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macOS 10.14 Mojave Mostly-Automated Setup
An easy to refer to document for regularly setting up macOS 10.14 Mojave.
The topic of recipe-based frequent fresh reinstalls of macOS is a controversial issue. Some people are against reinstalling macOS, citing that they have never had an issue with Apple provided upgrade installs. While this can often be true, this depends on a number of things, such as how customized your system settings are and how much cruft has developed since the last fresh install.
Purpose of Fresh Installs
I use this gist to keep track of the important software and steps required to have a functioning system after a semi-annual fresh install. I generally reinstall each computer from scratch every 6 months, and I do not perform upgrades between releases.
This keeps the system performing at top speeds, clean of trojans, spyware, and ensures that I maintain good organizational practices for my content and backups. I highly recommend this.
By using this document and re-install pattern, I can usually be up and running within 60 minutes with a fully-functioning system, so that I minimize downtime of productive work.
You are encouraged to fork this and modify it to your heart's content to match your own needs.
If you find it useful: feel free to shoot me an email (
firstname.lastname@example.org), leave a comment, or tell others about it.
Previous Setup Gists
I have a long history of creating these gists... one for every major version of the OS.
My previous macOS / OSX setup gists:
- macOS 10.13 High Sierra - https://gist.github.com/kevinelliott/39c453d305e40c8f157452aee87fa9d8
- macOS 10.12 Sierra - https://gist.github.com/kevinelliott/7a152c556a83b322e0a8cd2df128235c
- Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan - https://gist.github.com/kevinelliott/e12aa642a8388baf2499
- Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite - https://gist.github.com/kevinelliott/0726211d17020a6abc1f
The software selected is software that is "tried and true" --- software I need after any fresh install. I often install other software not listed here, but is handled in a case-by-case basis.
System Config Files
Files from my personal
system-config repository on GitHub. There are some useful scripts and configs that make this process quick. This contains a
Brewfile, for example.
git clone https://github.com/kevinelliott/system-config ~/.system-config
ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
Xcode Command Line Tools
During install of Homebrew, the script will kindly detect that you have not yet installed Xcode Command Line Tools, and pop up a dialog asking if you want to install it. Yes, you do. I defer to install the full Xcode until later since the download takes longer and I want to keep moving forward. For now, just the Xcode Command Line Tools.
Mac App Store Command Line Tools
mas command by
argon is a handy tool to interact with the App Store without needing to point and click, search, and otherwise need manual intervention. This lets us install the next batch of software very quickly using Terminal.
Now that Homebrew is installed, it's easy to get mas:
brew install mas
Then signin to the Mac App Store for the first time (if you are already signed in, then it will tell you):
mas signin YOUR@EMAIL.COM
Install binaries from a Brewfile (apps from App Store using mas, apps from Cask)
Edit Brewfile for last minute changes
You may wish to add or remove a few App Store or Cask items before initiating Homebrew to install all of the applications. If you wish to review these now you may fork the
system-config repo and edit the Brewfile (
brew bundle --file=~/.system-config/Brewfile
This will take some time, especially if you have a slow internet connection and because Xcode is huge. But it's faster than you having to search the App Store app and click to install for each of these!