created_at2022-02-09 04:42:19.385884
updated_at2022-02-12 13:09:38.515485
descriptionEasily generate different versions of config files
Ian Clarke (sanity)




A command line tool for easily generating multiple versions of a configuration file from a single template.


I'm a big fan of the i3 window manager, and I use it on several linux desktops and laptops. While I mostly want the same i3 configuration across all of these computers, some require different variations.

I created multiconf to make it easy to generate multiple variations of a config file.

How to install

  1. Install cargo (the Rust package manager):
$ curl -sSf | sh
  1. Install multiconf:
$ cargo install multiconf

How to use

Create a file called base.txt:

global config 1
global config 2
dog$>>canine config 1
cat$>>feline config 1
global config 3

Then create dog.txt from base.txt:

$ multiconf --choice dog --input base.txt --output dog.txt

This will contain:

global config 1
global config 2
canine config 1
global config 3

If you want dog.txt to be automatically updated every time base.txt changes, use:

$ multiconf --choice dog --input base.txt --output dog.txt --watch

Example with i3 config file

Here is the line I use in my i3 config so I can have different versions depending on the hostname of the computer:

exec --no-startup-id multiconf \
    --choice `hostname` \
    --input ~/Dropbox/code/linux-cfg/i3/config \
    --output ~/.config/i3/config \

Here are some example lines from my i3 config, which I share between machines using Dropbox:

# This font is widely installed, provides lots of unicode glyphs, right-to-left
# text rendering and scalability on retina/hidpi displays (thanks to pango).
technic$>>font pango:DejaVu Sans Mono 12
pocket$>>font pango:DejaVu Sans Mono 16
framework$>>font pango:DejaVu Sans Mono 15

technic, pocket, and framework are the hostnames of my three linux computers.

Command line parameters

multiconf [version]
Easily generate different versions of config files

    multiconf [OPTIONS] --choice <CHOICE>

    -c, --choice <CHOICE>          The selected
    -h, --help                     Print help information
    -i, --input <INPUT>            The input file, or stdin if not specified
    -o, --output <OUTPUT>          The output file, or stdout if not specified
    -s, --separator <SEPARATOR>    Separates choice from the line chosen [default: $>>]
    -V, --version                  Print version information
    -w, --watch                    Watch the input file for changes and update the output file when
                                   it does
Commit count: 22

cargo fmt