Hiltmon

On walkabout in life and technology

Sharing Bash Profiles Across Computers

If you use more than one computer, keeping your dotfiles in sync is difficult. You either need to run a sync program like ChronoSync or set up your own rsync scripts. And then remember to run them.

I’m lazy, I just want it to work. So here is a lightweight way to share your key dotfiles across computers using Dropbox.

Create a folder in Dropbox called Scripts and save your dotfiles there:

$ cp ~/.inputrc ~/Dropbox/Scripts/inputrc.txt
$ cp ~/.bash_profile ~/Dropbox/Scripts/bash_profile.sh

Note: The leading dots have been removed in Dropbox so the files are not hidden and will sync. I also add file extensions to make editing them easier.

Now that they are shared on each computer, replace your ~/.bash_profile with:

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# Copy my shared inputrc (may require 2 loads)
cp ~/Dropbox/Scripts/inputrc.txt ~/.inputrc

# Use my shared profile
source ~/Dropbox/Scripts/bash_profile.sh

I have this saved as use_this_bash_profile.sh and, on each computer, just once

$ cp ~/Dropbox/Scripts/use_this_bash_profile.sh ~/.bash_profile

Boom, edit dotfiles once, shared on all computers automatically.

Bonus Tip: Plonk all your other common scripts in the same shared folder and add it to your PATH.

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