Mac setup

November 30, 2019

My preferred macOS Catalina setup for a new Mac. Install and/or configure items in the order they appear on this list. This assumes the computer is starting from a fresh Catalina installation.

Local machine name

Go to System Preferences -> Sharing and set the computer name.


Go to Finder -> Preferences and configure preferences.


If the new Mac is replacing an older Mac, then sign out of iCloud on the old Mac.

Sign in to iCloud on the new Mac to sync bookmarks, email, etc.

Disable FaceTime by opening the app and signing out.


Install Xcode from the App Store which will also install Git.

Open Xcode to make sure developer tools and components are installed.


Install Wipr from the App Store then open Wipr to enable it in Safari.


Download from

Snazzy theme available at


See installation instructions at

Add the git module to .zpreztorc


Place the following settings in the ~/.vimrc file:

" Use Vim settings, which are much better than Vi settings. Vi is for grandpas.
" This must be first, because it changes other options as a side effect.
set nocompatible

" Enable file type detection and do language-dependent indenting
filetype plugin indent on

" Turn on syntax highlighting
syntax on

" Make backspace behave in a sane manner
set backspace=indent,eol,start

" Use the system clipboard
set clipboard=unnamed

" Allow switching buffers without saving currently modified file
set hidden

" Highlight search results
set hlsearch

" Enable mouse support
set mouse=a

" Show line numbers
set number

" Disable swap file creation
set noswapfile

" Always display status line
set laststatus=2

" Press jj to exit from insert mode
imap jj <Esc>

" change cursor to vertical bar in insert mode when using iTerm on Mac
if $TERM_PROGRAM =~ "iTerm"
  let &t_SI = "\<Esc>]50;CursorShape=1\x7" " vertical bar in insert mode
  let &t_EI = "\<Esc>]50;CursorShape=0\x7" " block in normal mode

Sublime Text

Download from then use license key to register the application.

To open Sublime Text from the command line add the following alias to ~/.zshrc:

# Open Sublime Text from command line
alias subl="/Applications/Sublime\"

Preferences for Sublime Text are given below. Go to Sublime Text -> Preferences -> Settings.

    "color_scheme": "Packages/Color Scheme - Default/Mariana.sublime-color-scheme",
    "hot_exit": false,
    "font_size": 13,
    "theme": "Adaptive.sublime-theme",
    "translate_tabs_to_spaces": true,
    "trim_trailing_white_space_on_save": true,

Install package control with Command-Shift-P.

Install SublimeLinter package, see instructions at

Install SublimeLinter-flake8 for Python, see

In Sublime Text, go to Preferences -> Package Settings -> SublimeLinter -> Settings and add the following linter options:

    "gutter_theme": "Default",
    "linters": {
        "flake8": {
            "args": ["--ignore=E501,W605"]

Vim key bindings shown below are for exiting Vim insert mode in Sublime Text. These settings are accessed from the menu Sublime Text -> Preferences -> Key Bindings.

        "keys": ["j", "j"],
        "command": "exit_insert_mode",
        "context": [
            { "key": "setting.command_mode", "operand": false },
            { "key": "setting.is_widget", "operand": false}

These settings are for the SideBarEnhancements plugin. The settings are available in the menu at Sublime Text -> Preferences -> Package Settings -> Side Bar - > Settings.

    "close_affected_buffers_when_deleting_even_if_dirty": true,

Git and GitHub

Configure Git in the terminal using the following commands (change name and email accordingly):

git config --global "John Doe"
git config --global ""

Use to create a Git ignore file at ~/.gitignore and set it as the global file with:

git config --global core.excludesfile ~/.gitignore

Use a personal access token as the GitHub password for the command line. See here for more details.


Installation instructions are provided at and don’t forget to disable analytics via link provided after installation.


Installation instructions provided at


Download from


Installer available at

Copy the contents of .bash_profile into the .zshrc file.

To disable auto activate use:

conda config --set auto_activate_base false

To permanently enable Miniconda Python use the following in ~/.zshrc:

# Set Python PATH to Miniconda3
export PATH="$HOME/miniconda3/bin:$PATH"


Move the photos library ~/Pictures/Photos Library.photoslibrary from the old Mac to the new Mac.


Download from


Instructions for installing Jekyll for use with GitHub Pages are detailed in the README for my personal website.