👨‍💻 Setup M1 MacBook Pro for Data Science and Machine Learning 🤖

Oct 9, 2022·

9 min read

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🎯 A personalized development and testing environment for Data Science and Machine Learning using a MacBook Pro M1 (M1 Apple Silicon) 🚀

✅ You may need to restart your computer after installing the above packages.

Software Developer's Tech Stack

  • Docker

  • Front-End:

    • ✅ TypeScript, HTML/CSS/JavaScript

    • ✅ React, React Native, Next.js

  • Back-End:

    • ✅ NodeJS 18.x

    • ✅ Python 3.10.12

    • Redis

    • [ ] SQL: SQLite, MySQL/MariaDB, Postgres

    • [ ] NoSQL: MongoDB, DynamoDB

  • Data Science:

    • Python (pyenv)

    • Scikit-Learn

    • Tensorflow

MacOS Preferences

  • System Preferences > TrackPad > Point & Click > Tracking speed

  • Show your Mac's hidden files

    • Find Terminal under Launchpad > Other > Terminal, then run the following commands:

    • Type defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles true and press Enter

    • Type killall Finder and press Enter again

  • ✍️ NOTE: This guide assumes you are using ZSH as your shell.

    • ✅ If running echo $SHELL in your Terminal returns /bin/zsh, then you shouldn’t run into any issues.

    • [ ] If you are using Bash (/bin/bash is returned instead), then change ~/.zshrc to ~/.bash_profile whenever you are exporting variables.

  • iTerm2: brew install --cask iterm2

  • Oh My Zsh + Powerlevel10k theme: sh -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ohmyzsh/ohmyzsh/master/tools/install.sh)"

  • Installing Package Managers:

    • ✅ Hombrew

    • ✅ npm

    • ✅ pip

Install Homebrew & Update Git

## Install Homebrew from the Git repository
/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install.sh)"

## Follow along with the prompts to complete the installation. 
## You may want to restart the Terminal after installation to make sure the PATH variable is set correctly
## If you see a warning during installation such as
## - Run these two commands in your terminal to add Homebrew to your PATH:
(echo; echo 'eval "$(/opt/homebrew/bin/brew shellenv)"') >> ~/.zshrc
eval "$(/opt/homebrew/bin/brew shellenv)"
## Install Ruby to use Amazon Homebrew formulas without sudo
# brew install ruby
## REQUIRED: Turn off Homebrew analytics
brew analytics off

Update Git

## Install an updated version of Git
# brew install git
## Check if your username and email are configured correctly in Git
git config --list
## If either your username or email is not set properly, then update it with the respective command
git config --global user.name "Thanh Nguyen"
git config --global user.email nnthanh101@gmail.com

Create APFS Volumes & Setup Workplace Folder

  • [ ] ⚠️ WARNING:

    • This is the only part in this guide that has the potential to render data unusable. Trying to use the tool to create a workplace volume if it already exists can cause your encryption key to be overwritten. Unless you made a copy of the key you will end up having to erase the volume all together - potentially causing you to lose work contained within the workspace volume.

    • Your Disk Utility program should now have the volumes, make sure under the name it says: APFS Volume • APFS (Encrypted)

Setup Workplace Folder

## Change to your user directory
cd ~
## Check if the workplace folder exists
ls -l workplace
## If you see "workplace -> /Volumes/Workplace" continute to Part 4
## If you see "ls: workplace: No such file or directory" create the symlink
ln -s /Volumes/Workplace ~/workplace
## Otherwise, if you see some other output, you already have a workplace folder but it is not linked to the encrypted volume. 
## You may want to consider moving that content to a new folder (eg workplace_old) and then create the symlink with the above command. 
## This will make following future commands and guides easier since they all assume you have the workplace folder.
## Ask for help if you need it since getting this wrong will make the rest of the guide much harder.
## Check if the workplace folder symlink is correct
ls -l workplace
## ✅ You should see "workplace -> /Volumes/Workplace"

Install RStudio

Install Python

⛔️ Do not mess with your system Python: Avoid using or installing packages to ‘system Python’, the Python program already installed on your system.

✅ Prefer to use pyenv in macOS to manage my Python versions and virtual environments.

