Setup Mac Development environment. 本文讲述如何设置Mac开发环境
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Setup Mac Development Envrionment

This document describe how to perfectly setup a Mac as web developing environment. Mostly I'm focused PHP environment. If you have any suggestion, feel free to contact me by email or twitter.

The following is Contents.

Greate IDE and Apps

There are many greate IDE and Apps avalibe on Mac OS X.

Xcode or Command Line Tools

If you are a Mac/iOS developer, you have to install Xcode. If not you just install Command Line Tools.

xcode-select --install

If you have installed Xcode from App Store

xcode-select -s /Applications/

System Integrity Protection

Since OS X E10.11, Apple has enabled a new default security oriented featured called System Integrity Protection, often called rootless.

Unfortunately, this feature will disturb us install Homebrew and modify system-wild configurations, such as firewall. So we have to disable it during setup environment. After this setup, it's better to re-enable SIP.

Disable step:

  • Restart Mac and hold CMD+R keys.
  • Enter recovery mode, open Utility -> Terminal
  • Execute csrutil disable
  • Reboot

Re-enable step:

  • Enter Recovery mode and execute csrutil enable
  • Reboot

You can check SIP status by csrutil status


Homebrew is a greate build system for OS X. It just like Ports Tree on FreeBSD.

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

After install Homebrew, better to install homebrew git instead of Apple's.

brew install git

Nginx, PHP, and MySQL


I prefer to using Nginx as web server, because it's simple enough.

brew install nginx


Homebrew pre-built PHP-curl is using system-wild curl library, but it cause some problem, so that use brew version curl and openssl is a good option.

brew install curl --with-openssl

Although PHP7 is came out, but PHP 5.x is more stable and many project hasn't capitiable with PHP7.

Before install php56, tap a PHP repo is necessary.

brew tap homebrew/php

Then install php56 with homebrew libxml2 and curl.

brew install php56  --with-homebrew-libxml2  --with-homebrew-curl  --with-pear

If you have other php module need to install, just brew search php-* and install it.


MySQL/PostgreSQL is very good partner for PHP/Django/Rails

brew install mysql postgresql

Homebrew Services

Homebrew Services can manage every service you install and control by launchctl

brew tap homebrew/services

So that you can:

  • start mysql by brew services start mysql
  • restart php-fpm by brew services restart php56
  • stop Nginx by brew services stop Nginx

Configure Nginx

Only root user able to LISTEN 1000-under port, Nginx is install by user and started by user, so that can't listen 80 port, but we don't want open link with port like, so we have to setup port forwarding. Here is steps.

  • Nginx: /usr/local/etc/nginx/servers/dev.conf

*** DO NOT forget to replace USERNAME with yours. ***

server {
    listen       8080;
    server_name ~^(.+)\.dev$;
    set $file_path $1;
    root    /Users/USERNAME/workspace/www/$file_path/public;
    location / {
	    index index.html index.php;
	    try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;
    charset utf-8;
    error_page   500 502 503 504  /50x.html;
    location = /50x.html {
        root   html;
    location ~ \.php$ {
        root    /Users/USERNAME/workspace/www/$file_path/public;
        fastcgi_pass; # PHP-FPM default running on this port.
        fastcgi_index  index.php;
        include        fastcgi_params;
        fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;

This configuration will point to /Users/USERNAME/workspace/www/foobar/public and put route to index.php, most PHP framework routing like this.

And then restart Nginx with following command.

brew services restart nginx

DNS and Port Forwarding

In developing environment, you'd better config a .dev domain which point to localhost and simply address to different project by name. e.g. -> ~/workspace/foo and -> ~/workspace/bar. So that we can access it directly in browser.

dev domain and DNS resolver

dnsmasq is powerful dns cache and easy to config.

brew install dnsmasq

Start dnsmasq by Homebrew Services brew services start dnsmasq

Edit /usr/local/etc/dnsmasq.conf with following lines.


Make a directory sudo mkdir /etc/resolver and put a file named dev which content is:

port 35353

Check it works fine or not by ping

Configure Port Forwarding

Since Yosemite(10.10), ipfw is replaced by pf. Here is how to do port forwarding with pf

  • Create a pf rules file /etc/pf.anchors/dev.cutedge
rdr pass on lo0 inet proto tcp from any to self port 80 -> port 8080
rdr pass on lo0 inet proto tcp from any to self port 443 -> port 8443

NOTICE: Last line of this file MUST be blank line.

Test this anchor file:

sudo pfctl -vnf /etc/pf.anchors/dev.cutedge

Check pf status:

sudo pfctl -s nat 

Modify /etc/pf.conf

  • Append line rdr-anchor "devport" after line rdr-anchor "*"
  • Append line load anchor "devport" from "/etc/pf.anchors/dev.cutedge" after load anchor "" from "/etc/pf.anchors/"

And keep last line is blank.

Check pf.conf by sudo pfctl -ef /etc/pf.conf

  • Automate start pf
sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ ProgramArguments '(pfctl, -f, /etc/pf.conf, -e)'

This need SIP is disabled.


OK, Right now, we have setup local PHP developing environment. Let enjoy it.

Don't forget to turn on SIP.