The letter A styled as Alchemists logo. lchemists
Published October 6, 2016 Updated February 18, 2024
macOS Configuration Icon

macOS Configuration


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:

None are used at the moment.

Rust Crates

Installs the following Rust crates:


  1. Apple Silicon hardware.

  2. macOS

  3. Xcode


To install, run:

git clone
cd mac_os-config
git checkout 25.1.0


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


Ensure you have the following in place for your Silicon machine:

  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 off your machine.

    2. Start your machine by pressing and holding the POWER button until you see startup options being loaded.

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

    4. Select Reduced Security.

    5. 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

      • Login (if not already).

      • Update avatar.

      • Configure iCloud.

      • Enable Find My Mac.

    • Bluetooth

      • Reconnect keyboard, mouse, and earbuds.

    • Sound

      • Disable Play sound on startup.

      • Disable Play user interface sound effects.

    • Screen Time

      • Disable entire feature.

    • General

      • Login Items

        • Ensure only Alfred is listed.

      • Language and Region

        • Set First day of week to Monday.

        • Set Date format to YYYY-MM-DD.

    • Appearance

      • Use Auto theme.

    • Control Center

      • Disable Battery and Spotlight from showing in Menu Bar.

    • Privacy & Security

      • Enable FileVault.

    • Wallpaper

      • Select custom image from Documents.

    • Screen Saver

      • Use Message with custom text.

    • Battery

      • Click Options and enable Prevent automatic sleeping on power adapter when the display is off.

    • Lock Screen

      • Set Start Screen Saver when inactive for 5 minutes.

      • Set Turn display off on battery when inactive for 2 minutes.

      • Set Turn display off on power adapter when inactive for 10 minutes.

      • Set Require password after screen saver begins or display is turned off for 5 minutes.

      • Set Show message when locked. Example: <url> | <email> | <phone>.

    • Touch ID & Password

      • Rename fingerprint.

      • Enable use of Touch ID for all settings.

      • Enable use of Apple Watch.

    • Users & Groups

      • Update avatar image.

      • Remove unused login items.

      • Disable guest account.

    • Internet Accounts

      • Add all accounts.

    • Wallet & Apple Pay

      • Reenable all accounts and assign default card.

    • Keyboard

      • Set Key repeat rate to max level.

      • Set Delay until repeat to short (max) level.

      • Keyboard 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.

        • Select Spotlight and uncheck all boxes.

    • Printers & Scanners

      • Add printer/scanner.

  • iStat Menus

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

  • Carbon Copy Cloner

    • Notifications

      • Disable Allow notifications when the display is sleeping.

      • Disable Allow notifications when the screen is locked.

      • Disable Allow notifications when mirroring or sharing the display.

      • Disable Show notifications on lock screen and Play sound for notification for all applications.

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

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 + w: Mission Control

  • 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


Engineered by Brooke Kuhlmann.