Sheldon Led

A macbook, a coffee mug, a notepd and an iPhone on a wood table. Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Setting up a new laptop

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The first few times I setup a new laptop were an explore adventure. I'd go clicking buttons, searching what I wanted to do, and spend a full day or sometimes more on getting up and running. Over time I realized I needed a system, so I automated part of it and the rest I kept in a sort of runbook in my private notes. Now I'm making it public.

Most of these are MacOS specific but some are generic and can be used for linux as well. I don't use Windows for a long time and pretend to keep it that way for the time being. For Windows users, you might wanna checkout how I setup my VSCode, those should be OS agnostic.

[Apps] Password Manager

Install password management tool (1Password or the one in use at the time) to facilitate logins.

[Apps] Git

Probably the best way to install git on macOS, in my opinion, is by installing the Xcode Command Line Tools. You can do this by opening terminal:

  • If you type git command, the error message will indicate how to install it. You can also type xcode-select --install
  • If the terminal says /bin/false: No such file or directory
    • Go to System Preferences → Users & Groups → Advanced Options (auxiliary click on user name)
    • Change "Login shell" to /bin/zsh or /bin/bash

[Settings] Dotfiles

Dotfiles is an automation tool where I backup, restore, and sync my preferences and settings. I have a blogpost on dotfiles and how to automate your laptop setup, if you want to know more about it.

  • Clone my dotfiles:
  • Clone sub dotfiles if there's any
  • Install them
  • Execute brew analytics off
  • Restart
  • Open iTerm now 😎
  • Change fonts: iTerm2 > Preferences > Profiles tab > Font section: change to Victor Mono
  • Save settings:
    • iTerm2 > Preferences > General tab > Preferences mark Load preferences from a custom folder /Users/sheldonled/.dotfiles/lib/macos
    • Make iTerm scrollback lines unlimited: iTerm2 > Preferences > Profiles > Terminal
  • Do post-install steps for the theme here
  • Change fonts on as well, if wanted: Terminal > Preferences > Profiles tab > Text section
  • Configure other apps installed by brew, like Chrome, Firefox, Rectangle, Spotify, Slack, etc.

Double-check some settings

[Settings] Contacts

I concentrate my contacts in a Google Account, therefore I don't have my contacts on my Apple devices by default. Syncing mac and google contacts can be done by:

  1. Open Contacts app, then go to Contacts → Preferences
  2. Enable the accounts or add new ones as needed

[Settings] Keyboard

  1. Go to System Preferences → Keyboard → Input Sources and add U.S. international and remove the default one. Deselect Show Input menu in menu bar
  2. Set up Bluetooth keyboard, if you have one
  3. Set up "Key Repeat" to very fast and "Delay Until Repeat" to very short

[Settings] Auth keys

You might want to look for copying some files from other computers or vaults to the ~/.ssh folder.

If you don't have a ~/.ssh/ generate one:

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 2048

[Settings] Finder

  • Add home folder to favorites
  • Create a ~/projects folder and add to favorites

[Apps] Gimp

Very good tool to edit pictures. I download it directly from Gimp's website.

Setup VSCode themes and plugins

This deserves a different post :)