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A shell script which turns your Linux or Mac OS X laptop into an awesome development machine.

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Laptop is a script to set up a Mac OS X or Linux laptop for Rails development.


Mac OS X

Install a C compiler:

For Snow Leopard (10.6): use OS X GCC Installer.

For Lion (10.7) or Mountain Lion (10.8): use Command Line Tools for XCode.

For Mavericks (10.9): run sudo xcodebuild -license and follow the instructions to accept the XCode agreement. Then run xcode-select --install in your terminal and then click "Install".


We support:


Mac OS X

Read, then run the script:

bash <(curl -s


Read, then run the script:

bash <(wget -qO-

What it sets up

  • Zsh as your shell
  • Bundler gem for managing Ruby libraries
  • Exuberant Ctags for indexing files for vim tab completion
  • Foreman gem for serving Rails apps locally
  • Heroku Config plugin for local ENV variables
  • Heroku Toolbelt for interacting with the Heroku API
  • Hub gem for interacting with the GitHub API
  • Homebrew for managing operating system libraries (OS X only)
  • ImageMagick for cropping and resizing images
  • Postgres for storing relational data
  • Qt for headless JavaScript testing via Capybara Webkit
  • Rails gem for writing web applications
  • Rbenv for managing versions of the Ruby programming language
  • Redis for storing key-value data
  • Ruby Build for installing Rubies
  • Ruby stable for writing general-purpose code
  • The Silver Searcher for finding things in files
  • Tmux for saving project state and switching between projects
  • Watch for periodically executing a program and displaying the output

It should take less than 15 minutes to install (depends on your machine).

Make your own customizations

Put your customizations in ~/.laptop.local. For example, your ~/.laptop.local might look like this:


brew tap phinze/homebrew-cask
brew install brew-cask

brew cask install dropbox
brew cask install google-chrome
brew cask install rdio

Laptopped linux vagrant boxes

We now publish vagrant boxes for every supported linux distro. These boxes have the laptop script applied already and are ready to go. Getting started is as easy as creating a Vagrantfile that looks like:

Vagrant.configure('2') do = 'thoughtbot/ubuntu-14-04-server-with-laptop'
# And then in the same directory as your Vagrantfile . . .
vagrant up
vagrant ssh

Laptopped vagrantcloud boxes currently available:

  • thoughtbot/debian-wheezy-64-with-laptop
  • thoughtbot/debian-jessie-64-with-laptop
  • thoughtbot/ubuntu-14-04-server-with-laptop
  • thoughtbot/ubuntu-13-10-server-with-laptop
  • thoughtbot/ubuntu-12-04-server-with-laptop

See our vagrantcloud profile. You must have vagrant >= 1.5.0 to use vagrantcloud images directly.



Laptop is maintained and funded by thoughtbot, inc. The names and logos for thoughtbot are trademarks of thoughtbot, inc.

Thank you, contributors!


Please see


Laptop is © 2011-2014 thoughtbot, inc. It is free software, and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the LICENSE file.

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