Fresh MacOS installation

Anh-Thi Dinh

Check info:

1# Current version of MacOSX
2sw_vers -productVersion
4# Check if XCode Command Line Tools is installed
5xcode-select —install
6# Should return "/usr/bin/xcrun"
7# If there is any problem, try to install XCode from App Store!
9# check if running on ARM or Intel
11# arm64 -> ARM
12# i386 -> Intel (running with Rosetta)

Keyboard & Trackpad settings

Go to Keyboard Settings and then,
  1. Should choose "U.S." instead of "U.S. International" because with the latter, we have underline score below special symbols like "
  1. For Vietnamese input method, DON'T choose built-in VNese input options. Use GoTiengViet EVKey instead (Turn off Gatekeeper before installing by sudo spctl —master-disable. Then check by spctl —status → should return assessments disabled)! (Because there will be unconfortable underline when we type).
    1. Note 1: If you are going to use Bitwarden (a password manager, recommended), it will prevent sometimes the input method to work normally (including GoTiengViet and EVKey). In this case, you have to turn off Bitwarden (or restart it). 👉 Update 05 Nov 2021: With MacOS 12.1 Beta, it doesn't have this error anymore!
    2. Note 2: EVKey works better than GoTiengViet (and it's still maintained) in some cases, for example, when you wanna type "thử nghiệm" on the browser address bar, GoTiengViet gives "thuử nghiệm" instead.

More keyboard settings:

  1. Touch Bar shows: F1, F2, etc Keys.
  1. Press ... to: Do Nothing.
  1. Press and hold ... to: Show Control Srip.
  1. Tick on "Use F1, F2..."
  1. Click on Customize Control Strip and change. Below are my customization.
    1. 1Brightness - Keyboard Brightness — Media — Volume — Screen Lock — Night Shift — Screen Capture — Dictation — Siri

Other useful keyboard tips

  1. Map top-left keyboard to backslash/tilde symbols. Install Karabiner-Elements and setting up "non_us_backslash" to "grave_accent_and_tilde (`)". If you don't know the names of some keys, you can use installed Karabiner Viewer.
  1. Three fingers to drag (choose texts): System Preferences > Accessibility > Pointer Control > Trackpad Options... > Enable dragging (three fingers drag).
  1. Install AltTab HyperSwitch (and use + which replaces the default method on mac, be careful!!!) to switch between windows (instead of apps) like on Windows/Linux.
  1. For external keyboard K380: Download and install Logitech Options. Install this to use F keys by default. Remark: Don't open Bitwarden while using K380, otherwise, it won't work normally (for example, F keys).

Printers & Scanners

  1. Setting up printers (if available). You may need Gutenprint for an alternative driver for printers on chip M1. After installing the drivers, turn on your printer (connect to a common wifi or via an usb cable), then System Preferences > Printers & Scanners > Add printer and choose your own printer, don't forget to choose Gutenprint as driver!
  1. For scanner app: you can use VueScan (paid) if the current version of app doesn't support chip M1 yet!
  1. For Canon MG2900 printer/scanner + apps: you may need to download and install drivers from this site. A backup files are here. You may find other useful drivers for other types of printers on this site also.
      • Change to use black & white only (or color only): System Preferences > Printers & Scanners > Choose the printer > Options & Supplies > Utility > Open Printer Utility > Ink Cartridge Settings > Black Only.
  1. Scanner app: use Image Capture (built-in app on Mac) or install Canon IJ Scan Utility2.


  1. Add necessary folder shortcuts to sidebar.
  1. Add recycle Bin to sidebar: + + . to show hidden folders > drag Bin folder to sidebar > + + . to hide hidden folders again.
  1. Customize some options in Preferences.
  1. Show status bar: View > Show status bar.

Copy files between Linux and MacOS

Require: the same wifi network!
  1. On MacOS: System Preferences > Sharing > Tick on "File Sharing" > choose "Shared Folders" > on "Everyon", change to "Write & Read".
  1. On Linux: Nautilus, click on "Other Locations" > "Networks" > choose the Macbook (and type macos profile password) > choose the shared folders in previous step > Exchange files/folders you want.
Disable Resume in Preview and QuickTime Player
1defaults write NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -bool false
2defaults write NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -bool false

Screen recording

For creating a gif, use GIPHY Capture (download from App Store).


  • Install Viettien (I use version 5.0b for Mac Big Sur chip M1). Alternative dictionaries can be downloaded from this link (I backed it up for personally using).
      1. Don't forget to open Security & Privacy and click on Open anyway many times!
      1. Another option is to install Tinhte's dictionary from this link, copy extracted folder (Tinhe_anh-viet.dictionary) to /Users/thi/Library/Dictionaries/.
      1. After installing successfully, open Dictionary app > Preferences... > Tick on the names which are corresponding to the installed/copied dictionaries.
      1. There are built-in LacViet dictionaries but they are not activated yet, don't forget them!
  • Goldendict: download installation here + dictionaries here.


