Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm new to programming (mostly for scripting utilities - python, perl, ruby) and work with a Macbook running snow leopard.

Despite what Mac is capable of out of the box as a UNIX based OS, I still feel like I am struggling routinely to get the necessary libraries, programs, etc that make my programming tasks move more swimmingly. That is, I feel like every time I need to do something, I have to download another library, another plug-in, another whatever and then have to spend 3 hours configuring my system (export PATH here, copy files to this that or the other local/bin, search over and over for solutions to a "broken" program etc). By the end of it all, I'm no longer in the mood to carry out the task I set out to do.

This leads me to feel like my computer is a huge mess and not optimized for handling routine programming tasks.

I have macports and regularly get installs from there. But I was wondering if someone knows of a boilerplate resource for the top X things you need to do to make your mac more programmer-friendly, to make it more Linux-y, in a sense.

share|improve this question
That is a tough question as it is going to be tough to be so general. If you specified the type of work you're looking to do it might helps bring out a more precise answer. – dtlussier Aug 24 '10 at 18:24
In the old days that was the only way there was. What you are asking for are a programmer friendly package system with the packages in it you need. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Aug 24 '14 at 13:05
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I installed Fink

share|improve this answer
See also brew and macports with discussion at apple.[macports-vs-fink-vs-homebrew](… and [… – here Sep 5 '14 at 2:04

I will be honest with you. I have run into the same set of problems time and time again. I decided that the best route for me was to set up VMWare Fusion, and install my favourite Linux distribution on it. That is where I do most of my development work that is troublesome to set up on OS X itself in the first place. Of course, I am not in the habit of using fancy IDEs or editors, and since I love, I can keep to using it while getting my work done (on the VM remotely).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.