How to set up a Mac OS-X development environment

Published: 2015-07-18

By: MJ Rossetti

Category:
Technologies:

This document describes the process of configuring a new Mac OS-X development environment from scratch.

Last updated: August 2016.

System Set-up

System Users

In System Preferences > Users and Groups, create a new admin user. Restart your computer and login as the new user. Delete the old user and any corresponding home folders.

System Preferences

Encryption

In System Preferences > Security and Privacy > FileVault, turn FileVault ON. Take a screenshot of the recovery code. Restart the computer when prompted. Monitor progress for the next 20 minutes.

Keyboard Settings

In System Preferences > Keyboard:

  • Repeat: fastest
  • Delay until repeat: shortest
  • Shortcuts:
    • Move left a space: option + left arrow
    • Move right a space: option + right arrow

Spaces and Hot Corners

In System Preferences > Mission Control:

  • Do not auto-arrange.
  • Hot Corners:
    • TL: Mission Control
    • TR: Desktop
    • BR: N/A
    • BL: N/A

Open the Mission Control application and create four new linear horizontal Spaces.

Dock

Turn Dock hiding on, maximize the size of the Dock, and remove all unnecessary programs from the Dock.

Developer Tools

Terminal Customization

The terminal application is a developer’s main tool.

Download the Solarized color themes, and unzip.

In Terminal Settings, import a new Profile, and choose the solaraized/osx-terminal.app-colors-solarized/Solarized Dark ansi.terminal theme.

Set the Solarized Dark profile theme as default.

Increase font size to 18.

Restore ~/.bash_profile:

# ~/.bash_profile

#
# CONFIGURATION
#

export PS1=" --->> "
export CLICOLOR=1
export LSCOLORS=GxFxCxDxBxegedabagaced

#
# SHORTCUTS
#

alias ll="ls -lahG"
alias gs="git status"
alias gd="git diff"
alias gl="git log"
alias glt="git log --graph --decorate --oneline --full-history --all --simplify-by-decoration"
alias glsd="git ls-files --deleted"

SSH Keys

SSH keys establish your identity, and are a prerequisite for using git and connecting via ssh to known servers.

Generate new ssh keys.

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C johndoe@example.com # generate new key pair
eval "$(ssh-agent -s)" # start the ssh-agent in the background
ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa # add to keychain

Copy the public key and add to GitHub and other hosts, as necessary.

pbcopy < ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub # copy to clipboard

XCode

Xcode is a prerequisite for the homebrew package manager.

Create a new Apple ID, and verify your email.

Download Xcode. It might take 30 minutes. View progress from the Launchpad app.

Some homebrew formulae like ruby-build might need xcode command line tools, so install those now:

xcode-select --install

Homebrew Package Manager

Homebrew is a package manager for mac os which is used to install applications, programming languages, command-line tools, etc.. It’s trusted and maintained by a large community of developers.

Install the Homebrew package manager:

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

Turn off brew analytics:

brew analytics off

Install Homebrew Cask for downloading native applications.

brew tap caskroom/cask

Browser

Install and/or open Google Chrome, and set it as the default browser.

brew cask install google-chrome

Open chrome and sign-in as an existing chrome user.

Install or re-configure Ghostery to block browser activity trackers.

Atom Text Editor

Install the Atom text editor.

brew cask install atom

Restoring Atom Preferences and Settings (optional)

Install sync-settings.

apm install sync-settings

Find an existing github personal access token, or generate a new token. It should have permission to create gists.

Find the id of an existing github gist which contains previous atom sync settings, or create a new gist.

In atom’s package settings, input your github access token and gist id. If you have trouble finding the package settings, try opening a new atom window to reveal a warning message and link to the package settings.

Finally, click “restore” to restore text editor settings. The next time you open a new atom window, you should see a sync success message.

Git

Install Git.

brew install git

Git Credentials

Configure Git credentials:

git config --global user.name "John Doe"
git config --global user.email johndoe@example.com
git config --global core.editor atom

Use an email address which has been linked to your GitHub profile and verified.

Rubygems Credentials (optional)

Configure rubygems.org credentials:

mkdir ~/.gem
curl -u MY_RUBYGEMS_USERNAME https://rubygems.org/api/v1/api_key.yaml > ~/.gem/credentials; chmod 0600 ~/.gem/credentials

Type your rubygems.org password when prompted.

Development Environment Setup

Many of the following sections are optional, depending on what type of development environment you need.

Languages and Frameworks

Ruby

As a developer working on more than one ruby project, it sometimes becomes necessary to specify different ruby versions for each project. Rbenv makes switching ruby versions easy. Ruby-build, a component of rbenv, facilitates installation of ruby versions.

brew install rbenv

Follow any post-installation instructions:

  • To use Homebrew’s directories rather than ~/.rbenv add to your profile: export RBENV_ROOT=/usr/local/var/rbenv
  • To enable shims and autocompletion, run rbenv init and follow the instructions to add to your profile: eval "$(rbenv init -)"

Restart your terminal for the profile changes to take place.

Install a ruby version and set your computer to use it:

rbenv install 2.2.3 # to install a specific ruby version from the internet
rbenv global 2.2.3 # to set a specific ruby version for use

If you run into trouble, make sure you have installed xcode command line tools and these core libraries: brew install openssl libyaml libffi.

