The problem

From time to time, I have scripts and binaries that I only really need on one system. Since the base dotfiles repo includes a bin directory (for dfm itself), if I just drop files in there, git continually shows me that they are untracked. For instance, if I have a script called only_on_my_mac, then running dfm status shows:

# On branch personal
# Untracked files:
#   (use "git add <file>..." to include in what will be committed)
#       bin/only_on_my_mac
nothing added to commit but untracked files present (use "git add" to track)

At the very least, this is annoying. Here, I offer three solutions to this problem.

Solution 1: .gitignore

The first solution is to just drop a .gitignore file in the bin directory and specify each file that needs to be ignored:


If you only have a couple scripts, this may work. However, after the third entry, this gets rather tedious.

Solution 2: Create an excluded directory

This solution is a slight modification of the previous one. Instead of ignoring each individual file, create a directory for excluded scripts:

mkdir .dotfiles/bin/excluded

Then, ignore all the files inside that directory (except the .gitignore file itself):


Finally, update .bashrc.load to add the new directory to the path:


Now, any scripts that are only for one system can just be dropped into the bin/excluded directory and git/dfm won’t try to track them.

Solution 3: Use dfm recursion

This solution involves modifying the .dfminstall file in the base of the dotfiles repository. Add the following line:

bin recurse

Then, when dfm installs, it will symlink any scripts in the dotfiles’ bin directory instead of symlinking the entire directory.

$ ls -al bin
lrwxr-xr-x  1 jones  staff  13 Oct  4 20:20 bin -> .dotfiles/bin
$ ls -al bin
drwxr-xr-x 3 vagrant vagrant 4096 2012-01-23 01:31 .
drwxr-xr-x 5 vagrant vagrant 4096 2012-01-23 01:31 ..
-rw-r--r-- 1 vagrant vagrant   12 2012-01-23 01:31 only_on_my_mac
drwxr-xr-x 2 vagrant vagrant 4096 2012-01-23 01:31 .backup
lrwxrwxrwx 1 vagrant vagrant   20 2012-01-23 01:31 dfm -> ../.dotfiles/bin/dfm

This solution only started working today. There was an bug in dfm that prevented the bin directory itself from being recurse-able. If you want to use this solution, you’ll need to merge the latest code.


I personally use Solution #2, mostly because I don’t want to keep a list of files to ignore (translation: lazy).

I hope these solutions are helpful. Enjoy.