Set up your MacOS environment as a Linuxer

I’ve been a Linux users for years, and switching for Mac was actually a great experience. I just had to get some additions to be at ease.

Terminal: Brew

The Missing Package Manager for macOS (or Linux) — Homebrew

First, I got the terminal kinda the way I wanted – I assue you it’s so much less frustrating than using the Windows Terminal.

The only thing I needed to complete my MacOS Terminal was installing HomeBrew, which gives access to a command brew equivalent to the Linux apt (or yum, pacman depending on your distribution).

It’s useful to install packages and just feel like you’re on a Linux terminal when commands are not already supported by the Apple terminal (but most are).


Windows manager: Spectacle

Spectacle (Aero snap for macOS) - YouTube

Spectacle is a free window manager for MacOS. It’s really simple, allowing to resize windows at 1/2 or 1/3 size of the screen, vertically and horizontally.

It’s not maintained anymore, but I have no further needs so I keep it.

Screenshot folder

Taking screenshots on MacOS is really very pleasant – it’s the one I had the best experience with from scratch, so far. You can use either Command+Shift+3 to screenshot all of your screen, or Command+Shift+4 to only select a subset of it.

Unfortunately, all your screenshots are automatically transferred to the desktop. So yes, if you take one screenshot a week, your desktop will become a mess and ugly to look at when you start your computer. Why did Apple choose this behavior by default?

Hopefully, changing the default directory is easy.

Just follow the three lines of code below:

mkdir ~/Documents/Screenshots
defaults write location ~/Documents/Screenshots
killall SystemUIServer
  • The first one create the directory where we want our screenshots to be stored,
  • The second write this location as the defaults for the screencapture method, and
  • The last one allow to restart the UI Server to apply the changes.

Volume Mixer

There is no built-in app to modulate the volume output of each one of your applications, but it can be really useful.

An australian GitHub user created an audio utility to help with that: kyleneideck/BackgroundMusic.

That’s it

Annnd yeah that’s it. Everything else felt at home for me.

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