Ruby Gems

Install global gems, including the bundler package manager:

gem install bundler
Ruby on Rails

Install ruby on rails:

gem install rails

Python

Install python (includes the pip package manager):

brew install python
brew linkapps python
Python Packages
Django
pip install django
Flask
pip install flask

Node

As a developer working on more than one node.js project, it sometimes becomes necessary to specify different node versions for each project. NVM makes switching node versions easy.

Install NVM:

curl -o- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/creationix/nvm/v0.32.0/install.sh | bash

This also installs the node package manager (npm).

Node Packages
Express

Install the express application generator:

npm install express-generator -g
React Native
npm install react-native-cli -g

see also: react-native android development environment setup guide

Bower

cd my_app/
npm install -g bower
# /usr/local/bin/bower -> /usr/local/lib/node_modules/bower/bin/bower
# bower@1.4.1 /usr/local/lib/node_modules/bower

Databases

Use lunchy gem to manage services/daemons, including database servers.

gem install lunchy

Restart your terminal.

PostgreSQL

Install.

brew install postgresql
ln -sfv /usr/local/opt/postgresql/*.plist ~/Library/LaunchAgents # to have launchd start postgresql at login
lunchy start postgresql
createdb # to create a database named after your root database user, which is named after your mac username; avoids `psql: FATAL:  database my_db_user does not exist`

Set a password for the database root user.

psql -U my_db_user -c "ALTER USER my_db_user WITH PASSWORD 'CHANGE_ME';"

To require password authentication, find the location of the pg_hba.conf file using psql -U my_db_user -c "SHOW hba_file;", and edit it to resemble to the following template:

# TYPE  DATABASE        USER            ADDRESS                 METHOD
local   all             all                                     md5
host    all             all             127.0.0.1/32            md5
host    all             all             ::1/128                 md5

Basically you are just changing the methods from trust to md5. Restart the server to apply the authentication changes.

lunchy restart postgresql
psql -U my_db_user # you should now be prompted for a password

Helpful psql commands and their SQL equivalents:

SELECT * FROM pg_user;
-- or... `\du`

SELECT * FROM pg_database;
-- or... `\l`

SELECT * FROM pg_table WHERE schema_name = 'my_db';
-- or... `\connect my_db` and `\dt`

Optionally install the pg gem/driver if you are going to be connecting with a Ruby on Rails app. Find the pg_config file with psql -U my_db_user -c "SHOW config_file;".

gem install pg
# if there is an error and you need to specify the config file: gem install pg -- --with-pg-config=/usr/local/bin/pg_config

Optionally create an application database and database user.

CREATE USER app_user WITH password 'CHANGE_ME';
ALTER USER app_user CREATEDB;
ALTER USER app_user WITH SUPERUSER;
CREATE DATABASE app_db;
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON DATABASE app_db to app_user;

Finally, install pgAdmin or pSequel database management software. Specify your root database user credentials when connecting to the local database server.

brew cask install psequel

MySQL

Install.

brew install mysql
ln -sfv /usr/local/opt/mysql/*.plist ~/Library/LaunchAgents
lunchy start mysql
mysql -uroot

Secure the connection.

DELETE FROM mysql.user WHERE host <> 'localhost' OR USER = "";
SET PASSWORD FOR 'root'@'localhost' = PASSWORD('cleartext password');

Helpful mysql commands:

SELECT * FROM mysql.user;
SELECT distinct table_schema FROM information_schema.tables; -- or `SHOW DATABASES;`
SELECT * FROM information_schema.tables;
SELECT * FROM information_schema.tables WHERE table_schema = 'my_db';

Finally, install Sequel Pro database management software. Specify your root database user credentials when connecting to the local database server.

brew cask install sequel-pro

MongoDB

Install mongoDB.

brew install mongodb

Follow post-installation instructions.

brew services start mongodb

FYI - the mongo config file specifies the expected paths to the mongo data directory and logfile.

cat /usr/local/etc/mongod.conf

Check your version.

mongo --version
MongoDB shell version: 3.2.9

Run mongo.

mongo

Helpful mongo shell commands:

db # to show the active database
show dbs # to show all databases (this doesn't work?)
use myNewDatabase # create/use a new database
show collections # list all collections in the current database (alternate)
db.getCollectionNames() # list all collections in the current database
db.myCollection.insert( { x: 1 } ); # insert a new record
db.myCollection.insert( { y: 2 } );
db.myCollection.find().pretty() # print collection
db.myCollection.find({x:1}).pretty() # find a record matching given query conditions

Redis

Install redis.

brew install redis -H
brew info redis
# brew services start redis

Run redis.

redis-server

Elasticsearch

Install elasticsearch.

brew install elasticsearch

NOTE: If you get the error Java 1.7+ is required to install this formula., run: brew tap caskroom/versions and brew cask install java7 and optionally manage java versions with jenv.

Run elasticsearch.

elasticsearch

Graphing Library

If using the rails-erd gem, satisfy ruby-graphviz dependency by installing the graphviz library.

brew install graphviz

Server Management

Heroku Credentials

Download heroku toolbelt to enable heroku command line tools.

brew install heroku-toolbelt
heroku login