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GDS Boxen

Manage Mac development boxes with Puppet. It installs things like Homebrew, Git and Ruby along with others for us on our local machines (not within the VM).

Getting started with Boxen

  • Make sure you are running at least Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion)
  • Install the full Xcode from the Mac App Store, and then explicitly install the Command Line Tools by running xcode-select --install
  • Follow these instructions to generate an SSH key so that you can clone our repositories. You'll need to add your key to both and github.gds, our GitHub Enterprise instance.

The following instructions will work for a fresh build or for an already set-up Mac.

sudo mkdir -p /opt/boxen
sudo chown ${USER}:admin /opt/boxen
# For a fresh build you will need to add your ssh config
# You will also need to ssh to git@github.gds and accept the host key
git clone /opt/boxen/repo
cd /opt/boxen/repo

# If your project directory is not /Users/$USER/govuk/ then use
# PATH=... script/boxen --srcdir=/path/to/project/directory
# For a fresh build, you will need to create /project/directory
PATH=/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/usr/local/bin script/boxen --srcdir=/Users/${USER}/govuk
# add boxen to your shell config, at the end, eg.
echo '[ -f /opt/boxen/ ] && source /opt/boxen/' >> ~/.bashrc
# or if you use ZSH
echo '[ -f /opt/boxen/ ] && source /opt/boxen/' >> ~/.zshrc

It should run successfully, and should tell you to source a shell script in your environment. If it does not run successfully, and gives you errors about unable to resolve github.gds, make sure you're on any of the internal staff WiFi networks and can access github.gds in a web browser and that you've sshed to github.gds as described above.

For users without a bash or zsh config or a ~/.profile file, Boxen will create a shim for you that will work correctly. If you do have a ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc, your shell will not use ~/.profile so you'll need to add a line like so at the end of your config:

[ -f /opt/boxen/ ] && source /opt/boxen/

Once your shell is ready, open a new tab/window in your Terminal and you should be able to successfully run boxen --env. If that runs cleanly, you're in good shape.

  • Create a personal module to define what you want on your Mac. See the documentation in the modules/people directory for creating per-user modules that don't need to be applied globally to everyone. You will probably want to:
    • include somepackage - see other users' personal modules for details
    • include projects::someproject - for the projects you will work on
    • if modules/teams/manifests/yourteam.pp exists, you should include teams::yourteam to get shared team config
    • After you have created your module, run boxen. This will set your Mac up as requested. (You do not need to have pushed to GitHub for this to work.)

Removing install of Homebrew in /usr/local/bin for an already set-up Mac.

  • Boxen installs its own version of Homebrew in /opt/boxen/homebrew which may conflict with a previous version installed in /usr/local/bin.

  • You can list the brews installed in your previous version with:

      /usr/local/bin/brew list
  • To uninstall your homebrew you can run the following uninstall script:

      ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"
  • You can list the brews installed by Boxen with:

      /opt/boxen/homebrew/bin/brew list
  • To generate a list of previous homebrew builds (to add to modules/people/manifests/yourgithubuser.pp) you can do:

      /usr/local/bin/brew list | (
          echo "package { ["
          while read line; do
              echo "           '$line',"
          echo "          ]:"
          echo "          ensure => 'present',"
          echo "}"
  • One you have installed your previous brews with Boxen (run the boxen command after adding the resource generated above) you can delete the previous homebrew

What you get by default

The following are provided by default:

  • Homebrew
  • Git
  • Hub
  • rbenv
  • Full Disk Encryption requirement
  • Ruby 1.8.7
  • Ruby 1.9.2
  • Ruby 1.9.3
  • Ruby 2.0.0
  • ack
  • Findutils
  • GNU tar

Further information about boxen

See the rest of README.boxen