Computer Setup

Complete the following steps before your first Mod 0 session in order to get the tools you’ll need on your machine. Plan to spend 60-120 minutes on this.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide. Click a link to jump to that portion of the guide:

New to Mac?

If this is your first time using a Mac, it is recommended you spend some time learning about the basics of using a Mac and getting comfortable with it.

Action Steps:

Install Rectangle

Rectangle is a screen management application that allows you to move and resize windows to maximize your screen space as well as your time.

Once you’ve installed Rectangle, open the application and it will run in the background. You should see a smaller version of the Rectangle icon in the top right corner of your screen.

Action Steps:

  • Download and install Rectangle
  • Take some time to play around with the commands to adjust the position and size of different windows on your screen using the Rectangle keyboard shortcuts

Install Chrome

Chrome includes a set of Developer Tools that will come in handy down the road. Additionally, it is always on the cutting edge of supporting new web technologies.

Action Steps:

Install Slack

Slack is our main communication tool at Turing. If you are not familiar with it, it may seem overwhelming at first. There are a lot of tips and tricks you’ll pick up along the way.

Action Steps:

Create replit Account

replit provides an online platform that allows us to write code and see the results almost immediately - all inside of one browser tab! There are many other similar (and awesome) tools available but replit is used regularly in Mods 1 and 2, so Mod 0 provides an introduction and some exposure.

Follow the steps below (if they are not necessary because you have already done them or have experience with replit, you can skip this):

  • Create a free account
  • Watch this video to learn how to navigate the interface and create new projects.

Create Trello Account

Trello is a Kanban-style project management tool we will use in Mod 0. It and other similar tools are used by most software developers to manage the tasks within a project.

Please create a free account with Trello. Next steps will be provided in your first Mod 0 session/class.

Install Zoom

Zoom is the primary tool for classroom time, study halls, and community building time at Turing.

Action Steps:

Enable Screen Sharing

Turing is a fully remote and highly collaborative program, which means you will be sharing your screen a lot.

Action Steps:

  • Enable screen sharing permissions by taking the following steps:
    1. Open the System Preferences app by pressing the command + space keys at the same time, which opens Spotlight. Then, start typing “System Preferences”; it will auto-fill. Press return and the System Preferences application will open
    2. Click Security and Privacy
    3. Click the Privacy tab
    4. Scroll down to Screen Recording and click the small “plus sign” button. In the window that opens, navigate to the Applications, then click on “Zoom”

Running Commands in the Terminal

The remainder of the Computer Setup steps will be completed via the Terminal application. This may be very new and potentially overwhelming to you! Follow the directions closely to work through each section.

The directions will use a phrase that may be new to you: "Run ____". When you are instructed to "run something", it means that you need to type those characters into the Terminal where you see the command prompt, then press return.

Command Prompt Notation

A common convention in documentation that outlines anything regarding the Terminal is to notate a command one should run by starting the line with a $. As the developer, you should not type the $; you should only type the command that follows it. It is meant to represent your command prompt (which is usually the path to your working directory).

Install Xcode-select

Xcode is a suite of development tools published by Apple. If we wanted to develop software for the Apple Ecosystem (iPhone apps, macOS apps, etc), we would use Xcode as our editor. Even though we’re not building iPhone apps, Xcode provides some system dependencies that we need.

Rather than download Xcode via the Apple Store, we can get a much smaller selection of necessary tools, called xcode-select, via our Terminal.

Action Steps:

  • Install xcode-select to your machine by taking the following steps:
    1. Open the Terminal by pressing the command + space keys at the same time, which opens Spotlight. Then start typing “Terminal”; it will auto-fill. Press return and the Terminal application will open
    2. Once the Terminal is open, run xcode-select --install. This download may take up to several hours
    3. When prompted, enter the password you use to login to your computer
    4. Run xcode-select. If xcode-select was installed properly, you should see something like this:
      $ xcode-select
        xcode-select: error: no command option given
        Usage: xcode-select [options]
        Print or change the path to the active developer directory. This directory
        controls which tools are used for the Xcode command line tools (for 
        example, xcodebuild) as well as the BSD development commands (such as cc 
        and make).
        -h, --help                  print this help message and exit
        (... and many more lines similar to the one above)

Install Homebrew

Homebrew is a package management system that allows us to install and run various programs on our machines—programming specific programs that we can only install via the Terminal.

