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Target types

chezmoi will create, update, and delete files, directories, and symbolic links in the destination directory, and run scripts. chezmoi deterministically performs actions in ASCII order of their target name.

Example

Given a file dot_a, a script run_z, and a directory exact_dot_c, chezmoi will first create .a, create .c, and then execute run_z.

Files

Files are represented by regular files in the source state. The encrypted_ attribute determines whether the file in the source state is encrypted. The executable_ attribute will set the executable bits in the the target state, and the private_ attribute will clear all group and world permissions. The readonly_ attribute will clear all write permission bits in the target state. Files with the .tmpl suffix will be interpreted as templates. If the target contents are empty then the file will be removed, unless it has an empty_ prefix.

Create file

Files with the create_ prefix will be created in the target state with the contents of the file in the source state if they do not already exist. If the file in the destination state already exists then its contents will be left unchanged.

Modify file

Files with the modify_ prefix are treated as scripts that modify an existing file. The contents of the existing file (which maybe empty if the existing file does not exist or is empty) are passed to the script's standard input, and the new contents are read from the scripts standard output.

Remove entry

Files with the remove_ prefix will cause the corresponding entry (file, directory, or symlink) to be removed in the target state.

Directories

Directories are represented by regular directories in the source state. The exact_ attribute causes chezmoi to remove any entries in the target state that are not explicitly specified in the source state, and the private_ attribute causes chezmoi to clear all group and world permissions. The readonly_ attribute will clear all write permission bits.

Symbolic links are represented by regular files in the source state with the prefix symlink_. The contents of the file will have a trailing newline stripped, and the result be interpreted as the target of the symbolic link. Symbolic links with the .tmpl suffix in the source state are interpreted as templates. If the target of the symbolic link is empty or consists only of whitespace, then the target is removed.

Scripts

Scripts are represented as regular files in the source state with prefix run_. The file's contents (after being interpreted as a template if it has a .tmpl suffix) are executed.

Scripts are executed on every chezmoi apply, unless they have the once_ or onchange_ attribute. run_once_ scripts are only executed if a script with the same contents has not been run before, i.e. if the script is new or if its contents have changed. run_onchange_ scripts are executed whenever their contents change, even if a script with the same contents has run before.

Scripts with the before_ attribute are executed before any files, directories, or symlinks are updated. Scripts with the after_ attribute are executed after all files, directories, and symlinks have been updated. Scripts without an before_ or after_ attribute are executed in ASCII order of their target names with respect to files, directories, and symlinks.

Scripts will normally run with their working directory set to their equivalent location in the destination directory. If the equivalent location in the destination directory either does not exist or is not a directory, then chezmoi will walk up the script's directory hierarchy and run the script in the first directory that exists and is a directory.

Example

A script in ~/.local/share/chezmoi/dir/run_script will be run with a working directory of ~/dir.

Scripts on Windows

The execution of scripts on Windows depends on the script's file extension. Windows will natively execute scripts with a .bat, .cmd, .com, and .exe extensions. Other extensions require an interpreter, which must be in your %PATH%.

The default script interpreters are:

Extension Command Arguments
.pl perl none
.py python3 none
.ps1 powershell -NoLogo
.rb ruby none

Script interpreters can be added or overridden with the interpreters.extension section in the configuration file.

Note

The leading . is dropped from extension, for example to specify the interpreter for .pl files you configure interpreters.pl.

Example

To change the Python interpreter to C:\Python39\python3.exe and add a Tcl/Tk interpreter, include the following in your config file:

~/.config/chezmoi/chezmoi.toml
[interpreters.py]
    command = 'C:\Python39\python3.exe'
[interpreters.tcl]
    command = "tclsh"

If the script in the source state is a template (with a .tmpl extension), then chezmoi will strip the .tmpl extension and use the next remaining extension to determine the interpreter to use.

By default, chezmoi will create regular files and directories. Setting mode = "symlink" will make chezmoi behave more like a dotfile manager that uses symlinks by default, i.e. chezmoi apply will make dotfiles symlinks to files in the source directory if the target is a regular file and is not encrypted, executable, private, or a template.

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