Mac OS X Dev Setup【mac系统配置】


This document describes how I set up my developer environment on a new MacBook or iMac. We will set up Node (JavaScript), Python, and Ruby environments, mainly for JavaScript and Python development. Even if you don’t program in all three, it is good to have them as many command-line tools use one of them. As you read and follow these steps, feel free to send me any feedback or comments you may have.

The document assumes you are new to Mac. The steps below were tested on OS X Mountain Lion.

If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to give me a shout on Twitter!

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

Google Chrome

Install your favorite browser, mine happens to be Chrome.

Download from Open the .dmg file once it’s done downloading (this will mount the disk image), and drag and drop the Google Chrome app into the Applications folder (on the Mac, most applications are installed this way). When done, you can unmount the disk in Finder (the small “eject” icon next to the disk under Devices).


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. Download and install iTerm2 (the newest version, even if it says “beta release”).

In Finder, drag and drop the iTerm Application file into the Applications folder.

You can now launch iTerm, through the Launchpad for instance.

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 latestCommand 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.

Finally, we can install Hombrew! In the terminal paste the following line (without the $), hit Enter, and follow the steps on the screen:

$ ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

One thing we need to do is tell the system to use programs installed by Hombrew (in /usr/local/bin) rather than the OS default if it exists. We do this by adding /usr/local/bin to your $PATHenvironment variable:

$ echo 'export PATH="/usr/local/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bash_profile

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


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.

Beautiful terminal

Since we spend so much time in the terminal, we should try to make it a more pleasant and colorful place. What follows might seem like a lot of work, but trust me, it’ll make the development experience so much better.

Let’s go ahead and start by changing the font. In iTerm > Preferences…, under the tab Profiles, section Text, change both fonts to Consolas 13pt.

Now let’s add some color. I’m a big fan of the Solarized color scheme. It is supposed to be scientifically optimal for the eyes. I just find it pretty.

Scroll down the page and download the latest version. Unzip the archive. In it you will find theiterm2-colors-solarized folder with a file, but I will just walk you through it here:

  • In iTerm2 Preferences, under Profiles and Colors, go to Load Presets… > Import…, find and open the two .itermcolors files we downloaded.
  • Go back to Load Presets… and select Solarized Dark to activate it. Voila!

Note: You don’t have to do this, but there is one color in the Solarized Dark preset I don’t agree with, which is Bright Black. You’ll notice it’s too close to Black. So I change it to be the same asBright Yellow, i.e. R 83 G 104 B 112.

Not a lot of colors yet. We need to tweak a little bit our Unix user’s profile for that. This is done (on OS X and Linux), in the ~/.bash_profile text file (~ stands for the user’s home directory).

We’ll come back to the details of that later, but for now, just download the files .bash_profile,.bash_prompt, .aliases attached to this document into your home directory (.bash_profile is the one that gets loaded, I’ve set it up to call the others):

$ cd ~
$ curl -O
$ curl -O
$ curl -O

With that, open a new terminal tab (Cmd+T) and see the change! Try the list commands: ls, ls -lh(aliased to ll), ls -lha (aliased to la).

At this point you can also change your computer’s name, which shows up in this terminal prompt. If you want to do so, go to System Preferences > Sharing. For example, I changed mine from “Nicolas’s MacBook Air” to just “MacBook Air”, so it shows up as MacBook-Air in the terminal.

Now we have a terminal we can work with!

(Thanks to Mathias Bynens for his awesome dotfiles.)


What’s a developer without Git? 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. Download the .gitconfig file to your home directory:

$ cd ~
$ curl -O

It will add some color to the status, branch, and diff Git commands, as well as a couple aliases. Feel free to take a look at the contents of the file, and add to it to your liking.

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.

Sublime Text

With the terminal, the text editor is a developer’s most important tool. Everyone has their preferences, but unless you’re a hardcore Vim user, a lot of people are going to tell you that Sublime Text is currently the best one out there.

Go ahead and download it. Open the .dmg file, drag-and-drop in the Applications folder, you know the drill now. Launch the application.

Note: At this point I’m going to create a shortcut on the OS X Dock for both for Sublime Text and iTerm. To do so, right-click on the running application and select Options > Keep in Dock.

