Skip to content


It is not uncommon for the same config file to be placed in different places depending on the environment. For example, the config file for psql, a client of PostgreSQL, has the following different paths depending on the environment, according to documentation:

  • POSIX: If the PSQLRC environment variable is present, use its value as the path; if not, use ~/.psqlrc.
  • Windows: If the PSQLRC environment variable is present, use its value as the path; otherwise, use %APPDATA%\postgresql\psqlrc.conf.

Dojang utilizes a concept called routing to deal with such complex cases.

Directory Routing

Many programs store their config files in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME on Linux, ~/Library/Application Support on macOS, and %AppData% or %LocalAppData% on Windows.1 So if you want to use the same config file in multiple environments, it's convenient to route those paths together. The declaration below shows an example of this.

linux = "$XDG_CONFIG_HOME"
mac = "$HOME/Library/Application Support"
win = "$AppData"

os = "linux"

os = "macos"

os = "windows"

Here, the routing name, app_config, is also the name of a directory within the repository. If we say that the files in the repository are as follows:

  • dojang.toml
  • app_config/
    • alacritty/
      • alacritty.toml
    • ghc/
      • ghci.conf
    • nvim/ init.vim

On Linux, you will have files in the following paths:

  • /home/$USER/.config/alacritty/
  • /home/$USER/.config/alacritty/alacritty.toml
  • /home/$USER/.config/ghc/
  • /home/$USER/.config/ghc/ghci.conf
  • /home/$USER/.config/nvim/
  • /home/$USER/.config/nvim/init.vim

However, what if the XDG_CONFIG_HOME environment variable is not defined? The app_config routing on Linux would be an empty path, i.e. the current working directory (CWD) at the time you run Dojang. If you want to prevent this, you can tweak the routing a bit, as shown below.

linux = "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:-$HOME/.config}"

The syntax above means that if the XDG_CONFIG_HOME environment variable exists, take its value, but otherwise take the path ~/.config. For more advanced features like this, see the file path expressions documentation.

Ignoring irrelevant files

In some cases, like your home directory, where you might have a lot of stuff besides your config file, the results of dojang status can be overwhelming and difficult to see. In addition, too many files can make it slow.

To avoid this, you can specify which files to ignore in the ignores section. For example, suppose you added a home route like below:

linux = "$HOME"
mac = "$HOME"
win = "$UserProfile"

Now, any files inside the directory that the home routes to will appear in the results of dojang status. However, you may want to ignore the Documents directory among them. In this case, you can specify the files you want to ignore in the ignores section, as shown below:

home = [

In practice, there are much more files in the home directory to ignore than not, so it's usually more convenient to just ignore everything:

home = ["*"]

Even if we ignore all the files like this, we can still reflect them by specifying them one by one with the dojang reflect -f command. Once added to the repository, files are managed even if they are on the ignore list.

In case of overlapping routing

Let's say you have routed app_config to XDG_CONFIG_HOME on Linux, which is ~/.config, as in the example above, and you want to add a route to your home directory:

linux = "$HOME"
mac = "$HOME"
win = "$UserProfile"

In most cases, the directory where home is routed will also contain the directory where app_config is routed. It's easy to make mistakes when dealing with overlapping directories in two or more routes like this, so you should have one side ignore the other, like below:

home = [
  "Library/Application Support"

Per-file routing

For some config files, not only the directory but also the filename itself can vary depending on the environment, and it can be simpler to route them on a per-file basis. For example, the psql config file, which we used as an example at the beginning of this document, could be routed on a per-file basis, as shown below:

posix = "${PSQLRC:-$HOME/.psqlrc}"
win = "${PSQLRC:-${AppData:-$UserProfile/AppData/Roaming}/postgresql/psqlrc.conf}"

os = ["linux", "macos"]

os = "windows"

Null routing

Some config files may not exist or be needed in some environments. In these cases, you can choose not to route them at all, which is called null routing. For example, if you have a config file that is only needed on Windows, you can route it like below:

win = "$LocalAppData/Packages/Microsoft.WindowsTerminal_8wekyb3d8bbwe/LocalState/settings.json"

The above config file is only required on Windows, so you won't have it at all on Linux or macOS.

  1. For example, in the cross-platform app framework Electron, the app.getPath("appData") API returns different paths depending on the environment. In the same manner, GLib's get_user_config_dir() API behaves similarly.