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A guide to setting up a development environment on and all useful software.

System update

First thing you need to do, on any OS actually, is update the system! For that: Apple Icon > Software Update...

System preferences

If this is a new computer, there are a couple tweaks I like to make to the System Preferences. Feel free to follow these, or to ignore them, depending on your personal preferences.

In Apple Icon > System Preferences:

  • Trackpad > Tap to click
  • Keyboard > Key Repeat > Fast (all the way to the right)
  • Keyboard > Delay Until Repeat > Short (all the way to the right)
  • Dock > Automatically hide and show the Dock

Since we're going to be spending a lot of time in the command-line, let's install a better terminal than the default one.

Let's just quickly change some preferences. In iTerm > Preferences..., under the tab General, uncheck Confirm closing multiple sessions and Confirm "Quit iTerm2 (Cmd+Q)" command under the section Closing.

In the tab Profiles, create a new one with the "+" icon, and rename it to your first name for example. Then, select Other Actions... > Set as Default. Finally, under the section Window, change the size to something better, like Columns: 125 and Rows: 35.

When done, hit the red "X" in the upper left (saving is automatic in OS X preference panes). Close the window and open a new one to see the size change.

Package managers make it so much easier to install and update applications (for Operating Systems) or libraries (for programming languages). The most popular one for OS X is Homebrew.


An important dependency before Homebrew can work is the Command Line Tools for Xcode. These include compilers that will allow you to build things from source.

Now, Xcode weights something like 2GB, and you don't need it unless you're developing iPhone or Mac apps. Good news is Apple provides a way to install only the Command Line Tools, without Xcode. To do this you need to go to, and sign in with your Apple ID (the same one you use for iTunes and app purchases). Unfortunately, you're greeted by a rather annoying questionnaire. All questions are required, so feel free to answer at random.

Once you reach the downloads page, search for "command line tools", and download the latest Command Line Tools (OS X Mountain Lion) for Xcode. Open the .dmg file once it's done downloading, and double-click on the .mpkg installer to launch the installation. When it's done, you can unmount the disk in Finder.

Note: If you are running OS X 10.9 Mavericks, then you can install the Xcode Command Line Tools directly from the command line with $ xcode-select --install, and you don't have to go through the download page and the questionnaire.

Open a new terminal tab with Cmd+T (you should also close the old one), then run the following command to make sure everything works:

$ brew doctor


To install a package (or Formula in Homebrew vocabulary) simply type:

$ brew install <formula>

To update Homebrew's directory of formulae, run:

$ brew update

Note: I've seen that command fail sometimes because of a bug. If that ever happens, run the following (when you have Git installed):

$ cd /usr/local
$ git fetch origin
$ git reset --hard origin/master

To see if any of your packages need to be updated:

$ brew outdated

To update a package:

$ brew upgrade <formula>

Homebrew keeps older versions of packages installed, in case you want to roll back. That rarely is necessary, so you can do some cleanup to get rid of those old versions:

$ brew cleanup

To see what you have installed (with their version numbers):

$ brew list --versions

Homebrew-Cask extends Homebrew and brings its elegance, simplicity, and speed to the installation and management of GUI macOS applications such as Google Chrome and Adium. To install Cask formula simply type:

$ brew tap caskroom/cask

I really like the Consolas font for coding. Being a Microsoft (!) font, it is not installed by default. Since we're going to be looking at a lot of terminal output and code, let's install it now.

There are two ways we can install it. If you bought Microsoft Office for Mac, install that and Consolas will be installed as well.

If you don't have Office, follow these steps:

$ brew install cabextract
$ cd ~/Downloads
$ mkdir consolas
$ cd consolas
$ curl -O
$ cabextract PowerPointViewer.exe
$ cabextract

And click Install Font. Thanks to Alexander Zhuravlev for his post.

Once installed, your terminal shell will become the talk of the town or your money back! With each keystroke in your command prompt, you'll take advantage of the hundreds of powerful plugins and beautiful themes. Strangers will come up to you in cafés and ask you, "that is amazing! are you some sort of genius?" Follow this guide to get it setup:

Plugin=(git zsh-syntax-highlighting zsh-completions zsh-autosuggestions github)

Install Oh my zsh with cURL:

$ sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"

Like Python, Ruby is already installed on Unix systems. But we don't want to mess around with that installation. More importantly, we want to be able to use the latest version of Ruby.


When installing Ruby, best practice is to use RVM (Ruby Version Manager) which allows you to manage multiple versions of Ruby on the same machine. Installing RVM, as well as the latest version of Ruby, is very easy. Just run:

$ curl -L | bash -s stable --ruby

When it is done, both RVM and a fresh version of Ruby 2.0 are installed. The following line was also automatically added to your .bash_profile:

[[ -s "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm" ]] && source "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm" # Load RVM into a shell session *as a function*

I prefer to move that line to the .extra file, keeping my .bash_profile clean. I suggest you do the same.

After that, start a new terminal and run:

$ type rvm | head -1

You should get the output rvm is a function.