Sublime Text is not free, but I think it has an unlimited “evaluation period”. Anyhow, we’re going to be using it so much that even the seemingly expensive $70 price tag is worth every penny. If you can afford it, I suggest you support this awesome tool. 🙂

Just like the terminal, let’s configure our editor a little. Go to Sublime Text 2 > Preferences > Settings – User and paste the following in the file that just opened:

    "font_face": "Consolas",
    "font_size": 13,
    "highlight_line": true,
    "bold_folder_labels": true,
    "highlight_modified_tabs": true,
    "tab_size": 2,
    "translate_tabs_to_spaces": true,
    "word_wrap": false,
    "indent_to_bracket": true

Feel free to tweak these to your preference. When done, save the file and close it.

I use tab size 2 for everything except Python and Markdown files, where I use tab size 4. If you have a Python and Markdown file handy (or create dummy ones with $ touch, for each one, open it and go to Sublime Text 2 > Preferences > Settings – More > Syntax Specific – User to paste in:

    "tab_size": 4

Now for the color. I’m going to change two things: the Theme (which is how the tabs, the file explorer on the left, etc. look) and the Color Scheme (the colors of the code). Again, feel free to pick different ones, or stick with the default.

A popular Theme is the Soda Theme. To install it, run:

$ cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Sublime\ Text\ 2/Packages/
$ git clone "Theme - Soda"

Then go to Sublime Text 2 > Preferences > Settings – User and add the following two lines:

"theme": "Soda Dark.sublime-theme",
"soda_classic_tabs": true

Restart Sublime Text for all changes to take effect (Note: on the Mac, closing all windows doesn’t close the application, you need to hit Cmd+Q).

The Soda Theme page also offers some extra color schemes you can download and try. But to be consistent with my terminal, I like to use the Solarized Color Scheme, which already ships with Sublime Text. To use it, just go to Sublime Text 2 > Preferences > Color Scheme > Solarized (Dark). Again, this is really according to personal flavors, so pick what you want.

Sublime Text 2 already supports syntax highlighting for a lot of languages. I’m going to install a couple that are missing:

$ cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Sublime\ Text\ 2/Packages/
$ git clone CoffeeScript
$ git clone Jade
$ git clone LESS
$ git clone -b SublimeText2 SCSS
$ git clone Handlebars

Let’s create a shortcut so we can launch Sublime Text from the command-line:

$ cd ~
$ mkdir bin
$ ln -s "/Applications/Sublime Text" ~/bin/subl

Now I can open a file with $ subl or start a new project in the current directory with $ subl .. Pretty cool.

Sublime Text is very extensible. For now we’ll leave it like that, we already have a solid installation. To add more in the future, a good place to start would be to install the Sublime Package Control.


Although Sublime Text will be our main editor, it is a good idea to learn some very basic usage ofVim. It is a very popular text editor inside the terminal, and is usually pre-installed on any Unix system.

For example, when you run a Git commit, it will open Vim to allow you to type the commit message.

I suggest you read a tutorial on Vim. Grasping the concept of the two “modes” of the editor, Insert(by pressing i) and Normal (by pressing Esc to exit Insert mode), will be the part that feels most unnatural. After that it’s just remembering a few important keys.

Vim’s default settings aren’t great, and you could spend a lot of time tweaking your configuration (the.vimrc file). But if you’re like me and just use Vim occasionally, you’ll be happy to know that Tim Pope has put together some sensible defaults to quickly get started.

First, install pathogen.vim by running:

$ mkdir -p ~/.vim/autoload ~/.vim/bundle && \
    curl -LSso ~/.vim/autoload/pathogen.vim

Then create a file ~/.vimrc (you can use $ subl ~/.vimrc), and paste in the following:

execute pathogen#infect()
syntax on
filetype plugin indent on

And finally, install the Vim “sensible defaults” by running:

$ cd ~/.vim/bundle
$ git clone git://

With that, Vim will look a lot better next time you open it!


OS X, like Linux, ships with Python already installed. But you don’t want to mess with the system Python (some system tools rely on it, etc.), so we’ll install our own version with Homebrew. It will also allow us to get the very latest version of Python 2.7.

The following command will install Python 2.7 and any dependencies required (it can take a few minutes to build everything):

$ brew install python

When finished, you should get a summary in the terminal. Running $ which python should output/usr/local/bin/python.

It also installed Pip (and its dependency Distribute), which is the package manager for Python. Let’s upgrade them both:

$ pip install --upgrade distribute
$ pip install --upgrade pip

Executable scripts from Python packages you install will be put in /usr/local/share/python, so let’s add it to the $PATH. To do so, we’ll create a .path text file in the home directory (I’ve already set up.bash_profile to call this file):

$ cd ~
$ subl .path

And add these lines to .path:

export PATH

Save the file and open a new terminal to take the new $PATH into account (everytime you open a terminal, .bash_profile gets loaded).

