Store VS Code Settings.json in Git

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Adam Gordon Bell %
Adam Gordon Bell

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This article explains how to sync your VS Code settings effortlessly. Earthly improves your CI builds. Learn how.

VS Code is very extensible and you can customize it in a thousand ways using many extensions.

Tons of Extensions

You can also customize keybindings and even the CSS used to render VS Code itself.

This is all great, but the more you customize the more likely you are to break something. So how to keep all these settings in one place? VS Code has a sync settings feature that can do just that, but for me the solution is always going to be git.

Settings.json in git

First, create a new git repository. I’m creating mine in /Users/adam/sandbox/vs-code-styles/. Initialize it with ‘git init’ and add a readme.md you can use for documentation purposes.

Next, locate your settings.json file by opening it in VS Code (Ctrl-Shift-P or Command-Shift-P) and then use copy path to get its disk location. Repeat this same process for keybindings.json. (If you can’t find it, its in the same folder.)

VS Code copy path

Copy Over

In your terminal, simply copy your settings and keybindings files into your new settings repo. After committing them (git add . && git commit -a -m "settings.json"), remove the old copies. Next, symlink the new versions in their place. Make sure VS Code is closed during this process. Now, any changes you make to your settings will be saved in the repo, allowing you to commit or undo changes as needed.

Once you’ve got your settings optimized, you might want to consider streamlining your build process as well. Check out Earthly for efficient build automation. It could be the perfect complement to your newly optimized VS Code settings.

Here’s where my settings live on GitHub.

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Adam Gordon Bell %

Spreading the word about Earthly. Host of CoRecursive podcast. Physical Embodiment of Cunningham’s Law.
@adamgordonbell
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