Action Steps:

  • Install Homebrew by taking the following steps (some steps may take several minutes or more to finish):
    1. Open the Finder window by typing command + space and start typing Finder
    2. Click on the Applications folder on the left sidebar
    3. Click into the folder called Utilities
    4. Right click on the Terminal app and choose Get Info
    5. Check the box that says Open using Rosetta
    6. Use the keyboard shortcut cmd + q to close the Terminal
    7. Open the Terminal app by either double clicking the icon or using a Spotlight search for Terminal
    8. In Terminal, run arch; you should get an output of i386.
      • If you get arm64, that means your Terminal has not opened using Rosetta. Completely close the Terminal with the keyboard shortcut cmd + q. Open Terminal, then run arch and it should now output i386
    9. Run the following command:
      $ /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"
    10. When prompted, enter the password you use to log in to your computer. It needs this because it installs its packages in a place that all users of this computer can access. You will get a message that says, “Press RETURN to continue or any other key to abort.” Press return
    11. When it has completed the installation, which may take some time, quit the Terminal using command + q then start a new Terminal session. Run brew doctor. The output should tell you that everything is fine:
      $ brew doctor
      Your system is ready to brew.
    12. If you get a warning message like below, try the first solution it provides by running softwareupdate --all --install --force:
      WARNING: A newer Command Line Tools release is available.
      Update them from Software Update in System Preferences or run:
        softwareupdate --all --install --force
      If that doesn't show you any updates, run:
        sudo rm -rf /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools
        sudo xcode-select --install
      Alternatively, manually download them from:
      You should download the Command Line Tools for Xcode 13.1.
    13. If you had that warning and ran that additional command, when it has completed the installation, which may take some time, quit the Terminal using command + q then start a new Terminal session. Run brew doctor. The output should tell you that everything is fine:
      $ brew doctor
      Your system is ready to brew.

Install and Configure Atom

Atom is a code editor which is a program where we write and edit code. You’ve probably used Word or Google Documents in the past; this is similar, but a program specifically designed for code to be written in. There are many code editors available, and once you get a foundation you may choose to use others. We ask all students in Mod 0 and Mod 1 to use Atom so that staff can best support students and so that students can easily collaborate with one another.

Action Steps:

  • Download and install Atom
  • After downloading Atom, ensure that Atom appears in your Applications folder and is no longer in your Downloads folder!

Atom is where we write the code that powers our applications, but we’ll also do important work in the Terminal. We need our Terminal to be able to “talk to” Atom.

Action Steps:

  • Open Atom (from your Applications folder)
  • Drop down the Atom menu in the top left corner of your screen, and click “Install Shell Commands”
  • Confirm the Atom Shell Commands are installed properly by taking the following steps:
    1. Open the Terminal with Spotlight search (command + space, start typing Terminal and press return)
    2. Run atom . in the Terminal. Be sure to include a space between atom and the . If it is setup correctly, Atom will automatically open
    3. If you get an error, make sure Atom is in the Applications folder, not the Downloads folder
    4. If you still get an error, make sure you’ve selected Install Shell Commands from the Atom menu
    5. If it is still not working, run the following command:
    $ ln -s /Applications/ /usr/local/bin/atom

Install Git

Git is a Version Control System. It allows you to save work on your project and reference previous states of a project, if needed. Normally when we save something on our computer, the newer version overwrites the older version. This is problematic if we need to look back at an earlier version. Git solves this problem by providing you multiple save points. You can get the current version, and any previous version. Git’s philosophy: never lose anything.

Note: Git is not the same thing as GitHub. You’ll learn more about how they interact as you work through Mod 0.

Action Steps:

  • Install Git on your machine by taking the following steps:
    1. Open the Terminal, and run brew install git
    2. Check that it was successful by running git in the Terminal. It should output something like what follows:
      $ git
      usage: git [--version] [--help] [-C <path>] [-c <name>=<value>]
             [--exec-path[=<path>]] [--html-path] [--man-path] [--info-path]
             [-p | --paginate | -P | --no-pager] [--no-replace-objects] [--bare]
             [--git-dir=<path>] [--work-tree=<path>] [--namespace=<name>]
             <command> [<args>]
      These are common Git commands used in various situations:
      start a working area (see also: git help tutorial)
        clone      Clone a repository into a new directory
        init       Create an empty Git repository or reinitialize an existing one
  • Configure Git by carefully taking the following steps:
    1. Open the Terminal with Spotlight search (withcommand + space)
    2. Run the following commands, one at a time, substituting your own info for the first two commands:
      $ git config --global "Eric Weissman"
      $ git config --global
      $ git config --global init.defaultBranch main
      $ git config --global core.editor "atom --wait"
      $ git config --global pull.rebase false

Configure GitHub

GitHub is a widely used platform that hosts code projects and allows for collaborative workflows. You will spend a lot of time on this site and become fluent in using it as a tool.