Pip Usage

Here are a couple Pip commands to get you started. To install a Python package:

$ pip install <package>

To upgrade a package:

$ pip install --upgrade <package>

To see what’s installed:

$ pip freeze

To uninstall a package:

$ pip uninstall <package>


Virtualenv is a tool that creates an isolated Python environment for each of your projects. For a particular project, instead of installing required packages globally, it is best to install them in an isolated folder in the project (say a folder named venv), that will be managed by virtualenv.

The advantage is that different projects might require different versions of packages, and it would be hard to manage that if you install packages globally. It also allows you to keep your global/usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages folder clean, containing only critical or big packages that you always need (like IPython, Numpy).


To install virtualenv, simply run:

$ pip install virtualenv


Let’s say you have a project in a directory called myproject. To set up virtualenv for that project:

$ cd myproject/
$ virtualenv venv --distribute

If you want your virtualenv to also inherit globally installed packages (like IPython or Numpy mentioned above), use:

$ virtualenv venv --distribute --system-site-packages

These commands create a venv subdirectory in your project where everything is installed. You need to activate it first though (in every terminal where you are working on your project):

$ source venv/bin/activate

You should see a (venv) appear at the beginning of your terminal prompt indicating that you are working inside the virtualenv. Now when you install something:

$ pip install <package>

It will get installed in the venv folder, and not conflict with other projects.

Important: Remember to add venv to your project’s .gitignore file so you don’t include all of that in your source code!

As mentioned earlier, I like to install big packages (like Numpy), or packages I always use (like IPython) globally. All the rest I install in a virtualenv.


IPython is an awesome project which provides a much better Python shell than the one you get from running $ python in the command-line. It has many cool functions (running Unix commands from the Python shell, easy copy & paste, creating Matplotlib charts in-line, etc.) and I’ll let you refer to thedocumentation to discover them.


Before we install IPython, we’ll need to get some dependencies. Run the following:

$ brew update # Always good to do
$ brew install zeromq # Necessary for pyzmq
$ brew install pyqt # Necessary for the qtconsole

It may take a few minutes to build these.

Once it’s done, we can install IPython with all the available options:

$ pip install ipython[zmq,qtconsole,notebook,test]


You can launch IPython from the command line with $ ipython, but what’s more interesting is to use its QT Console. Launch the QT Console by running:

$ ipython qtconsole

You can also customize the font it uses:

$ ipython qtconsole --ConsoleWidget.font_family="Consolas" --ConsoleWidget.font_size=13

And since I’m lazy and I don’t want to type or copy & paste that all the time, I’m going to create an alias for it. Create a .extra text file in your home directory with $ subl ~/.extra (I’ve set up.bash_profile to load .extra), and add the following line:

alias ipy='ipython qtconsole --ConsoleWidget.font_family="Consolas" --ConsoleWidget.font_size=13'

Open a fresh terminal. Now when you run $ ipy, it will launch the QT Console with your configured options.

To use the in-line Matplotlib functionality (nice for scientific computing), run $ ipy --pylab=inline.

Numpy and Scipy

The Numpy and Scipy scientific libraries for Python are always a little tricky to install from source because they have all these dependencies they need to build correctly. Luckily for us, Samuel Johnhas put together some Homebrew formulae to make it easier to install these Python libraries.

First, grab the special formulae (which are not part of Homebrew core):

$ brew tap samueljohn/python
$ brew tap homebrew/science

Then, install the gfortran dependency (now in gcc) which we will need to build the libraries:

$ brew install gcc

Finally, you can install Numpy and Scipy with:

$ brew install numpy
$ brew install scipy

(It may take a few minutes to build.)



We will install MySQL using Homebrew, which will also install some header files needed for MySQL bindings in different programming languages (MySQL-Python for one).

To install, run:

$ brew update # Always good to do
$ brew install mysql

As you can see in the ouput from Homebrew, before we can use MySQL we first need to set it up with:

$ unset TMPDIR
$ mkdir /usr/local/var
$ mysql_install_db --verbose --user=`whoami` --basedir="$(brew --prefix mysql)" --datadir=/usr/local/var/mysql --tmpdir=/tmp


To start the MySQL server, use the mysql.server tool:

$ mysql.server start

To stop it when you are done, run:

$ mysql.server stop

You can see the different commands available for mysql.server with:

$ mysql.server --help

To connect with the command-line client, run:

$ mysql -uroot

(Use exit to quit the MySQL shell.)

Note: By default, the MySQL user root has no password. It doesn’t really matter for a local development database. If you wish to change it though, you can use $ mysqladmin -u root password 'new-password'.

