm using subversion, I can use properties like
svn:ignore on something that I don't want have shared between my machines. I committed
etc/subversion/ because I want to share the
config file located in that directory. As for all other files, I don't want to share it. So i put an ignore of
* on that directory.
You can also use
svn:externals. I use Tim Pope's rails vim file. He keeps his work in subversion, so by using the externals, I can make sure that I have his most up-to-date work at any time.
Where To Go From Here
If you keep a repository of your configuration files, you could also keep script files in there, like perhaps a script to create all of your
etc symlinks for you :). You could also keep a copy of your FireFox bookmarks in sync. The sky's the limit.
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