The following command will show you which versions of Ruby you have installed:

$ rvm list

The one that was just installed, Ruby 2.0, should be set as default. When managing multiple versions, you switch between them with:

$ rvm use system # Switch back to system install (1.8)
$ rvm use 2.0.0 --default # Switch to 2.0.0 and sets it as default

Run the following to make sure the version you want is being used (in our case, the just-installed Ruby 1.9.3):

$ which ruby
$ ruby --version

You can install another version with:

$ rvm install 1.9.3

To update RVM itself, use:

$ rvm get stable

RubyGems, the Ruby package manager, was also installed:

$ which gem

Update to its latest version with:

$ gem update --system

To install a "gem" (Ruby package), run:

$ gem install <gemname>

To install without generating the documentation for each gem (faster):

$ gem install <gemname> --no-document

To see what gems you have installed:

$ gem list

To check if any installed gems are outdated:

$ gem outdated

To update all gems or a particular gem:

$ gem update [<gemname>]

RubyGems keeps old versions of gems, so feel free to do come cleaning after updating:

$ gem cleanup

Install NVM:

curl -o- | bash

Note: On OS X, if you get nvm: command not found after running the install script, your system may not have a [.bash_profile file] where the command is set up. Simply create one with touch ~/.bash_profile and run the install script again.

If the above doesn't fix the problem, open your .bash_profile and add the following line of code:

source ~/.bashrc

Verify installation

To verify that nvm has been installed, do:

command -v nvm

which should output 'nvm' if the installation was successful. Please note that which nvm will not work, since nvm is a sourced shell function, not an executable binary.

Install Node.js

nvm install node

Npm usage

Node modules are installed locally in the node_modules folder of each project by default if you don't install them globally.

To install a package:

$ npm install <package> # Install locally
$ npm install -g <package> # Install globally

To install a package and save it in your project's package.json file:

$ npm install <package> --save

To see what's installed:

$ npm list # Local
$ npm list -g # Global

To find outdated packages (locally or globally):

$ npm outdated [-g]

To upgrade all or a particular package:

$ npm update [<package>]

To uninstall a package:

$ npm uninstall <package>

Visual Studio Code is a code editor redefined and optimized for building and debugging modern web and cloud applications

Visual Studio Code packages and settings
    "workbench.iconTheme": "vscode-icons",
    "files.autoSave": "onFocusChange",
    "editor.tabSize": 2,
    "workbench.colorTheme": "Monokai",
    "search.location": "panel",
    "editor.formatOnSave": true,
    "prettier.jsxSingleQuote": true,
    "prettier.singleQuote": true,
    "files.insertFinalNewline": true,
    "files.trimFinalNewlines": true,
    "files.trimTrailingWhitespace": true,
    "window.zoomLevel": 0,
    "colorize.languages": [
Visual Studio Extensions
  • Alphabetical Sorter
  • Auto Close Tag
  • Auto Rename Tag
  • Colorize
  • Debugger for Chrome
  • Endwise
  • ESLint
  • HTML CSS Support
  • Gitlens
  • GraphQL for VSCode
  • Prettier
  • Rails run specs
  • Rainbow CSV
  • Sublime Material Theme
  • Open in Browser
  • Path Intellisense
  • Ruby
  • Ruby Haml
  • Ruby-rubocop
  • VSCode-icons
  • vscode-styled-components

Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.

To install, simply run:

$ brew install git

When done, to test that it installed fine you can run:

$ git --version

And $ which git should output /usr/local/bin/git.

Let's set up some basic configuration. Add this to your .gitconfig file.

  1. cd ~
  2. open .gitconfig
  st = status
  ci = commit
  co = checkout
  br = branch
  unstage = reset HEAD --
  last = log -1 HEAD
	pushf = push --force-with-lease

Next, we'll define your Git user (should be the same name and email you use for GitHub and Heroku):

$ git config --global "Your Name Here"
$ git config --global ""

They will get added to your .gitconfig file.

To push code to your GitHub repositories, we're going to use the recommended HTTPS method (versus SSH). So you don't have to type your username and password everytime, let's enable Git password caching as described here:

$ git config --global credential.helper osxkeychain

Note: On a Mac, it is important to remember to add .DS_Store (a hidden OS X system file that's put in folders) to your .gitignore files. You can take a look at this repository's .gitignore file for inspiration.

Projects folder

This really depends on how you want to organize your files, but I like to put all my version-controlled projects in ~/Projects. Other documents I may have, or things not yet under version control, I like to put in ~/Dropbox (if you have Dropbox installed), or ~/Documents.


  • Dropbox: Bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and keep your files safe.

  • Fetch: Fetch is a reliable, full-featured file transfer client for the Apple Macintosh whose user interface emphasizes simplicity and ease of use.

  • Spectacle: Move and resize windows with ease. Window control with simple and customizable keyboard shortcuts.

    • Fullscreen: control + ⌥ Option + ⌘ Cmd + ↑
    • Right Half: ⌥ Option + ⌘ Cmd + →
    • Left Half: ⌥ Option + ⌘ Cmd + ←
    • Next Display: control + ⌥ Option + ⌘ Cmd + →
    • Previous Display: control + ⌥ Option + ⌘ Cmd + ←
  • 1Password: All your other passwords and important information are protected behind your Master Password, which only you know.

  • Slack: Whatever work means for you, Slack brings all the pieces and people you need together so you can actually get things done.

  • Figma: Figma is the first interface design tool based in the browser, making it easier for teams to create software.

  • Sketch: Sketch gives you the power, flexibility and speed you always wanted in a lightweight and easy-to-use package. Finally you can focus on what you do best: Design.

Credit to:

nicolashery for comming up with original list and documentation.


A guide to setting up a development environment on and all useful software.






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