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Everything I install and set up on a new MacBook as a web developer

Salma Alam-Naylor on December 05, 2023

In 2023, I had to set up two fresh MacBook Pros (unexpectedly), and none of what I installed or how I set anything up was written down. And, oh boy...
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RATIU5

Great read! I like to clean install my MacBook every 6 months to a year and found it a pain to get back up and running. I recently discovered Ansible, an automation software, that allows me to configure my system with all the apps and settings I want all with a single command. It's saved me lots of time and is the only thing I need to install when setting up a new machine.

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Salma Alam-Naylor

I remember using Ansible in like... 2015 for automating and provisioning servers!

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Easton

I've been tempted to consolidate both general system policy/setup and secure key management under Ansible (& Ansible Vault, respectively). Have probably been doing too much startup IT lately to figure out if this is a reasonable option for a developer MacBook. But it's working great for my Mac Mini cluster! :D

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Salma Alam-Naylor

I mean… :D

If anything it sounds like a great learning opportunity! But I’m really hoping I don’t need to set up another machine for a least a couple of years :D

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CitronBrick

As soon as I start using a new Windows PC, the 1st thing I do is to enable the "option" to view file extensions & hidden folders. I feel that it's quite bad, to hide extensions by default. I wonder how is it in Mac.

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Salma Alam-Naylor

I believe with Mac you can see file extensions by default but I can’t remember…! But yes I also prefer to turn this on for both my PC and Mac.

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Mandy Bee

I need to teach all of my newbie html students this every semester. Used to only be a Mac thing, now it’s everywhere. 🫠

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Armando C. Santisbon

Some good tips here! I've also gone further and automated my setup. Getting everything just the way I like it after a clean install of the OS is super quick. Installing everything:
santisbon.github.io/reference/auto...
Customizing macOS automatically:
dev.to/santisbon/finding-the-right...

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Peter Witham • Edited

A very nice write-up and good suggestions, thanks. Another that I'd like to recommend that I use is rubyonmac.dev for maintaining a lot of useful things like the Ruby version and other tools often used by developers on a Mac.

My setup process always starts with, Xcode > Brew > iTerm > Rubyonmac.dev

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Abel Lifaefi Mbula • Edited

Hi!
Thank you for the post. I'm compiling some great posts to prepare my post on OS setup, I've added this to the list, too. I did not know about Meetingbar, I've just tried it, and it's awesome.

I'll consider Arc in 2024 as I'll mostly update my workflow.

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Daniel Gruitt

This is really useful! My mac died recently (at the start of a coding bootcamp) and I went into panic mode (mainly due to my terminal not being pretty anymore) and so this was fun to read to get some new ideas!

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Salma Alam-Naylor

Everyone needs a pretty terminal!

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Tobi

Cute terminal color :D

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Roi Trigerman

Do you work with multiple screens? I am using the laptop screen + 2 external ones, and I must say Mac OS does a very poor job handling multiple displays.. Windows does it much better.

For example - the Dock is only on the main displays.. is there a solution for that?
And maybe some other tricks you can recommend?

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Salma Alam-Naylor

Yes I use two external monitors. I don’t generally use the dock, so I hide it by default and use Raycast to launch apps, so I prefer it being out of the way.

I guess my trick to recommend here is to not rely on the dock and launch apps using the keyboard! 🙃

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Roi Trigerman

That's interesting, thanks. I will surely try Raycast

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Saurabh Rai

Hey @whitep4nth3r! What monitors are you using? I'm planning on getting one. And is Multi-monitor setup better than getting a single monitor?

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Salma Alam-Naylor

I have two BenQ 27 inch monitors. This setup is mainly because I stream on Twitch, and need one screen to monitor my streaming software, one screen to code on, and another (laptop screen) to monitor my Twitch dashboard. Generally speaking one extra monitor is enough, but it all depends, as usual!

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Mandy Bee

If you have the dock set to the bottom of the screen, you can move your mouse to the bottom of any connected screen to show the dock there. I sometimes have to wiggle my cursor around at the bottom of the screen, but it’ll show. :)

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Graeme Q

Yes, but it's not obvious.

– System Preferences
– Mission Control
– check ON “Display have separate spaces”

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Saurabh Rai

This is nice, and I just learned a new feature. Shake to locate your mouse pointer. 😂 (I'm new to Mac ^^)

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Salma Alam-Naylor

It's a great feature!

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Michael Hubbard

YADM - is a dot files manager. You can git manage all the dot files then just clone on a new Mac or Linux machine.

github.com/TheLocehiliosan/yadm

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Heiko Kanzler 🇪🇺

Thanks for recommending Arc. Giving it a try now.

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sammie • Edited

Very nice, I would like to try MeetingBar.
I used to use Docker but now I'm trying this new one called ServBay. It's really nice. Docker is too complicated to setup. ServBay is much convenient.

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John Olawale

I used to use iTerm but now I'm trying this new one called Warp and it's really nice.

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Salma Alam-Naylor

I didn’t like having to create an account to use Warp 😅

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Fyodor

Btw, Raycast has schedule extension which does basically the same as the MeetingBar

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Graeme Q

Alfred is super useful

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Kago Kagichiri

Moving file associations in bulk to VS Code: github.com/kulemantu/mac-vscode-assoc