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Published October 6, 2016 Updated October 21, 2021
macOS Configuration Icon

macOS Configuration

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Shell scripts for customized macOS machine setup and configuration.

This project provides a highly opinionated default configuration built upon the macOS project. Should the configuration provided by this project not be to your liking, feel free to fork and customize for your specific needs.


Due to the amount of tooling used, the following features are broken down into subsections for easier navigation.

Non-App Store Applications

Installs the following macOS applications which are not located in the App Store:

Node Packages

Installs the following Node packages:

Rust Crates

Installs the following Rust crates:



To install, run:

git clone
cd mac_os-config
git checkout 19.1.0


The following will walk you through the steps of installing/re-installing your machine.


Ensure you have the following in place:

  1. Ensure a backup of your Apple, NAS, backup image, and Dropbox credentials are available.

  2. Ensure a recent backup of your machine exists and works properly.

  3. Ensure Startup Security Utility is disabled.

    1. Turn on or restart your machine then press and hold POWER (Silicon) or COMMAND + R (Intel) buttons immediately upon boot or restart.

    2. Select Utilities → Startup Security Utility from the main menu.

    3. Select Secure Boot: No Security.

    4. Select External Boot: Allow booting from external media.

    5. Click Turn Off Firmware Password.

    6. Quit the utility and restart the machine.


  1. Create a macOS Boot Disk and follow instructions.

  2. Ensure latest software updates are applied per macOS Requirements.

  3. Ensure Xcode is installed per macOS Requirements.

  4. Run macOS Install and follow all prompts.


The following are additional steps, not easily automated, that are worth completing after the install scripts have completed:

  • System Preferences

    • Apple ID

      • Configure iCloud.

      • Enable Find My Mac.

    • Security & Privacy

      • General

        • Require password immediately after sleep or screen saver begins.

        • Enable message when screen is locked. Example: <url> | <email> | <phone>.

        • Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.

      • FileVault

        • Enable FileVault and save the recovery key in a secure location (i.e. 1Password).

      • Firewall

        • Enable.

        • Automatically allow signed software.

        • Enable stealth mode.

    • Internet Accounts

      • Add all accounts.

    • Touch ID

      • Rename fingerprint.

    • Keyboard

      • Keyboard

        • Slide Key Repeat to Fast (max).

        • Slide Delay Until Repeat to Short (max).

      • Shortcuts

        • Select Launchpad and Dock and uncheck Turn Dock Hiding On/Off.

        • Select Mission Control and assign CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + N to Show Notification Center.

        • Select Screenshots and uncheck all boxes.

    • Desktop and Screen Saver

      • Select Desktop, click +, and choose custom image.

      • Select Screen Saver, select Message, enter custom message, start after 10 minutes, and check show with clock.

    • Bluetooth

      • Reconnect keyboard, mouse, and earbuds.

    • Network

      • Configure Wi-Fi.

    • Printers & Scanners

      • Add printer/scanner.

    • Users & Groups

      • Update avatar image.

      • Remove unused login items.

      • Disable guest account.

    • Wallet and Apple Pay

      • Reenable all accounts and assign default card.

    • Sound

      • Sound Effects

        • Uncheck Play sound on startup.

        • Uncheck Play user interface sound effects.

      • Battery

        • Click on Battery and uncheck Show battery status in menu bar.

        • Click on Power Adapter and check Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off.

    • Notifications

      • Do Not Disturb

        • Enable Do Not Disturb from 9pm to 7am.

        • Enable When display is sleeping.

        • Enable When screen is locked.

        • Enable When mirroring.

        • Disable Allow calls from everyone.

        • Enable allow repeated calls.

      • Applications

        • Select Banners for all apps.

        • Disable Show notifications on lock screen.

        • Disable Play sounds for notifications.

  • iStat Menus

    • Double click, within the Applications folder, to install as a system preference.

  • Carbon Copy Cloner

    • Rename old backup, create new backup, and set frequency schedule.

  • Ensure Startup Security Utility is enabled.

    • Restart your machine then press and hold COMMAND + R immediately after seeing the Apple logo.

    • Select Secure Boot: Full Security.

    • Select External Boot: Disallow booting from external or removable media.

    • Click Turn On Firmware Password.

    • Quit the utility and restart the machine.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Several applications provide global hotkey support. These are the associations I use (which are also captured in the as well):

  • COMMAND + SPACE (hold): Siri (open)

  • COMMAND + SPACE: Spotlight (open)

  • CleanShot - See article for details.

  • CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + b: Bartender (hidden menu toggle)

  • CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + c: Pika (copy color)

  • CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + d: Alfred Define (use OPTION to open Dictionary)

  • CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + h: Alfred Highlight Syntax

  • CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + k: Keymou (cursor highlight show/hide)

  • CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + m: Moom (show/hide)

  • CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + n: Notification Center (show/hide)

  • CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + o: Alfred Open URL in default browser

  • PixelSnap - See article for details.

  • CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + r: Resolutionator (selector)

  • CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + t: Alfred Large Type

  • CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + ←: Keymou (move cursor left)

  • CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + ↑: Keymou (move cursor up)

  • CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + →: Keymou (move cursor right)

  • CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + ↓: Keymou (move cursor down)

  • CONTROL + OPTION + COMMAND + ENTER: Keymou (move cursor by division)

  • CONTROL + OPTION + SPACE: OmniFocus (quick entry)

  • OPTION + SPACE: Alfred (open)


Native to macOS, newsyslog can be used to configure system-wide log rotation across multiple projects. It’s a good recommendation to set this up so that disk space is carefully maintained. Here’s how to configure it for your system, start by creating a configuration for your projects in the /etc/newsyslog.d directory. In my case, I use the following configurations:

  • /etc/newsyslog.d/alchemists.conf

      # logfilename                                            [owner:group]    mode   count   size  when  flags
      /Users/bkuhlmann/Dropbox/Development/Work/**/log/*.log                    644    2       5120  *     GJN
  • /etc/newsyslog.d/homebrew.conf

      # logfilename                   [owner:group]    mode   count   size    when  flags
      /usr/local/var/log/**/*.log                      644    2       5120    *     GJN

These configurations ensure that logs are rotated every 5MB (5120KB). In order to test that these configurations are valid, run:

sudo newsyslog -nvv

If you don’t see any errors in the output, then your configuration settings are correct.

The last thing to do is to add a launch configuration to ensure the log rotations happen at regularly scheduled intervals. To do this create the following file: $HOME/Library/LaunchAgents/ It should have the following content:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">

That’s it. System-wide log rotation is setup for your projects.


While this project’s configuration is opinionated and tailored for my setup, you can easily fork this project and customize it for your environment. Start by editing the files found in the bin and lib directories. Check out the macOS Customization Documentation for further details.

TIP: The installer determines which applications/extensions to install as defined in the script. Applications defined with the “APP_NAME” suffix and extensions defined with the “EXTENSION_PATH” suffix inform the installer what to care about. Removing/commenting out these applications/extensions within the file will cause the installer to skip these applications/extensions.


To contribute, run:

git clone
cd mac_os-config


Read Semantic Versioning for details. Briefly, it means:

  • Major (X.y.z) - Incremented for any backwards incompatible public API changes.

  • Minor (x.Y.z) - Incremented for new, backwards compatible, public API enhancements/fixes.

  • Patch (x.y.Z) - Incremented for small, backwards compatible, bug fixes.

Code of Conduct

Read Code of Conduct for details.


Read Contributions for details.


Read License for details.


Read Changes for details.


Engineered by Brooke Kuhlmann.