MySQL Workbench

In terms of a GUI client for MySQL, I’m used to the official and free MySQL Workbench. But feel free to use whichever you prefer.

You can find the MySQL Workbench download here. (Note: It will ask you to sign in, you don’t need to, just click on “No thanks, just start my download!” at the bottom.)


Install Node.js with Homebrew:

$ brew update
$ brew install node

The formula also installs the npm package manager. However, as suggested by the Homebrew output, we need to add /usr/local/share/npm/bin to our path so that npm-installed modules with executables will have them picked up.

To do so, add this line to your ~/.path file, before the export PATH line:


Open a new terminal for the $PATH changes to take effect.

We also need to tell npm where to find the Xcode Command Line Tools, by running:

$ sudo xcode-select -switch /usr/bin

(If Xcode Command Line Tools were installed by Xcode, try instead:)

$ sudo xcode-select -switch /Applications/

Node modules are installed locally in the node_modules folder of each project by default, but there are at least two that are worth installing globally. Those are CoffeeScript and Grunt:

$ npm install -g coffee-script
$ npm install -g grunt-cli

Npm usage

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>


JSHint is a JavaScript developer’s best friend.

If the extra credit assignment to install Sublime Package Manager was completed, JSHint can be run as part of Sublime Text.

Install JSHint via npm (global install preferred)

$ npm install -g jshint

Follow additional instructions on the JSHint Package Manager page or build it manually.

Ruby and RVM

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

I mainly use Ruby for the CSS pre-processor Compass, which is built on top of Sass:

$ gem install compass --no-document


CSS preprocessors are becoming quite popular, the most popular processors are LESS and SASS. Preprocessing is a lot like compiling code for CSS. It allows you to reuse CSS in many different ways. Let’s start out with using LESS as a basic preprocessor, it’s used by a lot of popular CSS frameworks like Bootstrap.


To install LESS you have to use NPM / Node, which you installed earlier using Homebrew. In the terminal use:

$ npm install less --global

Note: the --global flag is optional but it prevents having to mess around with file paths. You can install without the flag, just know what you’re doing.

You can check that it installed properly by using:

$ lessc --version

This should output some information about the compiler:

lessc 1.5.1 (LESS Compiler) [JavaScript]

Okay, LESS is installed and running. Great!


There’s a lot of different ways to use LESS. Generally I use it to compile my stylesheet locally. You can do that by using this command in the terminal:

$ lessc template.less template.css

The two options are the “input” and “output” files for the compiler. The command looks in the current directory for the LESS stylesheet, compiles it, and outputs it to the second file in the same directory. You can add in paths to keep your project files organized:

$ lessc less/template.less css/template.css

Read more about LESS on their page here:


Heroku, if you’re not already familiar with it, is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that makes it really easy to deploy your apps online. There are other similar solutions out there, but Heroku was among the first and is currently the most popular. Not only does it make a developer’s life easier, but I find that having Heroku deployment in mind when building an app forces you to follow modern app development best practices.


Assuming that you have an account (sign up if you don’t), let’s install the Heroku Client for the command-line. Heroku offers a Mac OS X installer, the Heroku Toolbelt, that includes the client. But for these kind of tools, I prefer using Homebrew. It allows us to keep better track of what we have installed. Luckily for us, Homebrew includes a heroku-toolbelt formula:

$ brew install heroku-toolbelt

The formula might not have the latest version of the Heroku Client, which is updated pretty often. Let’s update it now:

$ heroku update

Don’t be afraid to run heroku update every now and then to always have the most recent version.


Login to your Heroku account using your email and password:

$ heroku login

If this is a new account, and since you don’t already have a public SSH key in your ~/.ssh directory, it will offer to create one for you. Say yes! It will also upload the key to your Heroku account, which will allow you to deploy apps from this computer.

If it didn’t offer create the SSH key for you (i.e. your Heroku account already has SSH keys associated with it), you can do so manually by running:

 $ mkdir ~/.ssh
 $ ssh-keygen -t rsa

Keep the default file name and skip the passphrase by just hitting Enter both times. Then, add the key to your Heroku account:

$ heroku keys:add

Once the key business is done, you’re ready to deploy apps! Heroku has a great Getting Startedguide, so I’ll let you refer to that (the one linked here is for Python, but there is one for every popular language). Heroku uses Git to push code for deployment, so make sure your app is under Git version control. A quick cheat sheet (if you’ve used Heroku before):

$ cd myapp/
$ heroku create myapp
$ git push heroku master
$ heroku ps
$ heroku logs -t

The Heroku Dev Center is full of great resources, so be sure to check it out!


