Setting Up a New Mac, My Way

Over the past couple of weeks, I've set up a few Mac OS X machines to do development of iOS and Android apps. Doing this used to be an all-day chore, but things like app stores, iCloud, and Dropbox have streamlined the process a lot.

(I could streamline the process even more by cloning an existing drive or virtual machine, but I'd rather install everything from scratch to avoid the presence of old cruft.)

As a reminder to myself, and to help out anyone else who needs to do this, here is my procedure for setting up an OS X machine the way I like it:

  1. Install/re-install OS X.
  2. During the OS X setup process, use the same login account name and password that I use on other computers, and provide the Apple IDs for iCloud and iTunes (which are different, in my case).
  3. Open System Preferences and do the following:
  4. In the General panel, set Sidebar icon size to Small and Show scroll bars to Always.
  5. In the Mission Control panel, uncheck the Automatically rearrange Spaces based on most recent use box.
  6. In the Mouse and Trackpad panels, set all speeds to two ticks less than the maximums, and enable all the gestures.
  7. In the Keyboard panel, set Key Repeat and Delay Until Repeat all the way to the right, and check the Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys box
  8. In the Keyboard panel, go to the Shortcuts tab, select Services, and then enable the New Terminal at Folder service.
  9. In the iCloud panel, enable everything.
  10. In the Sharing panel, set the Computer Name to something unique (not "Kristopher's computer") and enable Remote Management, Remote Login, and File Sharing.
  11. Set up Time Machine
  12. If this is a virtual machine, go to the Desktop & Screen Saver panel and turn off the screen saver, and go to the Energy Saver panel and set the sleep sliders to Never.
  13. Use the Software Update... menu item to install any system updates that are available, and reboot if necessary.
  14. If this is a virtual machine, install VMWare Tools or Parallels Tools.
  15. Download and install these packages (using serial numbers and licenses stored in 1Password):
  16. Dropbox (and wait for everything to sync before continuing)
  17. 1Password
  18. TextExpander
  19. Keyboard Maestro
  20. Chrome
  21. nvALT
  22. Sublime Text
  23. AppCode
  24. SourceTree
  25. OmniOutliner
  26. OmniPresence
  27. MultiMarkdown
  28. Markdown Service Tools (copy the .workflow files to ~/Library/Services)
  29. MacTeX
  30. Pandoc
  31. OpenOffice and/or LibreOffice (depending on mood)
  32. Source Code Pro font
  33. Deja Vu fonts
  34. Inconsolata-g font
  35. Input font
  36. CrashPlan
  37. Bartender
  38. Hazel
  39. Kaleidoscope
  40. µTorrent
  41. XQuartz
  42. FreeMind
  43. Open the App Store app and install these applications (skipping any that are not needed):
  44. Xcode
  45. CodeRunner
  46. OS X Server
  47. Moom
  48. PopClip
  49. Alfred
  50. Pages
  51. Soulver
  52. Evernote
  53. Sketch
  54. Skitch
  55. Pixelmator
  56. MultiMarkdown Composer
  57. Open Xcode, accept the license agreement and download simulators and documentation. On a Terminal command line, execute xcode-select --install to install the command-line tools.
  58. Install Homebrew
  59. Open the Terminal application and run java. Download and install the JDK when prompted.
  60. Download and install the ADT Bundle. (Note: This is old; now Android Studio is the thing to download and install.)
  61. After installation, launch the Eclipse application. Choose the Android SDK Manager menu item, and install/update everything in these subtrees:
    • Tools
    • Android 4.3 (or whatever the newest API level is)
    • Extras
  62. Choose Help > Install New Software.... Click the Add... button. Add this repository and install the Eclipse Color Theme plugin:
    • Name: Eclipse Color Theme Update Site
    • Location:
  63. Download and install latest the HAXM driver from (If that link is broken, go to and look for a HAXM download link.)
  64. Set up ~/.bashrc to run my shared scripts that are in ~/Dropbox/bin.
  65. Execute this in Terminal: chflags nohidden ~/Library
  66. Set up ssh keys for Bitbucket and GitHub.

Then to verify everything is ready to go, I use Git to grab the source code for an iOS app, and build it and run it, and then do the same for an Android app.

(For my Windows setup, see Setting Up Windows, My Way.)

© 2003-2023 Kristopher Johnson