Making a new Mac geek friendly

This is a collection of settings that I usually use on my Mac to make them more geek and programmer friendly. They have been last tested on Mac OS 10.9.1

Feel free to use, copy, modify, distribute and critique.

If you have any additions, improvements or corrections, send them to macconfig at umeshunni dot com.

— Umesh Unnikrishnan                

Configure spaces

System Preferences -> Mission Control

Enable ‘Displays have separate spaces’


Change date/time in menu bar to include date

Preferences -> Date and Time Preferences -> Date Options : check ‘show day of the week’, ‘show date’

Change some annoying defaults

Run these commands in Terminal:

# Automatically hide and show the Dock
defaults write autohide -bool true

# Show indicator lights for open applications in the Dock
defaults write show-process-indicators -bool true

# Don’t automatically rearrange Spaces based on most recent use
defaults write mru-spaces -bool false

#Disable the ‘Show dashboard as a space’ setting
defaults write dashboard-in-overlay -bool true

#Disable ‘this file was downloaded from the Interwebs are you sure you wanna open?’ dialog
defaults write LSQuarantine -bool NO
# Disable ‘smart quotes’
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticQuoteSubstitutionEnabled -bool false

# Save screenshots to the desktop
defaults write location -string "${HOME}/Desktop"

# Save screenshots in PNG format (other options: BMP, GIF, JPG, PDF, TIFF)
defaults write type -string "png"

# Enable subpixel font rendering on non-Apple LCDs
defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2

# Enable HiDPI display modes (requires restart)
sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ DisplayResolutionEnabled -bool true

# Finder: show path bar
defaults write ShowPathbar -bool true

# Finder: allow text selection in Quick Look
defaults write QLEnableTextSelection -bool true

# Show the main window when launching Activity Monitor
defaults write OpenMainWindow -bool true

# Visualize CPU usage in the Activity Monitor Dock icon
defaults write IconType -int 5

# Show all processes in Activity Monitor
defaults write ShowCategory -int 0

# Sort Activity Monitor results by CPU usage
defaults write SortColumn -string "CPUUsage"
defaults write SortDirection -int 0

# Use plain text mode for new TextEdit documents
defaults write RichText -int 0

# Open and save files as UTF-8 in TextEdit
defaults write PlainTextEncoding -int 4
defaults write PlainTextEncodingForWrite -int 4


Common 3rd party software

Install Chrome:

cd ~/Downloads

curl -O

open googlechrome.dmg
sudo cp -r /Volumes/Google\ Chrome/Google\ /Applications/

Configure Chrome:

Settings -> Personal Stuff -> Set up sync

Keyboard Shortcuts -> Applications -> Chrome -> map “command-u” to ‘view source’

Install and configure iTerm2:

Install iterm2:

#Download a decent theme for iTerm2
curl -O

Go to Preferences > Profiles > General and mark the “ssh” URL scheme in the dropdown at the bottom. You’ll be prompted to confirm changing the default handler and you should be good to go.

Pick the homebrew theme.

Set window transparency to 25%, window size to 120×50

# Don’t display the annoying prompt when quitting iTerm

defaults write com.googlecode.iterm2 PromptOnQuit -bool false

add the following to ~/.inputrc to enable ctrl-left/right to move words

"\e[1;5D": backward-word

"\e[1;5C": forward-word

Install Sublime Text 2

Install XCode command line

xcode-select --install

Set up HomeBrew

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

brew doctor 

Install some useful ports

# ImageMagick - manipulate image files from the command line

brew install ImageMagick

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