- Version Control System for $HOME - multiple Git repositories in
clone [-b branch
rename repo newname
run repo shell command
vcsh repo git command
allows you to have several git(1)
maintaining their working trees in $HOME without clobbering each other. That,
in turn, means you can have one repository per config set (zsh, vim, ssh,
etc), picking and choosing which configs you want to use on which machine.
is using a technique called fake bare Git repositories, keeping
in a different directory from $GIT_WORK_TREE
pointed to $HOME
The use of symlinks is not needed in this setup, making for a cleaner setup.
was designed with mr(1)
in mind so you might want to install
it alongside vcsh. That being said, you can easily use vcsh
if you prefer.
A sample configuration for vcsh
can be found at
and used with vcsh clone
Please note that you can always use a path instead of a name for repo
This is needed to support mr and other scripts properly and of no concern to
an interactive user.
- Source file prior to other configuration files
- Enable debug mode
- Enable verbose mode
- Clone an existing repository.
- If you need to clone a bundle of repositories, look into the
- You can also use a single git repository with several branches. Use the
-b option to specify a branch at clone time, the default is
- Commit in all repositories
- Delete an existing repository.
- Enter repository; spawn new $SHELL.
- Display help.
- Initialize an empty repository.
- List all local vcsh repositories.
- List all files tracked by vcsh.
- If you want to list files tracked by a specific repository, simply append
the repository´s name last.
- List files tracked by a repository.
- This is a legacy command; you should use list-tracked <repo>
- List all files NOT tracked by vcsh.
- By default, the file list is shallow and stops at directory levels where
possible. If you prefer to get a list of all files, append -r for
- If you want to list files not tracked by a specific repository, simply
append the repository´s name last.
- Pull from all vcsh remotes.
- Push to all vcsh remotes.
- Rename a repository.
- Run command with $GIT_DIR and $GIT_WORK_TREE set. Allows you
to run any and all commands without any restrictions. Use with care.
- Please note that there is a somewhat magic feature for run. Instead of
repo it accepts path, as well. Anything that has a slash in
it will be assumed to be a path. vcsh run will then operate on this
directory instead of the one normally generated from the
repository´s name. This is needed to support mr and other scripts
properly and of no concern to an interactive user.
- Show statuses of all/one vcsh repositories.
- Upgrade repository to currently recommended settings.
- Print version information.
- which substring
- Find substring in name of any tracked file.
- Write .gitignore.d/repo via git ls-files.
- repo gitcommand
- Shortcut to run vcsh on a repo. Will prepend git to
- Shortcut to run vcsh enter <repo>.
As noted earlier, vcsh
will set $GIT_DIR
to the appropriate values for fake bare Git repositories.
There are several ways to turn the various knobs on vcsh
. In order of
ascending precedence, they are:
- VARIABLE=foo vcsh
- vcsh -c <file>
Please note that those files are sourced. Any and all commands will be executed
in the context of your shell.
Interesting knobs you can turn:
- Can be none, or any other value.
- none will not maintain Git attributes in a special location.
- If set to any other value, repo-specific gitattributes files will be
- Defaults to none.
- Can be exact, none, or recursive.
- exact will seed the repo-specific ignore file with all file and
directory names which git ls-files returns.
- none will not write any ignore file.
- recursive will descend through all directories recursively
additionally to the above.
- Defaults to exact.
- Can be absolute, or relative.
- absolute will set an absolute path; defaulting to
- relative will set a path relative to $GIT_DIR.
- Defaults to absolute.
Less interesting knobs you could turn:
- Enter debug mode.
- As specified in the ´XDG Base Directory Specification´, see
- Defaults to <$HOME/.config>.
- The directory where repositories are read from and stored.
- Defaults to <$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/vcsh/repo.d>.
- The directory where hooks are read from.
- Defaults to <$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/vcsh/hooks-enabled>.
- The directory where repositories are checked out to.
- Defaults to $HOME.
provides a hook system. Hook scripts must be executable and should
be placed in <$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/vcsh/hooks-available>. From there, they
can be soft-linked into <$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/vcsh/hooks-enabled>;
will only execute hooks that are in this directory.
Hooks follow a simple format. pre-run
will be run before anything is run.
If you want to have more than one script for a certain hook, just append any
kind of string to order them. A system of pre-run
<pre-run.20> etc is suggested; other options would be pre-run-10
or <pre-run.sh>. A dot after the hook name is optional.
If you want to create hooks for a specific vcsh
prepend the repository´s name, followed by a dot, i.e.
<zsh.pre-run>. Otherwise, the same rules as above apply. The dot between
the repository´s name and the hook is mandatory, though.
Available hooks are pre-clone
, and post-upgrade
If you need more, vcsh is trivial to patch, but please let upstream know so we
can ship them by default.
also provides an overlay system. Similar to hooks, the recommended
locations are <$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/vcsh/overlays-available> and
Overlays follow the same rules as hooks and you are free to overwrite any and
all functions. Same as hooks, you can use global or repository-specific
overlays by using either <$VCSH_OVERLAY_D/$VCSH_COMMAND> or
Please note that nothing stops you from, e.g. overwriting status()
<$VCSH_OVERLAY_D/commit>. As the overlays will be sourced and you are
replacing arbitrary functions, any and all features may stop working, or you
may even lose data.
You have been warned.
DETAILED HOWTO AND FURTHER READING¶
Manpages are often short and sometimes useless to glean best practices from.
While the author tried to avoid this in this case, manpages can not cover
This software also comes with a file called <README.md>. It contains
various approaches to setting up and using vcsh. You can view the file it as
plain text or render it into various other formats via Markdown.
On Debian-based systems, this file can be found in </usr/share/doc/vcsh>.
allows you to execute arbitrary commands via vcsh run
example, adding a sudo(8)
rule for vcsh
would be pretty stupid.
Additionally, vcsh will source, i.e. execute, all files listed in CONFIG
You can put any and all commands into these config files and they will be
None are known at this time, but reports and/or patches are more than welcome.
If you rely on git submodule
1.7.12 or later. Earlier
versions do not clean internal variables properly before descending into
submodules, resulting in unhappy end users.
Like most people, the author initially made do with a single repository for all
config files, all of which were soft-linked into $HOME
Martin F. Krafft aka madduck came up with the concept of fake bare Git
vcsh was initally written by madduck. This version is a re-implementation from
scratch with a lot more features. madduck graciously agreed to let the author
take over the name.
This manpage and vcsh
itself were written by Richard "RichiH"
Copyright 2011-2013 Richard Hartmann firstname.lastname@example.org
Licensed under the GNU GPL version 2 or higher.