MongoDB is a popular NoSQL database.


Installing it is very easy through Homebrew:

$ brew update
$ brew install mongo


In a terminal, start the MongoDB server:

$ mongod

In another terminal, connect to the database with the Mongo shell using:

$ mongo

I’ll let you refer to MongoDB’s Getting Started guide for more!


Redis is a blazing fast, in-memory, key-value store, that uses the disk for persistence. It’s kind of like a NoSQL database, but there are a lot of cool things that you can do with it that would be hard or inefficient with other database solutions. For example, it’s often used as session management or caching by web apps, but it has many other uses.


To install Redis, use Homebrew:

$ brew update
$ brew install redis


Start a local Redis server using the default configuration settings with:

$ redis-server

For advanced usage, you can tweak the configuration file at /usr/local/etc/redis.conf (I suggest making a backup first), and use those settings with:

$ redis-server /usr/local/etc/redis.conf

In another terminal, connect to the server with the Redis command-line interface using:

$ redis-cli

I’ll let you refer to Redis’ documentation or other tutorials for more information.


As it says on the box, Elasticsearch is a “powerful open source, distributed real-time search and analytics engine”. It uses an HTTP REST API, making it really easy to work with from any programming language.

You can use elasticsearch for such cool things as real-time search results, autocomplete, recommendations, machine learning, and more.


Elasticsearch runs on Java, so check if you have it installed by running:

java -version

If Java isn’t installed yet, a window will appear prompting you to install it. Go ahead and click “Install”.

Next, install elasticsearch with:

$ brew install elasticsearch

Note: Elasticsearch also has a plugin program that gets moved to your PATH. I find that too generic of a name, so I rename it to elasticsearch-plugin by running (will need to do that again if you update elasticsearch):

$ mv /usr/local/bin/plugin /usr/local/bin/elasticsearch-plugin

Below I will use elasticsearch-plugin, just replace it with plugin if you haven’t followed this step.

As you guessed, you can add plugins to elasticsearch. A popular one is elasticsearch-head, which gives you a web interface to the REST API. Install it with:

$ elasticsearch-plugin --install mobz/elasticsearch-head


Start a local elasticsearch server with:

$ elasticsearch -f

(The -f option tells it to run in the foreground, so you can stop it with Ctrl+C.)

Test that the server is working correctly by running:

$ curl -XGET 'http://localhost:9200/'

If you installed the elasticsearch-head plugin, you can visit its interface athttp://localhost:9200/_plugin/head/.

Elasticsearch’s documentation is more of a reference. To get started, I suggest reading some of the blog posts linked on this StackOverflow answer.

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.


Here is a quick list of some apps I use, and that you might find useful as well:

  • Dropbox: File syncing to the cloud. I put all my documents in Dropbox. It syncs them to all my devices (laptop, mobile, tablet), and serves as a backup as well! (Free for 2GB)
  • Google Drive: File syncing to the cloud too! I use Google Docs a lot to collaborate with others (edit a document with multiple people in real-time!), and sometimes upload other non-Google documents (pictures, etc.), so the app comes in handy for that. (Free for 5GB)
  • 1Password: Allows you to securely store your login and passwords. Even if you only use a few different passwords (they say you shouldn’t!), this is really handy to keep track of all the accounts you sign up for! Also, they have a mobile app so you always have all your passwords with you (syncs with Dropbox). A little pricey though. There are free alternatives. ($50 for Mac app, $18 for iOS app)
  • Marked: As a developer, most of the stuff you write ends up being in Markdown. In fact, file (possibly the most important file of a GitHub repo) is indeed in Markdown, written in Sublime Text, and I use Marked to preview the results everytime I save. ($4)
  • Path Finder: I love OSX, it’s Unix so great for developers, and all of it just works and looks pretty! Only thing I “miss” from Windows (OMG what did he say?), is a decent file explorer. I think Finder is a pain to use. So I gladly paid for this alternative, but I understand others might find it expensive just to not have to use Finder. ($40)
  • Evernote: If I don’t write something down, I’ll forget it. As a developer, you learn so many new things every day, and technology keeps changing, it would be insane to want to keep it all in your head. So take notes, sync them to the cloud, and have them on all your devices. To be honest, I switched to Simplenote because I only take text notes, and I got tired of Evernote putting extra spaces between paragraphs when I copy & pasted into other applications. Simplenote is so much better for text notes (and it supports Markdown!). (Both are free)
  • Moom: Don’t waste time resizing and moving your windows. Moom makes this very easy. ($10)

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