Backup atom packages, configs


Hello, I want to completely backup all my atom related settings.

  • i can do apm start --install to install all packages that I starred
  • i guess editor specific configs are in the root folder and they are:
    • config.cson
    • keymap.cson
    • snippets.cson

Now i see remoteEdit.json what is most likely a package configuration. This one is in the root folder of .atom. Does all package specific config files are going to be in the root folder? For example there is atom-beautify which stores the configs at ~/.jsbeautifyrc. That is not the root folder of atom.

So what do you suggest? How do you backup your settings?

How to backup all your settings?

Unfortunately there is no standard setting storage location for packages other than the config settings. As you discovered the locations vary. I personally think they should all go into ~/atom. I would submit issues to packages that store elsewhere.


This other topic has some good information and links to other topics:

Specifically, I use the rcm tool to synchronize my dotfiles including the Atom configuration files.

I would agree with @mark_hahn in his statement that packages should probably store configuration information in ~/.atom if it doesn’t fit in the standard config system … except for things like passwords, security tokens, API tokens and the like. Things that are machine-specific may also be candidates for storage elsewhere (though maybe we should have a subdirectory of ~/.atom that is for storing machine-specific stuff).


A very simple way for newbie like myself:

I sync the whole .atom file on my Google Drive. Here’re the steps:

  1. move the .atom file from your root to your Google Drive/Dropbox etc.

  2. create a sym-link of the .atom file from Drive to root:

    ln -s path/to/drive/.atom path/to/root/.atom

voila. Now all the packages and configs are on drive.


I tried that and ran into problems, of which I have forgotten. I now do the same thing but link all the top level items individually. Luckily a single linux command will do that for me. This also has the advantage of not syncing things like cache folders. This scheme has worked great for months. I can now switch machines and see no difference.

I should point out that I started with dropbox but I recently started having reliability problems. Files would just not appear. So I have switched to a private cloud solution called Unison. It is screaming fast and reliable but I have to maintain the software which isn’t hard.



if you don’t mind, can you show the command you use in more details? I’m interested; and it’d be nice to not have to sync the whole .atom file.

What files are shipped with Atom

Close all atom windows.

Delete non-interesting .atom contents. Doesn’t harm anything.

rm -rf .apm .node-gyp compile-cache storage

Move items to shared folder …

mv ~/.atom/* shared-atom-folder

Create links …

ln -s shared-atom-folder/* ~/.atom


I made a 5 min video that will show you how to backup all of your settings and config files and keep them in sync if you use Atom on more than one machine/profile. It uses a community package and a GitHub account.


Awesome! Thank you