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Keep your application settings in sync (OS X/Linux)

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Keep your application settings in sync.

Status snapcraft

Table of content


If you have Dropbox installed and want to use it to save your config files, that's super easy.

On macOS, if you want an easy install, you can install Homebrew and do:

# Install Mackup
brew install mackup

Launch it and back up your files

mackup backup

If not running macOS, or you don't like Homebrew, you can use pip.

Note: The below command will check if a previous version of Mackup is already installed on your system. If this is the case, it will be upgraded to the latest version.

# Install Mackup with PIP
pip install --upgrade mackup

Launch it and back up your files

mackup backup

On Ubuntu, pip will install to the current user's home directory rather than system-wide. Because of this, when installing pip on Ubuntu you will need to run

pip install
with the
flag as well (on other platforms this is not needed)

You're all set and constantly backed up from now on.

Next, on any new workstation, do:

# Install Mackup
brew install mackup

Launch it and restore your files

mackup restore


You can find more detailed instructions in


mackup backup

Backup your application settings.

mackup restore

Restore your application settings on a newly installed workstation.

mackup uninstall

Copy back any synced config file to its original place.

mackup list

Display the list of applications supported by Mackup.

mackup -h

Get some help, obviously...

What does it do

  • Back ups your application settings in a safe directory (e.g. Dropbox)
  • Syncs your application settings among all your workstations
  • Restores your configuration on any fresh install in one command line

By only tracking pure configuration files, it keeps the crap out of your freshly new installed workstation (no cache, temporary and locally specific files are transfered).

Mackup makes setting up the environment easy and simple, saving time for your family, great ideas, and all the cool stuff you like.

Bullsh*t, what does it really do to my files

Let's take

as an example. Your settings for
are saved in your home folder, in the


If you have Dropbox, these things happen when you launch

mackup backup
  1. cp ~/.gitconfig ~/Dropbox/Mackup/.gitconfig
  2. rm ~/.gitconfig
  3. ln -s ~/Dropbox/Mackup/.gitconfig ~/.gitconfig

Now your

config is always backed up and up to date on all your workstations.


When you launch

mackup restore
, here's what it's really doing:
  1. ln -s ~/Dropbox/Mackup/.gitconfig ~/.gitconfig

That's it, you got your

config setup on your new workstation.

does the same for any supported application.


You can revert all your files to their original state.

# Just run this
mackup uninstall

This will remove the symlinks and copy back the files from the Mackup folder in Dropbox to their original places in your home. The Mackup folder and the files in it stay put, so that any other computer also running Mackup is unaffected.

Supported Storages

See the README file in the doc directory for more info.

Unsupported Storages

Supported Applications

Can you support application X

We can with your help ;)

Personalization & configuration

Have an application that shouldn't be generally supported but that you use? Or a cool file you want to sync?

Why did you do this

Yesterday, I had a talk with Zach Zaro, complaining about the pain it is to reconfigure our Macbook each time we get a new one or install from scratch. That's a talk we have already had months ago.

I change my workstation every X months. Each time I either lose my apps' configurations, or I just waste a bunch of hours getting setup like I was on my old box. I also spend a lot of time reconfiguring the same stuff again on all my workstations (home, work).


Some people tried to solve the problem on the application layer, like Github's Boxen, but it solves a different problem, from my point of view. I don't spend a lot of time installing or downloading stuff. I spend time configuring it.

For years, I've used a personal shell script that was copying known config files into Subversion, Git or Dropbox, and linked them into my home. But I felt a lot of us had the same problem: Making a more generic tool could help others and I could get help from others to support more apps in the tool.

So here comes Mackup, the little tool that will sync all your application configs to Dropbox (or Google Drive, or anything).

And it's GPL, of course.

What platforms are supported

  • macOS
  • GNU/Linux

What's up with the weird name

Mackup is just a portmanteau of Mac and Backup. It is simple, short, and easy to remember, and it corresponds with the whole idea of Mackup: the simpler – the better! (And I suck at naming stuff, but who doesn't.)

Where can I find more information

In the doc directory.

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