My dotfiles: macOS, OpenBSD, Linux. Setup: git init; git remote add github; git pull github master (by rollcat)

Dotfiles Alternatives

Similar projects and alternatives to dotfiles

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a better dotfiles alternative or higher similarity.

dotfiles reviews and mentions

Posts with mentions or reviews of dotfiles. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-01-18.
  • No Start Menu for You
    11 projects | | 18 Jan 2023
    > If you do consider switching, one warning about Mac is this: Window management is utter garbage. Maximizing is actively discouraged. Tiling left / right etc? Doesn't exist. Everything must be random size and overlap weirdly. Instead, each new version brings a new quick switch or workspace functionality that I have never seen anyone use.

    Mac has a different window management paradigm. It suits some people, it frustrates others. I've switched from Linux/BSD after 15 years there, and it immediately made so much more sense to me. YMMV.

    It also makes so much more sense if you have a very large screen. I've tried using dwm or Sway with my 43" screen and it's incredibly awkward. You need first-class support for floating windows, or at least smarter tiling.

    But I agree, some things on macOS are not as good (workspaces), or plain dumb/useless (stage manager). For missing functionality, like keyboard-driven tiling, I fix things using Hammerspoon:

  • KDE beats macOS hands down
    2 projects | | 16 Nov 2022
    > Being usable out of the box?

    It's interesting that you bring up this point in defense of KDE, because that's exactly my problem with it, especially when contrasted with macOS. Every issue I have with KDE boils down to: "there are too many options, and none of them make the system feel right".

    > decent window snapping

    In my opinion, no window manager gets it right. I've made a shot at it with my Hammerspoon config[1], it will move/resize/tile floating windows in a 2x2/3x3 grid using custom hotkeys. It's annoying though, that the code works on macOS only - I could probably refactor it to work with an X11 window manager.


    > put files on my Android phone over USB

    I think integration within the Apple ecosystem is what really outshines all competition. I've never had to plug my iPhone over USB to a Mac, and yet I can just copy on the phone, and paste on the computer, like they are one device. Files, mail, contacts, calendar, photos, notes, todos, bookmarks, are all synced - heck I can use the phone camera as a webcam, all out of the box.

    > I don't need to give my terminal permission to display my fucking documents folder

    Sounds like you never had to fight SELinux or AppArmor. Personally I'm happy that desktop OS's are trying to improve end-user security (why do I have to type the root password to install a game, but I don't need one to run a cryptolocker?), but let's be honest, all attempts so far have ended up half-assed. The root of the issue is that desktop OS's must remain general-purpose tools, otherwise we could just as well call PCs glorified toasters.

  • Emacs’s Builtin Elisp Cheat Sheet
    8 projects | | 6 Jul 2022
    > I'd say that's kinda a big selling point of Emacs though: you can write elisp code to make anything you do (not just writing code) less of a pain.

    I agree in principle, but in practice, I find myself writing a lot of ELisp just to work around Emacs' shortcomings. E.g. on macOS, to support dark/light theme switching integrated with the rest of the system, I need an external program[0], a shell script to tell that program to call emacsclient, a LaunchAgent to keep it running, an unholy build of Emacs with all of the GNU-unapproved Cocoa integrations that some kind soul is maintaining, and only THEN a piece of ELisp (which is also calling out to AppleScript) to actually change the theme[1]. And as I wrote this, I realised half of this glue didn't even make it into version control.



    I've been using Emacs for about 20 years, and with every passing year I just wish there was *less* ELisp for me to think about. The actual useful customisations (like adding the +x bit on shell scripts) are few and far between, most of it is just glue and fixes.

    8 projects | | 6 Jul 2022
    I have a love-hate relationship with Emacs.

    The defaults are absolutely awful. The editor is pretty unusable without at least a hundred lines of ELisp: basic stuff like CUA, setting up fonts, disabling useless UI clutter, delete-selection-mode, rebinding a couple keys, setting up packages, explaining where to find coreutils on BSD systems, etc. And then you get to packages.

    If you want to do anything remotely useful, you're gonna have to start installing random stuff from GNU ELPA, MELPA, etc. There's no package pinning or SemVer so you get what you get, packages sometimes break in mysterious ways. So you write more code to work around various broken stuff in packages.

    I've gone through several iterations of throwing away my entire init.el and starting from scratch with just the bare minimum needed to get work done. At the current iteration, ELisp is still ~33% of all source code volume in my dotfiles repo[0]. I haven't pushed my latest effort to unbreak "jump to definition" (because apparently dumb-jump is deprecated??? and I need to use xref??? but it doesn't work???) so that'll likely go up.

    I never wanted to write enough ELisp to justify calling it a program, but Emacs made me.

    But then there is magit[1], which is so damn good, it makes every other VCS interface look like a sad joke. Which is problematic, because configuring Emacs itself is a bit of a sad joke. I want to just write code, not write code to make just writing code less of a pain. :(



  • Git ignores .gitignore with .gitignore in .gitignore
    4 projects | | 18 May 2022
    This is my strategy for dotfiles. My home directory has a .gitignore with "*" in it. I will "git add -f" any files I want tracked; git is extremely efficient at ignoring the rest. It doesn't require any frameworks, symlinks, installation scripts, elaborate tutorials/manpages, or any other voodoo.

    To move in to a new machine - unfortunately you can't git clone into a non-empty directory, but the commands to work around that are simple enough to remember.

  • Own Your Calendar and Contacts with OpenBSD, Baïkal, and FOSS Android
    6 projects | | 15 May 2022
    > I tried my hand at tiling WMs with pop!OS, I just couldn't wrap my hand around it (pun intended). I really admire people who work through all the keyboard shortcuts. It's just not for my capabilities.

    I think Windows actually did a great job of making tiling more mainstream - the way windows automatically snap to the left/right half of the screen. macOS could use something like that - I've hacked something similar using Hammerspoon[1] but I think Windows does it better: it's very discoverable for regular users, and has a very intuitive shortcut for the power users (win+left/right/up).

    The world of minimalist tiling WMs suffers from the elitism factor. It's a shame that you can't get the right dose of minimalism, without making this huge leap. I think people making most of these WMs misunderstand good UX design: it's not about accommodating non-power users, it's about lowering the barrier for everyone, hackers included.


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28 days ago
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