Dotfile management: GNU Stow

Abhiram Mullapudi

January 2, 2020

GNU Stow

GNU stow is symlink manager that links data (e.g., .vimrc, .zshrc, or any file for that matter) in the system into a single directory.


brew install stow

Using stow

  1. Create a directory for dotfiles

mkdir dotfiles cd dotfiles

  1. Create directories for storing .rc files.

mkdir vim

  1. Move .rc files into dotfiles directory

mv .vimrc <path to dotfiles>/vim/

  1. Symlink files

stow -v -R -t $HOME <path to dotfiles>/vim

  • -v flag indicates verbose
  • -R is recursive
  • -t $HOME is target directory where we the symlinked file to appear
  • <path to dotfiles>/vim is where the actual file is located


  1. GNU Stow Manual