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How to set up a new Mac

  1. First check for software updates: Apple menu, About This Mac, Software Update. De-clutter your dock (Right click the app that you want to remove from the dock, Options, Remove from Dock), automatically hide and show the dock (System Preferences, Dock & Menu Bar, click the checkbox next to Automatically hide and show the Dock and Automatically hide and show the menu bar), and uncheck Show recent applications in Dock.

    Show path and status bars. Open Finder, select View, Show Path Bar and View, Show StatusBar.

  2. Install Xcode’s Command Line Tools. Xcode is Apple’s integrated development environment for macOS. XCode Command Line tools are required for Homebrew: xcode-select ‐‐install
  3. Install Homebrew: ruby -e “$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)" vim ~/.zshrc:
    # Add Homebrew's executable directory to the front of the PATH
    export PATH=/usr/local/bin:$PATH
    Finally, verify that Homebrew is set up correctly: brew doctor
  4. Install Cask: brew install cask
    brew install visual-studio-code
    Barrier is a free and open-source KVM. How to play almost any file VLC.
    brew install --cask barrier 
    brew cask install dropbox
    brew cask install google-chrome
    brew cask install google-backup-and-sync
    brew cask install gimp
    brew cask install rectangle # Moves and resize windows in macOS using keyboard shortcuts or snap areas (cmd + option + left/right). full screen: cmd + shift + '
    brew cask install vlc # VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player.
    brew install git \ # Git is a free and open source distributed version control system
    exa \ # A modern replacement for ls
    bat \ # A cat clone with wings
    fzf \ # fzf is a general-purpose command-line fuzzy finder.
    tldr # Too long, didn't read, a replacement for man pages.
    # Install Source Code Pro Font
    brew tap homebrew/cask-fonts
    brew cask install font-source-code-pro
  5. Install and configure iTerm, Zsh, and Oh My Zsh:
    brew install ‐‐cask iterm2
    brew install zsh
    brew install zsh-completions
    sh -c “$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh/master/tools/install.sh)"
    git clone https://github.com/romkatv/powerlevel10k.git $ZSH_CUSTOM/themes/powerlevel10k
    p10k configure # If you are using iTerm2, p10 configure can install the Meslo Nerd Font for you.
    git clone https://github.com/zsh-users/zsh-syntax-highlighting.git ${ZSH_CUSTOM:-~/.oh-my-zsh/custom}/plugins/zsh-syntax-highlighting
    git clone https://github.com/zsh-users/zsh-autosuggestions $ZSH_CUSTOM/plugins/zsh-autosuggestions
    nvim .zshrc
        plugins=(git zsh-syntax-highlighting zsh-autosuggestions colored-man-pages colorize pip python brew)
        # To customize prompt, run `p10k configure` or edit ~/.p10k.zsh.
        [[ ! -f ~/.p10k.zsh ]] || source ~/.p10k.zsh
  6. Alfred is an application launcher for macOS: brew install ‐‐cask alfred. First, disable Spotlight: System Preferences, Keyboard, Shortcuts, Spotlight, disable Show Spotlight Search, and we are going to reuse the Spotlight’s hotkey for Alfred. Open Alfred’s settings, General, Alfred Hotkey: ⌘ + Space, and make sure that the Launch Alfred at login checkbox is enable. Enable the clipboard manager: Features, Clipboard History.
  7. System Preferences, Users & Groups, go to the Login items tab, +, then navigate to your Applications folder and select iTerm, Barrier, Rectangle, and Alfred.
  8. KeePassXC is a free cross-platform password manager. To sync it flawlessly on Dropbox, save your KeePassXC inside the shared cloud folder. Then, KeePassXC, Preferences, in the File Management section, uncheck Safely save database files (may be incompatible with Dropbox, etc.) and Backup database file before saving.
      brew install --cask keepassxc
  9. System Preferences, Internet Accounts Add all your accounts (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
  10. Speed up your keyboard. System Preferences, Keyboard, Keyboard tab. Move the slider for Key Repeat (how fast a key repeats when you hold it down) to Fast and Delay Until Repeat (how long you must hold down a key before it starts to repeat) to Short as fast as they will go.
  11. System Preferences, Keyboard, Shortcuts tab. Select Launchpad and Dock, uncheck Turn Dock Hiding On/Off. Select Screenshots and check all boxes.
  12. Change your wallpaper and screen saver: System Preferences, Desktop and Screen Saver. Select Desktop, click +, and choose a custom image. Select Screen Saver, Flurry/Shell/Vintage Prints/…. At the bottom, choose when the screen saver should activate: Start after: (e.g., 10 or 20 minutes), and check Show with clock.
  13. Configure your Wi-Fi: System Preferences, Network, select Wi-Fi from the left pane, click the Network Name drop-down menu, then select the Wi-Fi you want to connect to, enter the Wi-Fi password, then click Join.
  14. Change your login picture: System Preferences, Users & Groups, click the lock at the bottom left to unlock the preference pane. Select your user account on the left, then click the user’s picture on the right. It is normally a good idea to disable the guest account: System Preferences, Users & Groups, click the lock at the bottom left to unlock the preference pane. Select Guest User on the left, and uncheck Allow guests to log in to this computer.
  15. ALWAYS ON DO NOT DISTURB: System Preferences, Notifications, click Do not disturb on the left pane, select the From button: 10:01 (AM) to 10:00 AM.
  16. Defaults:
  [email protected]:~$ [email protected]:~$ defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool true # It shows hidden files and folders.
  defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Dropbox # It changes the default location for screenshots.
  defaults write com.apple.screencapture type JPG # It changes the default file type of screenshots.
  defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true # It disables shadows for all window screenshots captured on your macOS.
  defaults write com.apple.finder ShowPathbar -bool true # It shows path bar.
  defaults write com.apple.finder ShowStatusBar -bool true # It shows status bar.
  chflags nohidden ~/Library # It shows the Library folder.
  killall SystemUIServer


  1. System Preferences, Apple ID. Configure iCloud and turn on the Find my Mac feature. Disable automatic login and set a system password: System Preferences, Security & Privacy, General tab, and Allow apps downloaded from: App Store and identified developers. Besides, enable Show a message when the screen is locked: myWebsite | my eMail | myPhone.

  2. FireVault is macOS build-in disk encryption feature. It encrypts and decrypts files associated with your profile on the fly using a password that you set. System Preferences, Security & Privacy, chooses FileVault. Click the lock at the left bottom, enter your password, and click Turn on FileVault… to enable this feature.

    Choose Allow my iCloud account to unlock my disk (it is a convenient way to protect your local files on your mac) or Create a recovery key and do not use my iCloud account (if there is very sensitive information on your Mac, this is your safest bet). Finally, save the recovery key in a secure location (e.g., KeePassXC).

  3. Turn on the Firewall: System Preferences, Security & Privacy, Firewall. Click Turn On Firewall, then click Firewall Options to fine-tune the firewall settings, Enable Automatically allow built-in/downloaded signed software to receive incoming connections (it adds stock apps -iTunes, Mail, Messages- and downloaded apps that are signed by a valid certificate authority to be automatically added to the list of allowed apps) and stealth mode (it prevents your macOS from responding to probing requests or queries to reveal its existence from the network).

  4. Back up your computer with Time Machine. System Preferences, Time Machine. Select Back up Automatically on the left pane. Click Select Disk… and chose the disk you want to use to store your backups.

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