/ MacOS

Mac OSX 10.12 base config

Standard steps for making Mac OSX 10.12 usable for a person who is comfortable with a Linux desktop and/or may use virtualization to run Linux Desktops.

Mainly, I keep this for my own reference, but others may enjoy it as well.

For some of these reference hardentheworld.org

Setup Screensaver

Fix Toolbar & three-finger click

  • I just use BetterTouchTool (add-on):
    • Setup a mapping of three-finger-tap to middle-click
    • I remap my toolbar

Fix keyboard keys/shortcuts:

  • Flip Command/Alt keys so they work like the rest of the PC world.
    • Preferences -> Keyboard -> Keyboard -> Modifier Keys
  • Common PC/Linux keyboard shortcuts
    • Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> App Shortcuts:
      • "Find..." ^F
      • "Copy" ^C
      • "Paste" ^V
      • "Cut" ^X
      • "Print..." ^P
    • Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> iTerm:
      • "Find..." %F <- This re-enables ^F in iTerm
  • Control-Arrow in Terminal
    • In Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Mission Control

      • Move Space Left: ^%←
      • Move Space Right: ^%→
    • And add to your .bashrc the lines:

          bind '"\e[1;5C": forward-word'
          bind '"\e[1;5D": backward-word'

Note: Control-Arrow is an invaluable terminal cursor movement feature (one word at a time instead of per character). But MacOS took this key combination for switching desktops. Readjust.

Other apps:

  • Display Menu — switching resolutions @app store
  • Slack — chat
  • Clementine — Not Itunes
  • Darktable — Adobe Lightroom copied this ;)
  • Gimp — Bitmap Image Manipulation
  • Inkscape — Vector Image Editing
  • LibreOffice — Decent Office Suite
  • Scribus — Book Layout
  • Minecraft
  • VLC
  • ScreenHero — Got to: yourteam.slack.com/screenhero
  • VMware Fusion / Parallels — don't waste time with vbox
  • Skitch — available in apple app store
  • Audacity
  • Docker

Kill the dashboard. Dead.

Because I am not a fan

defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES && killall Dock

Install iTerm2

Still not gnome terminal, but getting closer. iterm2.com. Also set in app preferences:

  • Preferences -> Default -> Keys -> [+] and add Ctrl-Shift-N to spawn a new window (like in Linux)
  • Preferences -> Default -> Terminal -> Unlimited Scrollback
  • Set default terminal width to be 120 characters.


If you must.

Install homebrew

MacOS really just needs DNF/YUM, but homebrew does a decent enough job. Details at:


Then install some useful packages:

brew install htop # darwin's default top is brain dead
brew install gnupg2 # GPG
brew install ffmpeg ghostscript lame mpg123 mplayer
brew install nmap wireshark # networking tools
brew install youtube-dl # because who doesn't?
brew install geoip # geo ip lookups
brew install python3 # useful

Set a good hostname

Tired of the "XXXs-MBP" hostname?

sudo scutil --set HostName newhostname

Separate non-Store apps

Create (if it isn't there already) an /User/yourname/Applications folder in your home. Put your own downloaded apps there, rather than the system /Applications/

Fix quarantine whine:

xattr -dr com.apple.quarantine /Users/Applications/darktable.app

Automount Local file share:

/etc/auto_master add:

/share  -fstype=nfs,noowners,nolockd,noresvport,soft,bg nfs://x.y.0.10/share

and run:

automount -cv

General Security:

A good reference for dual boot:


Brandon Gillespie

Brandon Gillespie

Brandon loves Tech and has a breadth of experience including Author, CTO, Director, Architect, Consultant, and Developer across many companies including the USAF, Kuali and now Divvy (getdivvy.com).

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