Fullstack Developer & Whitewater Kayaker & Scout

My Mac setup for web development in 2023

I have my MacBook Pro since 2020. After having used the MacBook Pro 2015 for a couple of years. The last months have been super productive and exiciting and I am up running working efficiently my personal and projects as fullstack engineer. Here I want to share with you my Mac setup for web development and I will try to update ii all the time.

My Mac setup for web development in 2023

MacBook Pro Specification

  • 13-inch
  • 2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
  • 32 GB RAM
  • 512 GB SSD
  • QWERTZ = Czech
  • macOS Ventura (formerly Monterey)

System Preferences

  • Dock
    • Remove most applications from Dock
    • Automatic Hide
    • Smaller Dock
    • "Show recent applications in Dock" off
    • "Show indicators for open applications" on
  • Control Center
    • Battery -> "Show Percentage"
    • Show in Menu Bar
      • WIFI
      • Bluetooth
      • Focus
      • Screen Mirorring
      • Display
      • Sound
  • Display
    • Nightshift
    • Setup Wallpapers
  • Security
    • Touch ID
  • Notifications
    • Off, except for Calendar
  • Siri
    • Disable
  • Trackpad
    • Tap to Click
    • Point & Click -> Look up & data detectors off
  • Keyboard
    • Text
      • disable "Capitalise word automatically"
      • disable "Add full stop with double-space"
      • disable "Use smart quotes and dashes"
      • use " for double quotes
      • use ' for single quotes
  • Spotlight
    • Disable Spotlight except for Applications and System Preferences
  • Mission Control
    • Hot Corners: disable all
  • Finder
    • Sidebar:
      • activate all Favorites
      • move Library to Favorites
    • Hide all Tags
    • Show all Filename Extensions
    • Remove Items from Bin after 30 Days
    • View -> Show Preview (e.g. image files)
  • Sharing
    • "Change computer name"
    • Also terminal:
      • sudo scutil --set ComputerName "newname"
      • sudo scutil --set LocalHostName "newname"
      • sudo scutil --set HostName "newname"
    • "Make sure all file sharing is disabled"
  • Security and Privacy
    • Turn on FileVault
    • Add Browser to "Screen Recording"
  • Storage
    • Remove Garage Band & Sound Library
    • Remove iMovie
  • Trackpad
    • Speed: 7/10
  • Accessibility
    • Scroll Speed: 6/8
  • Screenshots
    • change save location
      • Command + Shift + 5 -> Options -> Other location: Pictures/screenshots

System Preferences (Terminal)

Override more system preferences from the terminal ...

# take screenshots as jpg (usually smaller size) and not png
defaults write type jpg

# do not open previous previewed files (e.g. PDFs) when opening a new one
defaults write ApplePersistenceIgnoreState YES

# show Library folder
chflags nohidden ~/Library

# show hidden files
defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES

# show path bar
defaults write ShowPathbar -bool true

# show status bar
defaults write ShowStatusBar -bool true

killall Finder;


If files from previous machine are needed, transfer via external drive instead of cloud


Install Homebrew as package manager for macOS:

# paste in terminal and follow the instructions
/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

Update everything in Homebrew to recent version:

brew update

Install GUI applications (read more about these in GUI Applications):

brew install --cask \
  1password \
  google-chrome  \
  firefox \
  brave-browser \
  iterm2 \
  visual-studio-code \
  sublime-text \
  docker \
  slack \
  vlc \
  figma \
  maccy \
  gpgtools \
  raycast \
  karabiner-elements \
  meld \
  spotify \
  postman \
  numi \
  dbgate \

Install terminal applications (read more about these in Terminal Applications):

brew install \
  wget \
  git \
  node \
  nvm \
  yarn \
  pnpm \
  mc \
  tig \
  gnupg \
  thefuck \
  htop \
  coreutils \

GUI Applications

Add Space to Dock

The look and feel we want to achieve from our Dock:

Dock Look

defaults write persistent-apps -array-add '{"tile-type"="spacer-tile";}'; killall Dock

Office Applications

Using instead of build-in applications.

  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft To Do
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Notion
  • OneDrive
  • Commander One
  • Spotify
  • Signal
  • Magnet
  • Rambox
    • Slack
    • WhatsApp
    • Messenger
    • Pocket

Terminal Applications

  • git (version control)
  • nvm (node version manager)
  • yarn (node package manager)

Dot Files


The look and feel we want to achieve from our terminal:

iTerm 2 Look
  • Make iterm2 Default Term
  • Preferences ->
    • General -> Window
      • unselect "Native full screen windows"
      • select "close windows when closing an app"
    • Appearance ->
      • Windows
        • select "Hide scrollbars"
      • Tabs
        • unselect "Show tab bar in fullscreen"
      • Dimming
        • Unselect all dimming
    • Profiles -> Window
      • Transparency: 7
      • Style: Full Screen
      • Screen: Main Screen
    • Profiles -> Advanced
      • Semantic History -> Open with editor ... -> VS Code
    • Open new split pane with current directory
    • Natural Text Editing
  • Bring it to fullscreen Command + Enters


When you open iTerm2, you see that MacOS already comes with zsh as default shell. Install Oh My Zsh for an improved (plugins, themes, ...) terminal (here: iTerm2) experience:

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"

Update everything (e.g. plugins) in Oh My Zsh to recent version:

omz update

Important: If you change something in your Zsh configuration (.zshrc), force a reload:

source ~/.zshrc

Oh My Zsh Theme + Fonts:

Install Agnoster as your new terminal theme. We will use Homebrew, but you can use an alternative from the website too:

brew install agnoster

Make it the default theme for Oh My ZSH from the terminal:

echo 'eval "$(agnoster init zsh)"' >> ~/.zshrc

Install powerline fonts. As font we will be using Hack Nerd Font in iTerm2, VS Code, and Sublime Text. Install it via:

brew tap homebrew/cask-fonts
brew install --cask font-hack-nerd-font

Use the new font in iTerm2: Preferences -> Profile -> Text -> Font: font-hack-nerd-font.

