Pre-release Leopard set-up notesEdit


Having to repeatedly install new Leopard seeds I wanted to record some set-up notes here to help guide me through the repetitive steps that I have to go through each time in order to get things configured the way I like.

There is nothing really specific to Leopard in these notes; I would basically have to go through the same steps in order to set up Tiger for basic development use.

These notes replace the shorter, older version in "Quickly setting up a machine for testing with a pre-release seed".

For notes on setting up the final release, see "Leopard set-up notes".


Given the potential instability of prerelease OS seeds I don’t want to do any data migration or sharing. I basically want a clean install with just the minimum of configuration and set-up to get it into a workable state.


As the seeds become more reliable and usable I spend more time running them and inevitably invest more time making my working environment comfortable. In the lead-up to the final Leopard release I start making tar archives of my home directory prior to upgrading (and the "upgrades" are always clean installs because I want to keep the seed installs as pristine and reliable as possible). I can then use these archives to take some shortcuts when setting up after installation (for example, extracting my work folder which already contains a bunch of Git repositories).

I use tar like this to create the needed archive:

sudo tar -cv -f "${TARGETVOL}/wincent-9a466.tbz2" --bzip2 -C "${BACKUPDIR}" .

# inspect contents of archive
bzcat "${BACKUPDIR}/wincent-9a466.tbz2" | tar -t

First boot

  • Run software update immediately
  • Install Xcode
  • Lower privileges

I don’t like to run as an administrator for day-to-day use, principally to minimize the potential impact of security holes. So I create a new user account with administrator privileges and then drop those privileges from my principal account.


There are some preferences which I just have to change to prevent madness:

  • Keyboard
    • Raise key repeat rate to maximum
  • Mouse
    • Enable secondary button
    • Make scroll ball act as "Button 3"
    • Turn off "squeeze" action
  • Sound
    • Turn off "Play user interface sound effects"
    • Turn off "Play feedback when volume is changed"
    • Turn off "Play Front Row sound effects"
    • Turn down "Alert volume" close to minimum


  • Appearance
    • Increase number of recent items
  • Sharing
    • Change computer name to something short, for example "leopard"
  • Date & Time
    • Make menu bar clock show seconds

Necessary in untrusted environments:

  • Security:
    • Turn on "Disable automatic login"
    • Turn on "Require password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver"


  • Desktop and Screen Saver
    • Set up hot corners
    • Start screen saver after 5 minutes of inactivity
  • Exposé and Spaces
    • Enable Spaces (four groups)
  • Energy Saver:
    • Set the computer to never go to sleep
  • Safari:
    • Set "New windows open with" to "Empty Page"
    • Turn off 'Open "safe" files after downloading"
    • Turn on AutoFill for "User names and passwords"
    • Select "Show Status Bar" and "Show Tab Bar"

Developer tools


  • Add Terminal to Dock (and while you’re there remove all the crud that doesn’t need to be in there)
  • Setup preferences:
    • Black on light yellow (FFFFCC) color scheme
    • Windows should be 132 columns by 54 rows
    • Turn off "Set LANG environment variable on startup" (makes Perl tools complain loudly)
    • Bind Option-Left and Option-Right to \033b and \033f respectively (word-based movement); in order to set these up you have to paste in those strings.
  • Set up sudo:

Must add a line like this:

wincent ALL=(ALL)       ALL

To the sudoers file:

su admin_username
sudo visudo
  • Setup work directory and transfer useful files across from previous install:
# or, if you have a tar archive of the previous install
mkdir ~/tmp
cd ~/tmp
cp path_to_archive/archive.tbz2 .
tar xjvf archive.tbz2
mv trabajo ../

# and while we're here...
mv bin .MacOSX .ssh .bash_profile .gitaliases .gitconfig .gitignore .gitk .gnupg .inputrc .subversion ../
cd ~/trabajo/vendor/aee/aee-2.2.15b
make clean
sudo make install
cd ../../ee/easyedit-1.4.6
make clean
sudo make install
cd ../../git/gnupg-1.4.7
make clean
make check
sudo make install
cd ../git-
make clean
make prefix=/usr/local all
make prefix=/usr/local test
echo $?
sudo make prefix=/usr/local install
cd ..
sudo tar xjv -C /usr/local/man -f git-manpages-
cd ../wget/wget-1.10.1
make clean
make check
sudo make install
cd ../../ragel/ragel-5.24
cd test
cd ..
sudo make install
cd ../../doxygen
hdiutil attach Doxygen-1.5.3.dmg
sudo ditto /Volumes/Doxygen /Applications/Doxygen
sudo mv /Applications/Doxygen/ /Applications/
sudo rm -r /Applications/Doxygen
hdiutil detach `hdiutil info | grep "/Volumes/Doxygen" | awk '{print $1}'`
  • Log out and log in again for environment settings to take effect

Essential software

  • Install into ~/bin/ (if you didn’t already do it above)
    • Launch while holding down the Option key so as to add in SSH identities to register at launch time
      • ~/.ssh/id_dsa
      • ~/.ssh/id_dsa_subversion
      • ~/.ssh/id_dsa_git
    • Set to run at login time

See also