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Kick start a fresh development environment on any Mac with OS-X El Capitan, with this opinionated, but modular and customizable installer. It's based on HomeBrew, SproutWrap cookbooks, and about 2K lines of Bash programming :)



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1. Bootstrap Your Dev Environment on Mac OS-X in Minutes

Just tell me what to run, I don’t have time for this README.

curl -fsSL '' | /usr/bin/env bash

Alternatively, for a finer-grained control of your installation, do the following:

git clone
cd pullulant
./pu -FR
  • -R will run every installer (which are executable modules that typically install a particular thing), and

  • -F will include every feature set (which is a collection of brew/bash-it/etc plugins or packages, grouped together by a common theme, i.e. "ruby" feature would include ruby-development related brew packages, casks, bash-it plugins, etc).

For more information, please see the full usage below:

$ pu -h

1.1. Full Help

Pu Usage

1.2. Pu Examples

Pu Examples

2. Pu-what?

"Pullulant" — it is Latin for "Sprout". Sprout-Wrap was an inspiration for this install, as well as initially a large chunk of it, so the names gives credit where credit is due. As pullulant became more mature, the role of SproutWrap in the install process shrunk significantly, and eventually it will be removed completely.

3. Why Should I Use This?

This project is the basis for setting local dev environment of several San Francisco startups and independents — it captures the setup that originated as a small wrapper around Sprout-Wrap cookbook. But the cookbooks were too small and too brittle, and kind of difficult to fix (see appendix 1). So the shell script grew.

Now Pullulant combines hundreds of small steps into modular chunks that run one after another as part of a fully automated (even unattended) setup of the development environment. This is a great setup for projects involving building javascript, nodejs, ruby, python, C/C++, or even Arduino applications on Mac OS-X. This installer condenses a ton of personal experience and taste and merges it with that of Pivotal Labs. It’s design gives you an easy way to use modules that can be run all at once, or one at a time.

The installer relies on HomeBrew, Sprout-Wrap, and about 3K lines of bash scripting to deliver your shell goodies to the door, all while customizing your environment to look like and serve you, the oh-mightly-powerful Developer, with all of it’s shine. Try it! :)

I mean — just check out the sexy BASH prompt (based on the 'Powerline Multiline' theme and "Bash-It" framework) that you will get after running it :)

Pu Usage

4. Pre-Install — OS-X Preparation

  1. Run xcode-select --install to make sure you have dev tools (although installer will still run it in the beginning)

  2. Run OS-X Updates if any, and reboot if requested.

  3. Go to System Preferences / Sharing, unlock the panel and set the hostname of your system, if it’s currently set to a default.

4.1. About your OS-X user

shared resources used by the Homebrew, such as files under /usr/local, will change ownership to the user running this installer, with full xwr permissions for user and the group. This is so that the effects of any previously run sudo brew nuisance are neutralized.

Typically your group will be staff. Whatever group you are, that group is applied to the folder list defined in config (/usr/local and /var/chef), with permissions also reset to xwr. The idea is that this move should permit multiple co-existing users to share /usr/local and /var/chef at the same time.

Note that the current OS-X user must be configured as "Admin" on the Mac, and upon entering their password after the first request for sudo, the user will be modified to allow password-less sudo access for the duration of the script. At the end of the script, that access is removed.

You can use the helpers to enable/disable password-less sudo in your environment, by running ./pu -r sudo-enable or ./pu -r sudo-disable.

5. Install

  1. If you don’t already have SSH keys setup on this machine, now is the time: ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "${USER}@${HOSTNAME}"; cat ~/.ssh/ | pbcopy

  2. Add the new SSH key to the Github settings page:

  3. Run the following installer:

  curl -fsSL '' | /usr/bin/env bash

6. After a Successful Install

  • Reboot (required after the first successful install!) or you may get weird Security Agent errors.

  • Open System Preferences, Security & Privacy, choose Privacy tab and unlock the lock at the bottom. After that choose Accessibility and then check "ShiftIt" application.

  • Search in Spotlight, and start the following apps:

    • iStat Menus — click install when it comes up

    • Alfred 2

7. Understanding the Installer

Whether or not installer fully succeeded, you will, very likely, have folder ~/workspace/pullulant where the installer resides. If you cd into that folder, you can then run pu script with various options to install more things, to clean postgresql, etc.

In fact, pu comes with a whole bunch of modules that are meant to be part of the installer, but also a bunch that are meant to be used only when needed. Hence the terminology: installer vs helper.

See pu -h for more information, or scroll down to the section Driving the Installer.

8. What’s Installed

8.1. Languages

This setup is tailored for web application development, and it’s default set of packages is definitely biased towards ruby, installing both rbenv and ruby-build.

That said, tools such as pyenv are also installed, which makes installing multiple versions of python a breeze. Similarly, npm and bower are both installed by default.

8.2. Developer Necessities

  • iTerm2 — mandatory replacement for Terminal :)

  • ShiftIt — use Ctrl-Option-Cmd with arrows to quickly align windows on the screen.

  • iStatMenus

  • Typical services needed for building web applications:

    • PostgreSQL 9.5

    • nginx

    • haproxy

    • Redis

    • memcached

    • ElasticSearch

    • AWS CLI

    • CMake

    • rsync

8.3. Git

  • Git aliases

  • hub tool for GitHub with autocompletion on zsh

  • Git scripts for pair programming git pair

  • Git global defaults used by professional developers

  • GitX Application

  • Github Application

8.4. Editors & OS-X Applications

  • RubyMine (JetBrains ruby IDE)

  • WebStorm (JetBrains JavaScript IDE)

  • CLion (JetBrains C++ IDE)

  • vim

  • Github’s Atom

  • TeamViewer for remote pair programming

  • Docker toolbox + Kitematic

  • VirtualBox

  • Slack

  • GitX

8.5. Shells

  • Bash and Bash Completion are both installed

  • Zsh and Oh-My-Zsh are installed, but no changes to the default shell are made — unless -z flag is specified. In which case zsh is setup as a default shell.

8.6. Programming Fonts

  • Powerline Fonts for the iTerm2 are installed, so that you get a great choice of coding fonts on a Mac. Powerline fonts are also required if you want to use 'reinvent-one' zsh prompt theme.

8.7. Google

  • Chrome

  • Drive

  • Hangouts

9. Driving the Installer

$ ./pu -h

You should inspect the configuration and packages defined in two files:

  • lib/pu-config

  • lib/pu-packages

Variables with names starting with var_ can be overridden before running the script. So can all the variables set in the pu-packages file, such as which brew formulas or casks to install.

10. Acknowledgements

© 2015-2021 Konstantin Gredeskoul, portions of the code were developed under the generous sponsorship of Shippo, Inc. and are used with permission.

The following people assisted in building this tool:

  • Wissam Jarjoui

  • Subhi Beidas

  • Dennis Rohm

11. Appendix

  1. SproutWrap is difficult to fix when it breaks. For each sprout-something cookbook you must fork it first, fix the problem, then fork sprout-wrap, point to your fixed version in the Cheffile, then run it your forked version, and also maintain it until Pivotal merges your changes. Just not really that awesome of a process.


Kick start a fresh development environment on any Mac with OS-X El Capitan, with this opinionated, but modular and customizable installer. It's based on HomeBrew, SproutWrap cookbooks, and about 2K lines of Bash programming :)







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