Setting Up Your Mac

I officially need to write this down so I can find it all in one place instead of looking around everywhere every time I need to do this. These are my personal settings and personal preferences; you do what you want.

In Your Terminal

The first things I'm going to list are the ones you'll install using your terminal. The list of things I install is:

  1. XCode Command Line Tools
  2. Homebrew
  3. Git
  4. Node
  5. NVM
  6. Bower
I'll continue to add to this list as I find other things, so check back every now and then to see what I've added.

XCode Command Line Tools

Here's the starting point. As soon as you have your Mac and you're ready to go, open up your terminal. First thing is to install the Xcode Command Line Tools. Do that by typing the following in your terminal:

xcode-select --install

This will cause a pop up box to show asking if you want to install the software. Click yes and let it download and install.


Next up is Homebrew. Homebrew is a package manager that will go grab components you want (and need) and makes it really easy to do that. Go back to your terminal and type this in:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

This will ask you for your password and install Homebrew for you. After installation, it tells you to enter:

brew doctor

to make sure everything installed correctly. If it did work correctly, you're good to move on!


This one isn't as necessary, depending on how you work with projects and stuff. I use git with my own GitHub projects quite a bit. Especially with this site and blog, since it's made using GitHub Pages. Installing git is really easy now that we installed Homebrew:

brew install git

That's it, you're done. It'll install on it's own and you're good to go.


Node will be needed for a lot of your JavaScript-front-end-developing-needs. Again, this is really easy with Homebrew. In adddition, npm (node's package manager) is included with node so you don't have to do anything extra to get that.

brew install node

Let it install and you'll be ready to use node and npm.


Install nvm, with instructions here. This way you can manage multiple versions of Node at once on your computer.


Next up is bower. Bower is another package manager. When developing web apps, bower makes it really easy to add modules to your project with just a line of code. To install it, run:

npm install bower

Just like the other ones, this one is good to go and ready to use.

Other Programs and Apps

This section I'll put down the programs and apps that I use and recommend to anyone that is using a Mac and developing. The list of programs I install:

  1. Google Chrome
  2. VS Code
  3. Alfred
  4. HyperDock

Google Chrome

This should be (in my opinion) the first program download any computer user makes. Google Chrome is a great browser, and in my opinion better than the others. Some people prefer Firefox, but especially being an Android user I like having everything synced across all my devices. Go here to download Chrome.

VS Code

VS Code is my editor of choice. It's open source, under active development, has a lot of extensions, and lots of functionality. I like it a lot. After install, open the command palette and type in shell and select Shell Command: Install 'code' command in path. Then you can open folders and files in VS Code from the terminal.


Alfred is a "keyboard-driven productivity application, helping you launch apps and search your local computer as well as the web with great speed". Basically, it allows you to launch apps and search the web after hitting a quick keyboard shortcut. You can download it in the App Store by searching Alfred.


I'll admit, I do miss some things about Windows. One of those things is the ability to have windows snap to certain sizes by dragging them to the edges of the screen. Magnet allows you to do that (and more). It's in the App Store, and costs a couple dollars, but it's been worth it for me. I don't buy many apps, but that's one that I love.

I'll hopefully continue to add to this list, but I wanted to have it all in one spot so that I could quickly and easily set up my Mac anytime I need to. Tweet at me if you have any suggestions that you like to use!