If the theme and font changes do not apply, reload your zsh configuration (.zshrc) or close/open iTerm2.

Install and configure powerleven10k

p10k configure

Install and configure Znap

Oh My Zsh Plugins

  • brew
  • cloudapp
  • dirnav
  • dotenv
  • extract
  • git
  • osx
  • zsh-autosuggestions
  • brew
  • composer
  • docker
  • gitfast
  • git-extras
  • git-flow
  • jira
  • node
  • npm
  • sublime
  • symfony2
  • tig
  • yarn
  • z
  • zsh-syntax-highlighting
  • zsh-autosuggestions
  • ssh-agent

ZSH Configuration File (.zshrc)

VS Code

The look and feel we want to achieve from our IDE:

VS Code Look

Activate settings sync with VSCode Setting Gist



From terminal, set global name and email:

git config --global "Your Name"
git config --global ""

Improved git log:

git config --global alias.lg "log --color --graph --pretty=format:'%Cred%h%Creset -%C(yellow)%d%Creset %s %Cgreen(%cr) %C(bold blue)<%an>%Creset' --abbrev-commit"

Now use:

git lg

Set the default branch to main instead of master:

git config --global init.defaultBranch main

Print global git configuration:

git config --list
# or alias
# gitconfig

Setup GPG commit verification

# To fix the " gpg: WARNING: unsafe permissions on homedir '/home/path/to/user/.gnupg' " error
# Make sure that the .gnupg directory and its contents is accessibile by your user.
chown -R $(whoami) ~/.gnupg/

# Also correct the permissions and access rights on the directory
chmod 600 ~/.gnupg/*
chmod 700 ~/.gnupg

# Originaly:

brew upgrade gnupg  # This has a make step which takes a while
brew link --overwrite gnupg
brew install pinentry-mac
echo "pinentry-program /usr/local/bin/pinentry-mac" >> ~/.gnupg/gpg-agent.conf
killall gpg-agent

echo "test" | gpg --clearsign  # on linux it's gpg2 but brew stays as gpg

git config --global gpg.program gpg  # perhaps you had this already? On linux maybe gpg2
git config --global commit.gpgsign true  # if you want to sign every commit

git commit -S -m ""

git log --show-signature -1

Export public GPG key

gpg --output public.pgp --armor --export username@email


There are two common strategies for SSH keys: one SSH key to rule them all or one SSH key per service. I use the latter one and will here run yout through it by connecting to GitHub via SSH.

First, create a new SSH key in the ~/.ssh folder:

in case the folder is not there yet

mkdir ~/.ssh

cd ~/.ssh
# or alias
# sshhome

ssh-keygen -t ed25519 -C "github"
# follow instructions
# use file name: github
# use passphrase and store it somewhere secure

Confirm whether passphrase was used properly by accessing private key:

ssh-keygen -y -f gitHub
# confirm with passphrase

Create the SSH configuration file if it doesn't exist yet:

# in case the file is not there yet
touch ~/.ssh/config

In your ~/.ssh/config file, add the new SSH key, so that it can get picked up for every terminal session automatically:

Host *
  AddKeysToAgent yes
  UseKeychain yes
  IdentityFile ~/.ssh/github

Add SSH key to MacOS' keychain:

ssh-add --apple-use-keychain ~/.ssh/github

Add the public key to your GitHub settings via the website or via the GitHub CLI (via brew install gh):

# copy public key and add it to
cat ~/.ssh/ | pbcopy

# or use GitHub's CLI
gh auth login
# for the first login I think the SSH key gets added

without the next command, but if not:

gh ssh-key add ~/.ssh/ -t github

That's it. You have created an SSH key locally for one specific service, secured it via a passphrase, made it automatically available for every terminal session, and applied it to GitHub. In the case of GitHub, you are now able to interact with GitHub via SSH.


The node version manager (NVM) is used to install and manage multiple Node versions. After you have installed it via Homebrew in a previous step, type the following commands to complete the installation:

echo "source $(brew --prefix nvm)/" >> ~/.zshrc

source ~/.zshrc
# or alias
# zshsource

Now install the latest LTS version on the command line:

nvm install <latest LTS version from>

Afterward, check whether the installation was successful and whether the node package manager (npm) got installed along the way:

node -v && npm -v

Update npm to its latest version:

npm install -g npm@latest

And set defaults for npm:

npm set "your name"
npm set ""
npm set ""

If you are a library author, log in to npm too:

npm adduser

That's it. If you want to list all your Node.js installation, type the following:

nvm list

If you want to install a newer Node.js version, then type:

nvm install <version> --reinstall-packages-from=$(nvm current)
nvm use <version>
nvm alias default <version>

Optionally install yarn if you use it as alternative to npm:

npm install -g yarn
yarn -v

If you want to list all globally installed packages, run this command:

npm list -g --depth=0

That's it. You have a running version of Node.js and its package manager.

I hope my setup helps other developers to get their Mac up and running. If you have any additional ideas or want to share your setup, let me know!


I code on

Literat © 2008 — 2024