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Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan Setup

Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan

Custom recipe to get OS X 10.11 El Capitan running from scratch, setup applications and developer environment. This is very similar (and currently mostly the same) as my 10.10 Yosemite setup recipe (as found on this gist Note that I expect this to change significantly as I install El Capitan several times.

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. On average, I reinstall each computer from scratch every 6 months, and I do not perform upgrades between distros.

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.

You are encouraged to fork this and modify it to your heart's content to match your own needs.

Install Software

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.

Install from App Store

Install from Third-Party Websites


Mensch coding font

#Xcode Command Line Tools

Xcode > Preferences > Downloads > Command Line Tools


Run Xcode and accept the license

Homebrew can not install properly until this occurs.

Install Homebrew

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"
brew doctor

At the time of this writing, brew doctor says that Xcode 6.1 is required, which means downloading it from the Apple Developer Center until it is released in the Mac App Store.

Install Homebrew extension Cask

brew install caskroom/cask/brew-cask

Install common applications via Homebrew

Databases are installed later.

brew install ack autojump automake colordiff curl git git-flow \
             hub icoutils imagemagick libmemcached memcached openssl ossp-uuid qt \
             readline redis tmux wget libxml2

Install applications via Homebrew Cask

brew cask install anvil
brew cask install atom
brew cask install authy-bluetooth
brew cask install awareness
brew cask install bartender
brew cask install battery-guardian
brew cask install firefox
brew cask install github-desktop
brew cask install google-chrome
brew cask install grandperspective
brew cask install hipchat
brew cask install joinme
brew cask install iterm2
brew cask install livereload
brew cask install ngrok
brew cask install parallels-desktop
brew cask install quicksilver
brew cask install rescuetime
brew cask install satellite-eyes
brew cask install sidestep
brew cask install skitch
brew cask install skype
brew cask install sonos
brew cask install spotify
brew cask install steam
brew cask install transmit
brew cask install vagrant
brew cask install vagrant-manager

Install Parallels plugin for Vagrant

vagrant plugin install vagrant-parallels

See for more details.


Install custom .dotfiles

git clone ~/.dotfiles

Update .bash_profile

echo 'source ~/.dotfiles/' >> ~/.bash_profile

OS X Preferences

#Set a blazingly fast keyboard repeat rate
defaults write NSGlobalDomain KeyRepeat -int 0.02

#Set a shorter Delay until key repeat
defaults write NSGlobalDomain InitialKeyRepeat -int 12

#Add a context menu item for showing the Web Inspector in web views
defaults write NSGlobalDomain WebKitDeveloperExtras -bool true

#Show the ~/Library folder
chflags nohidden ~/Library

#Store screenshots in subfolder on desktop
mkdir ~/Desktop/Screenshots
defaults write location ~/Desktop/Screenshots

Set hostname

sudo scutil --set HostName SpaceX-Falcon-9


Setup Github

ssh-keygen -t rsa -C ""

# Copy ssh key to
subl ~/.ssh/

# Test connection
ssh -T

# Set git config values
git config --global "Kevin Elliott"
git config --global ""
git config --global github.user kevinelliott
git config --global github.token your_token_here

git config --global core.editor "subl -w"
git config --global color.ui true

Sublime Text

Add Sublime Text CLI

mkdir -p ~/bin && ln -s "/Applications/Sublime" ~/bin/subl

Install Package Control

Run Sublime Text 3 and access the console via the CTRL + ``` shortcut or the View > Show Console` menu.

import urllib.request,os,hashlib; h = '7183a2d3e96f11eeadd761d777e62404' + 'e330c659d4bb41d3bdf022e94cab3cd0'; pf = 'Package Control.sublime-package'; ipp = sublime.installed_packages_path(); urllib.request.install_opener( urllib.request.build_opener( urllib.request.ProxyHandler()) ); by = urllib.request.urlopen( '' + pf.replace(' ', '%20')).read(); dh = hashlib.sha256(by).hexdigest(); print('Error validating download (got %s instead of %s), please try manual install' % (dh, h)) if dh != h else open(os.path.join( ipp, pf), 'wb' ).write(by)

See for more information. Their site has a note that this install code will change for each new release, so it would be good to check once in a while.

Install Packages

BracketHighlighter CoffeeScriptHaml

Install Soda Theme

git clone git:// ~/Library/Application\ Support/Sublime\ Text\ 2/Packages/Theme\ -\ Soda

Install Tomorrow Theme

git clone git:// ~/Library/Application\ Support/Sublime\ Text\ 2/Packages/Color\ Scheme\ -\ Tomorrow


Sublime Text > Preferences > Settings - User

  "bold_folder_labels": true,
  "close_windows_when_empty": true,
  "color_scheme": "Packages/User/SublimeLinter/Monokai-Cobalt (SL).tmTheme",
  "draw_indent_guides": false,
  "fade_fold_buttons": false,
  "font_face": "Source Code Pro",
  "font_size": 16,
  "highlight_line": true,
  "highlight_modified_tabs": true,
  "show_tab_close_buttons": false,
  "spell_check": false,
  "tab_size": 2,
  "translate_tabs_to_spaces": true,
  "theme": "Soda Light.sublime-theme",
  "word_separators": "./\\()\"'-:,.;<>~!@#%^&*|+=[]{}`~?",
  "word_wrap": true