Action Steps:

SSH keys are a secure and convenient way to authenticate. We won’t get into more detail right now, but setting this key up lets you skip typing in a password every time you want to interact with GitHub from the Terminal (which is going to be often!).

Action Steps:

  • Set up your SSH key by taking the following steps:
    1. Open the Terminal and run the following command - Use the email associated with your GitHub account
      $ ssh-keygen -t rsa -C ""
    2. When you’re prompted to “Enter a file in which to save the key,” press return. This accepts the default file location, which is ~/ssh/id_rsa
    3. When asked to enter a password, press enter, which means “no password”. You’ll see a confirmation message that looks like what follows:
      Your identification has been saved in id_rsa.
      Your public key has been saved in
      The key fingerprint is:
      The key's randomart image is:
      +---[RSA 2048]----+
      | .       =   ..  |
      |o . . o + = ..   |
      | =.o o o o o  .  |
      |+ +o. .  ..  . . |
      |.+E  .  S   o o..|
      |..     .  .o . .+|
      |        o  oo .o+|
      |       . o  ==o.=|
      |        . .+=B=o |
    4. In the Terminal, run ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa
    5. In the Terminal, run pbcopy < ~/.ssh/ This will add the SSH key to your clipboard
    6. Go to (You must be logged into your account!)
    7. Click the green “New SSH key” button.
    8. Leave the “title” section empty
    9. Paste the key into the “key” section with command + v
    10. Click the green “Add SSH key” button
    11. To test that our key is configured, run ssh -T in the Terminal. You should see something similar to the following.
      The authenticity of host ' ('... can't be established.
      RSA key fingerprint is 00:11:22:33:44:55:66:77:88:99:aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff.
      Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?
    12. When you see the above prompt, type yes and hit enter:
    13. At this point, if everything is set up correctly, you should see the the following:
      Hi <your_username>! You've successfully authenticated, but GitHub does not provide shell access.

Install NVM + Node

To write JavaScript in the command line and use essential “packages” while building apps, node and npm must be on the machine. nvm allows us to easily change the version of node our machine is using. This applies to both Front End and Back End students.

Action Items:

  • Install nvm and verify it was installed correctly by taking the following steps:
    1. Run the following command in your Terminal:
      $ curl -o- | bash
    2. Use cmd + q to close the Terminal. Then, re-open it
    3. Run command -v nvm. You should see the output nvm, which confirms nvm has been properly installed
  • Install and change to the latest stable version
    1. In the Terminal, run nvm install 16.15.1
    2. Run nvm use 16.15.1. The output should say something like `Now using node -v16.15.1 (npm v8.11.0)

Install rbenv

Action Items:

  • Install rbenv and verify it was installed correctly by taking the following steps:
    1. In the Terminal, run brew update. This may take several minutes
    2. Run brew install rbenv. This may also take several minutes
    3. Run rbenv init. The output should be something like:
        # Load rbenv automatically by appending
        # the following to ~/.zshrc
        eval "$(rbenv init -)"
    4. Run atom ~/.zshrc. Atom should open to a blank file, the zshrc file. Inside this file, type or copy-and-paste in: eval "$(rbenv init -)". Save the file.
    5. Close the Terminal using command + q - this is absolutely neccessary! Clicking the red dot in the corner is not a substitute
    6. Re-open the Terminal, and run rbenv versions. As long as you don’t get an error message, rbenv has been installed correctly
  • Use rbenv to change Ruby versions by taking the following steps:
    1. In the Terminal, run rbenv install 2.7.2. This may take several minutes, and will likely print a lot of output. Wait patiently until it finishes/the command prompt returns
    2. Run rbenv versions. You should now see 2.7.2 listed
    3. Run rbenv local 2.7.2
    4. Run ruby -v. The output should be something like ruby 2.7.2p105 (2018-10-18 revision 65156) [x86_64-darwin17]. If the output does not include ruby 2.7.2, command + q out of the Terminal and start this step over. If you still aren’t seeing ruby 2.7.2, check that you correctly followed the step above to edit your .zshrc file.
    5. Run rbenv global 2.7.2 then rbenv rehash. You should not expect any output from those commands
  • If you’ve followed these steps and are having issues, please DM the Mod 0 Lead on Slack ASAP. It is essential rbenv is installed on your machine correctly.