Check this list.


  • (For chip M1 only)
    • 1# check if running on ARM or Intel
      3# arm64 -> ARM
      4# i386 -> Intel (running with Rosetta)
      6# Clone
      7sudo cp -r /System/Applications/Utilities/ /Applications/
      Right click on > Get Info > Click on "Open using Rosetta". - If you wanna run commands in Intel environment, use Terminal-Rosseta. - If you wanna run commands in ARM environment, use
  • Dropdown terminal with iTerm2.
      1. Create a new profile and make it default. Download my customized profile here.
      1. Click on new profile > Keys > Tick on "A hotkey..." > Set ⌘ + ` for opening window.
      1. For "non profile settings": Keep default with,
        1. General > Window: Tick on "Smart...".
        2. Appearance > general > Tab bar location: bottom.
        3. Advanced: search "animation" > Hotkey: 0.05;
      1. Custom name of pane: Right click on the pane > Edit Session... > Tab General > Change the name in Session Name (eg. "WORKING") (also click on the "lock" icon on the right) > Session Title ONLY tick on "Session Name".

Macbook keyboard symbols

🐞 Errors

  1. After updating
    1. 1defaults write persistent-apps -array-add '{"tile-type"="spacer-tile";}'; killall Dock
      Need to update Xcode Command-line Tools:
      1# option 1
      2xcode-select —install
      3# output:
      4xcode-select: note: install requested for command line developer tools
      1# option 2 (if option 1 doesn't work)
      2# Login + download from webpage
  1. In case of error in installing Application with App is Damaged Can’t Be Opened
    1. 1xattr -cr /Applications/

Sidecar problems

Using Sidecar feature to turn your ipad to an external screen. It ==works normally with cable== (you have to "trust" from both sides each other). In the case you cannot use Sidecar via wireless
  1. Turn on Hardoff on both Mac (in General) and iPad (in General).
  1. Turn on Bluetooth and Wifi (connect to the same network).
  1. Turn off file sharing and VPN.
  1. Reset network setting on your ipad (General > Reset > ...) > restat > connect again to the same network with your Mac > wait 2 minutes > try Sidecar again!
  1. Best practice: Using sidecar via a usb cable! If using wifi, we have latency with mouse cursor!
  1. For ones who using mac's usb-c port. A direct hub (with an lightning output to charge ipad) may not work (not sufficient power to charge ipad). However, usign another usb-dock and connect to the hub is working fine. Other words,
      • Not working: mac - hub - ipad.
      • Working: mac - hub - usb doc - ipad

FTP connection problem

If you have any problem with the connection, like The share does not exist on the server. Please check the share name, and then try again., make sure the password doesn't contain @! (Source)

External screens

I use 2 external screens. However, chip Apple M1 doesn't support more than 1 external one. That's why we need an adapter (having DisplayLink technology) + to install DisplayLink driver for Mac.
  • I use this adapter (Wavlink's USB 3.0 Laptop Docking Station — WL-UG39DK1) because it's the cheapest one I can find in France.
  • If you use a portable external screen like mine (Asus zenscreen), you have to use DisplayLink driver (and open it).

Disable dark mode for specific app

1# Use spotlight to find the name of the app, eg. "Calendar"
2# Find the bundle identifier of this app by
3osascript -e 'id of app "Calendar"'
4# which returns:
6# Turn off dark mode
7defaults write NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance -bool Yes
8# Restore setting
9defaults write NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance -bool No
11# Restart the app

Other settings

  1. Enable to install unknown softwares: Sometimes, you cannot install some app from the internet, just go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > There will be some warning line at below of "App Store and identified developers", just click "Open anyway"!
      • If you have some issue with .dmg file like "resource busy", open Disk Utility, then Images > Verify... > Choose the image file you cannot open then click "Verify"!
  1. Git: install Gitkraken.
  1. (Optional) Install Hombrew (missing package control for mac).
    1. 1# after install, don't forget to add to PATH
      2echo 'eval $(/opt/homebrew/bin/brew shellenv)' >> /Users/thi/.zprofile
      3eval $(/opt/homebrew/bin/brew shellenv) # refresh
      5# problem with "old" cask
      6# instead of
      7brew cask something
      8# use
      9brew install —cask something
  1. Add gap to Dock (use multiple times)
    1. 1defaults write persistent-apps -array-add '{"tile-type"="spacer-tile";}'; killall Dock
  1. Paste as plain text (Paste and match style) using cmd + shift + v (for example): System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts > + (Add). Now you choose: all apps; menu title: Paste and Match Style; Keyboard Shortcut: cmd + shift + v (choose your own).
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