Personal dotconfig

This repository is for synchronizing my shell and i3 settings across machines. The checkout location is $XDG_CONFIG_HOME, which is usually equal to $HOME/.config.

There is an ./install script that sets up some symlinks. For programs that look into $XDG_CONFIG_HOME on their own, no symlink is needed.

Table of contents

POSIX-compatible shells

The ~/.profile symlink serves as entry point during any login operation. It is pointing to the profile file of this repo. And login shell is supposed to source it.

The env file serves as config file for interactive shells. Its function is to ensure a consistent setup across bourne shell variants.

It makes sure the following environment variables have sensible values:

The PATH variable is updated to contain the bin directory.

Bash and Zsh have own entrypoints, they are automatically set up as symlinks by the ./install script if the respective shell is configured as login shell.

Per-machine overrides

Machine-specific fixes can be placed in env.d/ or profile.d/.

Use in shell scripts

Shell scripts started from background daemons like cron or init won't have the environment variables resulting from the login process and profile. Appending -l to the end of their shebang line will cause the executing shell to undergo this process and, in turn, also load the settings from profile.

Xorg with startx

For this to work, a symlink ~/.xinitrc pointing to the xinitrc file needs to be created.

xinitrc does alot of things:

Xorg with Display Manager

This requires manual scripting. A custom ~/.xsession or ~/.xsessionrc chains to xinitrc, possibly after sourcing the profile to load the environment variables.


i3 respects $XDG_CONFIG_HOME on its own and reads its config from i3/config.

The setup is simple. All windows run maximized, only one bar at the top displays the titles of all windows. Windows are switched between by using the left Alt-Key and WASD, moved by additionally holding shift. A new terminal is launched using Alt+Enter.


The repo overrides the system x-terminal-emulator with its own. Depending on whats available, xterm or urxvt is launched, with a fallback to the system-wide script if none was found. Both of these terminal emulators are configured with the same Xresources and are configured to behave similar.


This repo ships an own xdg-open overriding the system one. It runs the view script in a new terminal window / tmux pane. view itself contains complex logic to display the contents of the url to me, usually via feh, mpv or by chaining to firefox. This includes displaying files of unknown type via hexdump, or showing text files via less. It also degrades nicely in functionality when there is no Xorg available, by resorting to command line programs.