Laptop Setup Script

Since 2011, I've been the primary maintainer of Laptop, a shell script which turns a Mac OS X laptop into an awesome development machine.

Instead of copying and pasting a series of steps from a blog post, a better approach to setting up a machine as a software development environment is to leverage automation and the open source community to save time and get a more stable result.


Download, review, then execute the script:

curl --remote-name
less mac
sh mac 2>&1 | tee ~/laptop.log

Optionally, install thoughtbot/dotfiles.

How it works

The script should take less than 15 minutes to install (depending on the machine).

The mac script is short. It is intended to be human-readable so that we know exactly what is installed and idempotent in case an error requires the script to be run two or more times.

What it sets up

Laptop currently sets up these common components:

Extending the script

Individuals can add their own customizations in ~/.laptop.local. An example ~/.laptop.local might look like this:


fancy_echo "Upgrading Homebrew formulae ..."
brew upgrade

brew bundle --file=- <<EOF
brew "go"
brew "neovim/neovim/neovim"
brew "shellcheck"
brew "watch"

cask "ngrok"

fancy_echo "Cleaning up old Homebrew formulae ..."
brew cleanup
brew cask cleanup

if [ -r "$HOME/.rcrc" ]; then
  fancy_echo "Updating dotfiles ..."

The ~/.laptop.local script can take advantage of the Laptop script's shared functions and exit trap to provide better script output and aid debugging.

What's next

After using Laptop to set up a development machine, a great next step is to use thoughtbot/dotfiles to configure Vim, Zsh, Git, and Tmux with well-tested settings that we've evolved since 2011.

Our dotfiles use the same ~/*.local convention as the Laptop script in order to manage team and personal dotfiles together with rcm.