Provisioning for Macs

Devops has made massive progress in managing servers — but is there anything like this for a Mac laptop? I use quite a wide range of apps, and I like them all to be installed & configured… is there a way to do this?

Yes there is! Homebrew is great (& a well known tool) for managing packages but now brew has the ability to install applications as well: Homebrew cask. After installing Homebrew, to install it just enter: brew tap caskroom/cask

Then (for example): to install google chrome browser, just use: brew cask install google-chrome .

Unfortunately if an app’s been purchased via the apple app store, then (unsurprisingly) Cask doesn’t know about the app’s been paid for.

To see what apps cask has installed: brew cask list. For me this gives:

alfred, ansible-dk, atom, caffeine, dropbox, evernote, google-chrome, google-drive, grandperspective, keepassx, liya, pycharm, scrivener, slack, spotify, steam, sublime-text, tower

It would be nice to be able to install from a file. This page suggests making a big bash script for it: It works.


What else can we use to provision a Mac?

Boxen: this uses puppet to provision from a definition file: aimed to solve the problem of continually setting up new machines for new hires: just run the provisioning script & accounts, apps and everything are set up — new hire can then just get to work!

Unfortunately, this project doesn’t appear to be actively supported.

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