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Easily create text documentation of installed applications, dotfiles, and more.

Project description


shallow-backup is designed to make it incredibly simple for developers to document their Mac configurations.

GIF demo

shallow-backup makes copies of your dotfiles and fonts, and documents your package manager install lists in .txt format.

Example Use Case

Instead of backing up your brew / npm / pip / whatever package manager library in a system image, which may occupy GBs of space, use shallow-backup to create lists of the packages installed, which takes up minimal space and can be easily distributed, saved, or transported.


Usage: [OPTIONS]

  Easily create text documentation of installed applications, dotfiles, and

  -complete        Backup everything.
  -dotfiles        Create backup of dotfiles.
  -fonts           Create backup of installed fonts.
  -installs        Create backup of installs.
  -old_path        Decline setting new backup directory path.
  --new_path TEXT  Input a new backup directory path.
  -delete_config   Remove config file.
  -v               Display version and author information and exit.
  -help, -h        Show this message and exit.

Example Commands

  • $ shallow-backup -- Launch interactive backup process.
  • $ shallow-backup -old_path -complete -- Complete backup to path stored in .shallow-backup.
  • $ shallow-backup -new_path backup_dir_to_be_created -fonts -- Back up fonts in backup_dir_to_be_created directory.

Output Structure

├── dotfiles
│   ├── bashrc.txt
│   ├── pypirc.txt
│   ├── ssh
│   │   └── known_hosts
│   ├── vim
│   └── zshrc.txt
├── fonts
│   ├── AllerDisplay.ttf
│   ├── Aller_Bd.ttf
│   ├── Aller_BdIt.ttf
│   ├── Aller_It.ttf
│      .........
│   ├── Ubuntu\ Mono\ derivative\ Powerline\ Bold\ Italic.ttf
│   ├── Ubuntu\ Mono\ derivative\ Powerline\ Bold.ttf
│   ├── Ubuntu\ Mono\ derivative\ Powerline\ Italic.ttf
│   ├── Ubuntu\ Mono\ derivative\ Powerline.ttf
│   └── installed_fonts.txt
└── installs
    ├── applications_list.txt
    ├── brew_cask_list.txt
    ├── brew_list.txt
    ├── gem_list.txt
    ├── npm_list.txt
    └── pip_list.txt

5 directories, 214 files

Reinstalling is easy!

Just run $ package_manager install package_manager_list.txt.

For example, $ brew install brew_list.txt would reinstall all brew packages listed in brew_list.txt.

What can I back up?


Copies the following files into a nested dotfiles directory.

  1. .pypirc
  2. .ssh
  3. .vim
  4. .zshrc

Package Manager Install Lists

Creates install lists for the following package managers in a nested installs directory.

  1. brew
  2. brew cask
  3. npm
  4. gem
  5. pip
  6. System Applications directory


Copy all fonts from ~/Library/Fonts into a nested fonts directory.

Installation Options

  1. Install with pip

    • $ pip install shallow-backup
    • $ shallow-backup
  2. Download the shallow-backup binary from Releases tab.

How to Contribute

  1. Clone repo and create a new branch: $ git checkout -b name_for_new_branch.
  2. Make changes and test
  3. Submit Pull Request with comprehensive description of changes

Project details

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