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Workstation Setup

This project automates the process of setting up a new Mac OS X software development machine using simple Bash scripting. It heavily relies on homebrew.


The primary goal of this project is to give people a simple script they can run to make their Mac OS X machine prepared and standardized for working on software development projects, especially those common at VMware Tanzu Labs.

Why did we do it this way?

  • A bash script is easy for users to edit locally on-the-fly for small temporary tweaks
  • Everything is in one repository
  • The project name is informative
  • It is easy to fork and customize
  • It has limited requirements: git and bash available on macOS by default


This project does not aim to do everything. Some examples:

  • We don't install everything that your project needs. These scripts should only install generally useful things, and prefer running quickly over being complete.
  • We avoid setting up and maintaining overly-custom configurations. When there is already a tool that will get us something in a conventional manner, such as Oh My Zsh, we prefer to use it instead of doing things ourselves.


  • Run the latest version of macOS unless you have a specific reason not to
  • These scripts might work on previous versions, but are maintained with only the latest macOS in mind
  • Install the latest stable version of Command Line Tools for Xcode

Getting this tool

Open up and run the following command:

mkdir -p ~/workspace &&
  cd ~/workspace &&
  git clone &&
  cd workstation-setup

Note: This might prompt you to install the latest Xcode command line development tools. Please do so if prompted.

Using this tool

Within ~/workspace/workstation-setup, run the following:

./ [list of optional configurations]


# This will only install the default items

# This will install the latest Java and Docker
./ java docker

Warning: this tool might overwrite existing configurations.

Items installed by default

We recommend that you look at to see what is automatically installed. You'll see it calls other scripts within scripts/common, so feel free to take a look at those, too. Note that you can edit any of those files to add or remove items specific for your needs, but the goal of this project is to have sane defaults for our target audience.

Opt-In Configurations

Please look in scripts/opt-in/ for optional, opt-in configurations. Some of these are languages and associated frameworks, such as java and golang. Some are supporting infrastructure, such as docker and kubernetes. Others might be specific tools for application platforms, such as cloud-foundry.

To install any of these, add them as arguments to $> Examples:

# Common for Spring Boot development
./ java spring-boot docker

# Lots of languages
./ java ruby node golang python c

# Love those platforms!
./ golang docker kubernetes cloud-foundry terraform concourse


The tool will send anonymous user data to our Google Analytics account, so we can see what command line arguments are popular. You can disable this:

# Remove unnecessary languages when running command
SKIP_ANALYTICS=1 ./ java ruby node golang c docker

This will also disable brew's data collection.

Having problems?

If you're having problems using the setup script, please let us know by opening an issue.

If you see errors from brew, try running brew doctor and include the diagnostic output in your issue submission.


If you'd like to customize this project for a project's use:

  • Fork the project
  • Edit the shells scripts to your liking
  • Profit

Frequently Asked Questions and Troubleshooting

Q: Can I rerun

A: Yes, but with a but. While this script is not entirely idempotent, it does use homebrew's cache to skip reinstalling items, and is pretty lenient about ignoring errors when non-homebrew items get mad that they are already installed. There is no guarantee that some configurations won't be overwritten or duplicated.

Q: Should I run this with sudo?

A: No. will ask you for your password take care of that for you.

Q: I'm getting permission errors such as the one below:

Error: Can't create update lock in /usr/local/var/homebrew/locks!
Fix permissions by running:
  sudo chown -R $(whoami) /usr/local/var/homebrew

A: Short answer: run the suggested command or consider the Possible Solution described below.

Longer answer: You might have multiple user profiles on your machine that are using homebrew (such as this tool) resulting in a mix of file and directory ownership under /usr/local/var/homebrew. This should mostly be an issue with installing things, but not using the tools installed by brew. If you switch between profiles and install tools using brew often you might run into this a lot.

Possible Solution: Try this solution from itectec which makes homebrew's directories writable by the staff group, which should be all admin users on your machine.

  1. Note your default umask for later.

     $> umask
  2. Set homebrew's directories to be writable by everyone in the staff group.

    umask 002 # group write permission
    sudo chmod -R g+w /usr/local/* # group writable
    sudo chgrp -R staff /usr/local/* # staff owned
  3. Set your umask back to the default.

     umask 022 # or whatever you noted earlier

Q: How to I get my change into this tool?

A: Submit a PR, especially for things that are outdated or broken. But, we are being vigilant about keeping this tool lean after a history of letting many idiosyncratic changes creep in over the past few years. As stated above, you can edit the files yourself after downloading them and/or fork.


Scripts to automatically set up a machine for development the "Tanzu Labs" way








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