Setting up a Mac (with command line tools)

It’s probably my 10th or 20th time setting up a computer and each time I start this process, I think to myself that I should be writing it all down so next time it’s easier for me and maybe it will get other some ideas on possible things they should check out.

I’ll start with exactly how I go from opening Safari to download another browser all the way to setting my command line to look and feel like it does on my other computer.


  1. Download your favorite browser (I use Firefox).
  2. Use a password manager. I use 1Password because after a few hiccups that Dashlane had with its UX, I decided to pay a bit more and go with the best experience. This also helps me log in to almost all the subsequent apps below.
  3. Use Alfred. It’s way better than Spotlight and I use the clipboard history like an addict.
  4. At this point, I will usually look at setting up my terminal and as I run into missing things, I’ll download them. So, one of the first things I do, I download iTerm2. I am hoping to give Warp a try at some point but not yet.

Setting up the command line

  • I don’t like how the dock comes fully loaded on the MacOS with all the native apps. So one of my first commands I run is clear out the dock.
  • I guess before I do any git cloning, I’ll need to set up my SSH keys.
  • This time I’m using the Gruvbox iTerm2 theme.
  • And for hiding your title bar and making iTerm look very minimal, use the following settings
    • Settings → Appearance → Theme = ‘Minimal’
    • Settings → Profile → Window → Style = ‘No Title Bar’
  • I use zplug for managing plugins for my zsh setup.
  • Homebrew before everything else:
  • Install Powerlevel10k so that the prompt looks nice.
  • Install asdf for managing packages.
    • Add nodejs plugin: asdf plugin add nodejs
    • Install it: asdf list all nodejs
  • Install yarn: npm install -g yarn
  • At this point, I’m going to stop installing stuff and get some repos cloned.

Here’s the iTerm theme + font setup (font is powerlevel 10k’s installed font)

Here’s the iTerm profile.

Other apps

  • I use Magnet to manage my windows.
  • I have a SetApp subscription to install a bunch of helper apps.