Installing on a New System

mkdir -p "$HOME/git"
cd "$HOME/git"
git clone [email protected]:mrjones2014/dotfiles.git


If you're installing on a server, see the NixOS manual for headless NixOS installation instructions first. Once you've got your disks partitioned and NixOS installed, come back here and continue. For desktop computers, you can just use the graphical GNOME NixOS installer, since we'll be installing GNOME anyway.

Simply run NIX_CONFIG="experimental-features = nix-command flakes" sudo nixos-rebuild switch ~/git/dotfiles/.#pc (replacing .#pc with your desired flake output target). After the first time, you won't need the NIX_CONFIG= part, as the flake will set that up in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/nix/nix.conf.


On macOS, you will need to install the home-manager CLI manually. Then, you can run home-manager switch --flake ~/git/dotfiles/.#pc (replacing .#pc with your desired flake output target).

On macOS, you should then also run the following:

# configure to look for its config file in `$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/hammerspoon` instead of `$HOME/.hammerspoon`
defaults write org.hammerspoon.Hammerspoon MJConfigFile "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:-$HOME/.config}/hammerspoon/init.lua"
# Run a script to set up a lot of macOS settings to more sensible defaults

On macOS, you also have to manually change the default shell to Fish.

  • Run which fish to get the filepath to the Fish binary (should be something like $HOME/.nix-profile/bin/fish)
  • Run sudo vi /etc/shells and add the output of which fish (usually this should be something like $HOME/.nix-profile/bin/fish) as an entry, then write the file and quit
  • Run chsh -s $(which fish)
  • Log out and back in

Managing Dotfiles

Dotfiles are managed via Nix, using flake.nix and home-manager. On NixOS, the home-manager configuration is managed as a NixOS module, so simply rebuilding your NixOS config also applies the new home-manager config. On macOS, you only have nix and home-manager so use the home-manager CLI directly.