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So I have borked my system.

Running OS X 10.8.3, I have installed a mess of stuff; Ruby, RVM, Git, Node, Brew etc... As well as playing with dotfiles (http://dotfiles.github.io/) Which I really should have learned more about first.

My problem is I have messed things up to the point I am at a loss how to recover, and trying to run programs like Yeoman and Grunt I can not get to work. Commands are never found, I think it has to do partially with my $PATH being really messed up, the output is a mess, this is from echo $PATH

/Users/ryan/.rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.3-p362/bin:/Users/ryan/.rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.3-p362@global/bin:/Users/ryan/.rvm/rubies/ruby-1.9.3-p362/bin:/Users/ryan/.rvm/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/usr/local/deployd/bin:/usr/local/git/bin

So I am wondering, short of wiping and reinstalling everything on my computer, is there a way to "reset" my slate? Or how would I best go about uninstalling every program I have installed, including things like NPM packages, nuking my .dotfiles and cleaning my PATH so that I may begin again, as it were, with more knowledge and forethought?

I hope this all makes sense, thank you for any help!

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Restore from a backup. –  David Schwartz Apr 26 '13 at 17:25

2 Answers 2

You could do what was previously called an Archive and Install. What this does is reinstall the Mac OSX operating system, but leaves all your applications in the Applications folder intact and leaves all User data as well. It won't hurt to try and might just do the trick.

I would also recommend you start using the Time Machine. That would be an awesome way to restore your system in case of a disaster. See this page for more tips direct from Apple

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Apart from the usual "you should have made a backup", here's what you can do:

Assuming you installed Homebrew, and most of the dependencies through it (like Node.js and Git), you need to uninstall Homebrew first, according to this Gist.

You can then remove the following files / folders which aren't part of OS X by default:

  • ~/.rvm for RVM – nothing else needed. This will wipe all RVM Rubies and Gems.

  • ~/.bash_profile or ~/.profile for all custom PATHs you may have set there.

  • /usr/local/git for the Git from the official installer (not the Homebrew version).

  • Some programs might put their executable paths into a file in /etc/paths.d. This happens to be the case for Git as well, so delete /etc/paths.d/git (and perhaps /etc/manpaths.d/git).

Don't forget to restart your Terminal after doing everything. If your system still seems borked, consider backing up your documents and maybe some settings from ~/Library and starting fresh.

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