Key Bindings

	{ "keys": ["super+b"], "command": "expand_selection", "args": {"to": "brackets"} },
	{ "keys": ["super+f"], "command": "show_panel", "args": {"panel": "replace"} },
	{ "keys": ["super+alt+f"], "command": "show_panel", "args": {"panel": "find"} }


git clone "/Users/Joel/Library/Application Support/Sublime Text 2/Packages/Byte"



brew install docker boot2docker
boot2docker init
boot2docker up


brew install mysql
brew pin mysql

MySQL Settings

# Copy launch agent into place
mkdir -p ~/Library/LaunchAgents && cp /usr/local/Cellar/mysql/VERSION/homebrew.mxcl.mysql.plist ~/Library/LaunchAgents/

# Edit launch agent and set both keepalive and launch at startup to false
vi ~/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.mysql.plist

# Inject launch agent
launchctl load -w ~/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.mysql.plist

# Set up databases to run as your user account
unset TMPDIR && mysql_install_db --verbose --user=`whoami` --basedir="$(brew --prefix mysql)" --datadir=/usr/local/var/mysql --tmpdir=/tmp

# Start mysql
start mysql

# Secure mysql


brew install postgres --no-ossp-uuid
brew pin postgres

PostgreSQL Settings

# Initialize db if none exists already
initdb /usr/local/var/postgres

# Create launchctl script
mkdir -p ~/Library/LaunchAgents
cp /usr/local/Cellar/postgresql/VERSION/homebrew.mxcl.postgresql.plist ~/Library/LaunchAgents/

# Edit launchctl script (set to not start automatically and keepalive false)
subl ~/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.postgresql.plist

# Inject launchctl script
launchctl load -w ~/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.postgresql.plist

# Start PostgreSQL
start pg

Ruby Gems

libv8 / therubyracer

brew uninstall v8
gem uninstall libv8
brew install v8
gem install therubyracer
gem install libv8 -v -- --with-system-v8


brew tap homebrew/dupes
brew install libxml2 libxslt libiconv
gem install nokogiri -- --with-iconv-dir=/usr/local/Cellar/libiconv/VERSION/


brew install -v --HEAD --without-ssse3
gem install capybara-webkit -v '0.9.0'

aww yeah

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cybertk commented Oct 15, 2015


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Please note boot2docker is replaced by dockertoolbox.

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@nklkarthi boot2docker is being replaced by docker-machine. Docker Toolbox installs additional software, like Kitematic as well, it's just a utility to install all the Docker utilities. If you're trying to avoid unused software, you'd want to be more specific.

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👍 thanks for sharing.

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Latest version of MySQL (mysql_install_db Ver 5.7.10, for osx10.11 on x86_64):

$ unset TMPDIR && mysql_install_db --verbose --user=`whoami` --basedir="$(brew --prefix mysql)" --datadir=/usr/local/var/mysql --tmpdir=/tmp
mysql_install_db: [ERROR] unknown variable 'tmpdir=/tmp'
2015-12-13 14:51:42 [ERROR]   Unrecognized options

--tmpdir doesn't seem to be available as an option anymore.

unset TMPDIR && mysqld --initialize --log-error-verbosity=1 --explicit_defaults_for_timestamp --user=whoami --basedir="$(brew --prefix mysql)" --datadir=/usr/local/var/mysql --tmpdir=/tmp seems to have worked though.

And start mysql doesn't work as start isn't a command. Running mysqld_safe results in an error in the error logfile Could not create unix socket lock file /var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock.lock..

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👍 Thanks for this

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Don't forget to restart the UI server after the OSX changes to make them take effect:

killall SystemUIServer

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dphov commented Jan 16, 2016

Thank you!

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dphov commented May 2, 2016

@kevinelliott, seems it's not available for download
brew install caskroom/cask/brew-cask
==> brew cask install caskroom/cask/brew-cask
Error: No available Cask for caskroom/cask/brew-cask
Error: nothing to install

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tianqig commented Aug 4, 2016

thanks for the post, very useful!

@dphov, @kevinelliott

I got the same error messages, but in my case download seem ok.

Have you figured out how to fix ?

$ brew install caskroom/cask/brew-cask
==> Tapping caskroom/cask
Cloning into '/usr/local/Library/Taps/caskroom/homebrew-cask'...
remote: Counting objects: 3814, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (3768/3768), done.
remote: Total 3814 (delta 83), reused 563 (delta 25), pack-reused 0
Receiving objects: 100% (3814/3814), 6.53 MiB | 3.58 MiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (83/83), done.
Checking connectivity... done.
Checking out files: 100% (3758/3758), done.
Tapped 1 formula (3,781 files, 15.5M)
==> brew cask install caskroom/cask/brew-cask
==> Creating Caskroom at /usr/local/Caskroom
Error: No available Cask for caskroom/cask/brew-cask
Error: nothing to install

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Alright guys, thank you for all of the feedback! I will be updating this recipe in order to accommodate all of the fixes.

I also wanted to announce that I just started putting together the macOS 10.12 Sierra setup recipe (see: for the upcoming release. I am using a more automated methodology for installing apps (harnessing Homebrew, Homebrew Cask and MAS more heavily) that I think you will like.

Would love your feedback there too.

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For 10.12, I took a drastically different approach. I'm letting Homebrew do a lot of the heavy lifting. No more do you need to go to the App Store and manually search for and download apps. Homebrew bundle can install all of your App Store, brew, and Cask applications.

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And for 10.13, I continued on the automation approach, and started putting things into scripts and data files within the Gist.

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