I'm fairly new to git and struggling with submodules.  I want set up a
git project for my dotfiles, using examples found on github.  In
particular I want to start with a populated .gitmodules file.   I
tried copying it into top level of my git project and running

git submodule init
git submodule update

Nothing happens.

Is there a way to start with an existing .gitmodules file?  How?

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