Setting up Mac for Software Development

With a brand new Mac laptop, I usually do the following set-up in prep for programming work.

  1. Customize Finder.

    • In the “Sidebar” on the left, remove some items in the “Favorites” section that are not very useful.
    • Add user’s home directory to the “Favorites” section. This is done in “Finder -> Preferences -> Sidebar”.
    • You may also want to add the “Path” tool to the toolbar. Do this via “View -> Customize Toolbar…”.
  2. Customize Terminal.

    • Add Terminal (in “Applications/Utilities”) to the “Dock”.
    • In “Terminal -> Preferences -> Profiles”, choose a profile, set font, background color and opacity, and window size.
    • In the “Shell” tab of “Preferences”, for “When the shell exits:”, choose “Close if the shell exited cleanly”.
  3. Let windows always show vertical scroll bar on the right.

    “Apple -> System Preferences -> General”, choose “Always” for “Show scroll bars:”.

  4. Install Homebrew.

    Search for “mac homebrew”, then follow instructions.

  5. brew install python3 and git (if not already installed).

  6. Customize git.

    Follow instructions here.

  7. Customize bash environment.

    Follow instructions here.

  8. Install favorite IDE’s, such as VS Code or PyCharm or IntelliJ IDEA.

  9. Create a directory tree for code work. I prefer to use the following fixed directory structure

     cd ~
     mkdir -p work
     cd work
     mkdir -p bin config data log src tmp

    and remember to add ~/work/bin to PATH in ~/.bashrc.

  10. Install and customize Neovim (if you are a vim user).

Follow instructions here.

  1. Install Docker (if not already installed).

Go to and follow instructions.

Written on October 23, 2017