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Include dotfiles from elsewhere

The sections below contain examples of how to use .chezmoiexternal.toml to include files from external sources. For more details, check the reference manual .

Include a subdirectory from a URL

To include a subdirectory from another repository, e.g. Oh My Zsh, you cannot use git submodules because chezmoi uses its own format for the source state and Oh My Zsh is not distributed in this format. Instead, you can use the .chezmoiexternal.$FORMAT to tell chezmoi to import dotfiles from an external source.

For example, to import Oh My Zsh, the zsh-syntax-highlighting plugin, and powerlevel10k, put the following in ~/.local/share/chezmoi/.chezmoiexternal.toml:

~/.local/share/chezmoi/.chezmoiexternal.toml
[".oh-my-zsh"]
    type = "archive"
    url = "https://github.com/ohmyzsh/ohmyzsh/archive/master.tar.gz"
    exact = true
    stripComponents = 1
    refreshPeriod = "168h"
[".oh-my-zsh/custom/plugins/zsh-syntax-highlighting"]
    type = "archive"
    url = "https://github.com/zsh-users/zsh-syntax-highlighting/archive/master.tar.gz"
    exact = true
    stripComponents = 1
    refreshPeriod = "168h"
[".oh-my-zsh/custom/themes/powerlevel10k"]
    type = "archive"
    url = "https://github.com/romkatv/powerlevel10k/archive/v1.15.0.tar.gz"
    exact = true
    stripComponents = 1

To apply the changes, run:

$ chezmoi apply

chezmoi will download the archives and unpack them as if they were part of the source state. chezmoi caches downloaded archives locally to avoid re-downloading them every time you run a chezmoi command, and will only re-download them at most every refreshPeriod (default never).

In the above example refreshPeriod is set to 168h (one week) for .oh-my-zsh and .oh-my-zsh/custom/plugins/zsh-syntax-highlighting because the URL point to tarballs of the master branch, which changes over time. No refresh period is set for .oh-my-zsh/custom/themes/powerlevel10k because the URL points to the a tarball of a tagged version, which does not change over time. To bump the version of powerlevel10k, change the version in the URL.

To force a refresh the downloaded archives, use the --refresh-externals flag to chezmoi apply:

$ chezmoi --refresh-externals apply

--refresh-externals can be shortened to -R:

$ chezmoi -R apply

When using Oh My Zsh, make sure you disable auto-updates by setting DISABLE_AUTO_UPDATE="true" in ~/.zshrc. Auto updates will cause the ~/.oh-my-zsh directory to drift out of sync with chezmoi's source state. To update Oh My Zsh and its plugins, refresh the downloaded archives.

Include a subdirectory with selected files from a URL

Use include pattern filters to include only selected files from an archive URL.

For example, to import just the required source files of the zsh-syntax-highlighting plugin in the example above, add in include filter to the zsh-syntax-highlighting section as shown below:

~/.local/share/chezmoi/.chezmoiexternal.toml
[".oh-my-zsh/custom/plugins/zsh-syntax-highlighting"]
    type = "archive"
    url = "https://github.com/zsh-users/zsh-syntax-highlighting/archive/master.tar.gz"
    exact = true
    stripComponents = 1
    refreshPeriod = "168h"
    include = ["*/*.zsh", "*/.version", "*/.revision-hash", "*/highlighters/**"]

Include a single file from a URL

Including single files uses the same mechanism as including a subdirectory above, except with the external type file instead of archive. For example, to include plug.vim from github.com/junegunn/vim-plug in ~/.vim/autoload/plug.vim put the following in ~/.local/share/chezmoi/.chezmoiexternal.toml:

~/.local/share/chezmoi/.chezmoiexternal.toml
[".vim/autoload/plug.vim"]
    type = "file"
    url = "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/junegunn/vim-plug/master/plug.vim"
    refreshPeriod = "168h"

Include a subdirectory from a git repository

You can configure chezmoi to keep a git repository up to date in a subdirectory by using the external type git-repo, for example:

~/.local/share/chezmoi/.chezmoiexternal.toml
[".vim/pack/alker0/chezmoi.vim"]
    type = "git-repo"
    url = "https://github.com/alker0/chezmoi.vim.git"
    refreshPeriod = "168h"

If the directory does not exist then chezmoi will run git clone to clone it. If the directory does exist then chezmoi will run git pull to pull the latest changes, but not more often than every refreshPeriod. In the above example the refreshPeriod is 168h which is one week. The default refreshPeriod is zero, which disables refreshes. You can force a refresh (i.e. force a git pull) by passing the --refresh-externals/-R flag to chezmoi apply.

You can customize the arguments to git clone and git pull by setting the $DIR.clone.args and $DIR.pull.args variables in .chezmoiexternal.$FORMAT, for example:

~/.local/share/chezmoi/.chezmoiexternal.toml
[".vim/pack/alker0/chezmoi.vim"]
    type = "git-repo"
    url = "https://github.com/alker0/chezmoi.vim.git"
    refreshPeriod = "168h"
    [".vim/pack/alker0/chezmoi.vim".pull]
        args = ["--ff-only"]

Note

chezmoi's support for git-repo externals is limited to running git clone and/or git pull in a directory. The contents of git-repo externals are not manifested in commands like chezmoi archive or chezmoi dump.

Note

chezmoi's support for git-repo externals currently requires git to be in your $PATH.

Extract a single file from an archive

You can extract a single file from an archive using the $ENTRY.filter.command and $ENTRY.filter.args variables in .chezmoiexternal.$FORMAT, for example:

~/.local/share/chezmoi/.chezmoiexternal.toml
{{ $ageVersion := "1.0.0" -}}
[".local/bin/age"]
    type = "file"
    url = "https://github.com/FiloSottile/age/releases/download/v{{ $ageVersion }}/age-v{{ $ageVersion }}-{{ .chezmoi.os }}-{{ .chezmoi.arch }}.tar.gz"
    executable = true
    refreshPeriod = "168h"
    [".local/bin/age".filter]
        command = "tar"
        args = ["--extract", "--file", "/dev/stdin", "--gzip", "--to-stdout", "age/age"]

This will extract the single archive member age/age from the given URL (which is computed for the current OS and architecture) to the target ./local/bin/age and set its executable bit.

Import archives

It is occasionally useful to import entire archives of configuration into your source state. The import command does this. For example, to import the latest version github.com/ohmyzsh/ohmyzsh to ~/.oh-my-zsh run:

$ curl -s -L -o ${TMPDIR}/oh-my-zsh-master.tar.gz https://github.com/ohmyzsh/ohmyzsh/archive/master.tar.gz
$ mkdir -p $(chezmoi source-path)/dot_oh-my-zsh
$ chezmoi import --strip-components 1 --destination ~/.oh-my-zsh ${TMPDIR}/oh-my-zsh-master.tar.gz

Note

This only updates the source state. You will need to run:

$ chezmoi apply

to update your destination directory.