Kernel specific ZSH dotfiles

I work on a number of different machines, OS X based for development and Linux based for hosting. I’ve added various aliases and other commands to my shell, and use a github repository to share this configuration between these machines.

This works well, but while most commands work commonly across Linux and OS X, there are some nasty differences. One example is ls which takes different arguments on both systems; the default ls alias I use on OS X doesn’t work on Linux. So how can we accommodate these differences, without removing all the shared configuration?

The answer is really simple. Create kernel specific configuration files, and use a case statement to load the correct one. The main obstacle was finding a way to distinguish between each kernel. In the end I found the $system_name environment variable, which is set on both OS X and the servers I use.

Here’s the code:

case $system_name in
    source ~/.houseshare/zsh/kernel/darwin.zsh
    source ~/.houseshare/zsh/kernel/linux.zsh

As I said, simple.