Siddhant Maitra

Automating my laptop setup process


I have installed (and reinstalled due to screwing up my envs) my operating system for the devices I work with quite a few times. I use EndeavourOS with KDE nowadays since my recent most installation.

Starting afresh is pretty good, but the most arduous task every time has been re-installing all the software I require. Remembering package names, diving into settings and updating keybindings, appearance - to have your OS work as exactly as you like is great! But doing that once too many to bring it to your desired state is not a productive use of time.

Scripting is all you need?

Initially I embarked on the task with underestimating it to be handled simply by a single bash script. A simple for-loop to go through a list of packages and do yay -S or sudo pacman -S $PACKAGE_NAME, backup all necessary config files/assets to git beforehand and pull them in the script to necessary locations, run some init commands - and I should be done!

Only at the time of actually attempting to write it out, did I realize the things I would have had to handle - Error handling for lots of cases, verbose logging for each step, handling cases where script would need to restarted and it would start from scratch.

Writing only a bash script for me was not sustainable, which made me reach out for other tools, that would provide me a framework and handle the tedious bits for me.


Konsave is a CLI that backs up, export, import and switch KDE configurations as profiles. I tweaked a fresh KDE install to my liking and exported a profile to use. It works as advertised, but wallpaper change did not work for me no matter what. Keybindings and appearance changes work, so I am satisfied with it.

Changing wallpaper is handled by ansible by executing plasma-apply-wallpaperimage /path/to/jpg


I maintain a git repository for my dotfiles that contain config files for most of the core software I use. Previously, I used a tool called stow to maintain them via symlinking, but I ran into issues when not being careful.

I moved to chezmoi, which is a dedicated dotfile/configuration management tool that is pretty good at what it does and stays out of the user’s way once it is setup. Setting up dotfiles is as easy as running:

chezmoi init --apply "$USERNAME" # github username

I currently manage my terminal, ssh, shell, git and neovim config with it.


Ansible, a configuration management tool, handles installs/commands in an idempotent fashion. It will bring the system to the desired state and make changes where it is necessary, not all over the system. I use this tool to:

  1. Create an extensible framework (code) for future modifications/additions
  2. Install arch linux packages from the standard repository as well as AUR
  3. Install software binaries that usually have to be installed using curl
  4. Configure KDE with keybindings and appearance settings saved in konsave profile
  5. Practice a hands-off/automation approach for installation. I can just start Ansible and leave it to check in back later to have my device at my desired state.

All of this is accomplished by running:

ansible-galaxy install -r requirements.yml

ansible-playbook -v playbook.yml --ask-become-pass

Creating an abstraction

Automating all of the requirements, made me want to simplify the process even more. I whipped up a script (finally!) to run the above commands. Now I can simply run:

curl | bash

Making the abstraction cool

I recently read a blogpost by Mike Nikles with the title “curl your landing page”. The one-liner above works but the URL is a bit long. What if I can do the same as Mike? Use my own domain?

That would be pretty neat.

Mike’s method did not work for me since I am using Astro for my website. So I came up with this after reading the docs:

import type { APIRoute } from 'astro';
export const prerender = false;

export const GET: APIRoute = async ({ params, request }) => {

    const response = await fetch("");
    if (request.headers.get("user-agent")?.startsWith("curl")) {
        return new Response(await response.text());
    } else {
        const postURL = new URL(request.url).origin + '/posts/automate-laptop-setup'
        return Response.redirect(postURL);

Adding this code to archbox.ts file in src/pages directory of the project, now enables me to do:

curl | bash

And with this, any EndeavourOS running KDE will be setup in an automated manner with settings that work for me the best!

Looks cool too: