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Basic Tools


Working on a desktop OS with a GUI (like I do on macOS), we as sysadmins are too lazy to move mices (use trackpads) to surf to websites to download installers to then click through this installer to finally have a small tool or programm installed. In addition, speaking of macOS, it's not possible to uninstall a piece of software automatically. This is a manual process done in Finder.
Hence we are in need of a good package manager that works like apt-get/yum found in Linux distructions and that allows us to script things and install stuff automatically. The most used package manager on macOS these days is Homebrew. Homebrew is even available on Linux and brings some benefits over the distribution repositories as it knows a lot more modern tools.


For Windows users there's an equivalent called Chocolatey.

Find some facts about Homebrew at Wikipedia Homebrew and its documentation can be found at


The above should be enough to get you started. Now

  • Install Homebrew
  • Verify its in a working state (see commands available)
  • Install a first CLI tool: wget


Next on the plan is Vim the ubiquitous, powerful, command line-based text editor. Sure the are the GUI-based editors that you are used to, such as Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text or Atom. But, as previously said, when working on Linux, Vim is already installed. No need to install "your" text editor first. It's just there there

To install Vim, we now have Homebrew. There is a more modern drop-in replacement called [Neovim] that has Lua support built-in. It works exactly like Vim but has some other advantages beyond this course, but if you fall in love with Vim, you should consider switching. Or you already install it now.

Install Vim or Neovim

Now either install Vim or Neovim. You know how. ;

Oracle Virtualbox

It is of great value to be able to test as much as possible locally on your machine that you have always with you. Spinning up a Linux box with the distribution needed in that moment is priceless. For the sake of our course we will first make use of Virtual Machines (VM). Later we might also explorer containers with Docker or Podman.
The tool of choice to work with virtual machines is VirtualBox (vbox). This tool is free of charge and very mature and valuable. Other tools include Parallels Dektop, QEMU, VMware Fusion and others.

Install VirtualBox

Also this tool is installable through Homebrew and split into two packages. While the formula virtualbox will install the tools, the forumla virtualbox-extension-pack will install additional features like USB3 and others. Install both of them.


As we do not want by hand (installation wizards, you know), we need another tool that helps us with managing virtual machines. It allows to define virtual machines in a text file and then automatically spin the machines up based on these definitions.

The latter is an invaluable quick start guide. Start your exploration there. This guide alone will introduce you to a lot of important features and use cases. Take the time and go through it.

Install Vagrant

As you might have guessed, also Vagrant is installable using Homebrew. Install the tool using the formula vagrant

Last update: October 9, 2023