Note: if python-build fails due to “zipimport.ZipImportError: can’t decompress data; zlib not available” go here first.

Bash note: if using Bash then change ~/.zshrc to ~/.bash_profile here.

Install pyenv

## Install the prerequisites from Homebrew: https://github.com/pyenv/pyenv#homebrew-in-macos
brew update
brew install pyenv xz

# pip3 install --user pipenv
# pip3 install --user --upgrade pipenv

## Set up your shell environment for Pyenv
## Initialise pyenv when loading a new session
echo 'eval "$(pyenv init -)"' >> ~/.zshrc

Create Python 3 Venv

## Create a workspace for your development work
mkdir ~/workplace/<WORKSPACE_NAME>
## Change into the workspace directory
cd ~/workplace/<WORKSPACE_NAME>

## List the Python versions you have installed with pyenv
pyenv versions

## If you don't have the version installed that you want to use then list all versions available to install
pyenv install --list

## Install the version you want to use (Lambda runtimes) - this takes some time
pyenv install -v 3.10.12
# ls ~/.pyenv/versions/

## Select globally for your user account
pyenv global 3.10.12
## Set the local Python version within the workspace (current directory or subdirectories)
# pyenv local <VERSION>

## Make sure you are using the correct Python version: python --version
python -V

Handling virtualenv using pyenv-virtualenv

## Installing pyenv-virtualenv for virtual environment management
brew install pyenv-virtualenv

## Run this command to add a new line to your to .zshrc
echo 'eval "$(pyenv virtualenv-init -)"' >> ~/.zshrc

## Create new virtualenv (e.g. pyenv virtualenv <python-version> <env-name>)
pyenv virtualenv 3.10.12 analytics

## Activate the virtualenv
pyenv activate analytics

## List all available virtual environments
pyenv virtualenvs
## Create the Python virtual environment and store it in the "env" directory
python - m venv venv
## Activate the virtual environment - you must do this every time you start a new shell.
## You can tell you are in the virtual environment if you see
## (env) at the beginning of your Terminal line
source env/bin/activate
## You are now ready to create Python code within a virtual environment.
## Running pip install will install packages to your "env" directory and
## will not make changes to your system packages.

## After you are finished working in the virtual environment you can deactivate it.


## Activate virtual environment if not already activated
pyenv activate analytics

## Install JupyterLab into your virtual environment
pip install jupyterlab

## Open jupyter lab
jupyter lab

## Reload your environment
echo "alias python=/usr/bin/python3" >> ~/.zshrc
echo "alias pip=/usr/bin/pip3" >> ~/.zshrc

source ~/.zshrc
## If using bash
# source ~/.bash_profile

Install NodeJS

curl -o- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/nvm-sh/nvm/v0.39.3/install.sh | bash

echo 'export NVM_DIR="$HOME/.nvm"' >> ~/.zshrc
echo '[ -s "$NVM_DIR/nvm.sh" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/nvm.sh"' >> ~/.zshrc

# nvm ls-remote --lts
nvm install --lts=hydrogen
nvm use --lts=hydrogen
# nvm alias default node

node -v
npm -v

Setup Java

Bash note: if using Bash then change ~/.zshrc to ~/.bash_profile here.

## Add JAVA_HOME to your environment permanently - version 11 is currently recommended
echo "export JAVA_HOME=/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/amazon-corretto-11.jdk/Content
## Verify that this is in ~/.zshrc or ~/.bash_profile
cat ~/.zshrc
## OR
# cat ~/.bash_profile

Install Ruby Languages

## Install the prerequisites from Homebrew
brew install rbenv libyaml libffi

## Set up the recommended Ruby version for Brazil
ruby-build 2.5. 8  ~/.runtimes/Ruby 25 x

Install AWS CLI

  • Note: if AWS CLI is version 1 then go here to install AWS CLI version 2.

      ## Check if AWS CLI version 2 is already installed
      aws --version
      ## If you see "aws-cli/2.0.0" or higher then continue
      ## If you see "zsh: command not found: aws" then download the package from below --> Download [AWS CLI version 2](https://awscli.amazonaws.com/AWSCLIV2.pkg)
  • Set Up AWS CLI Config File: AWS CLI v2 utilizes a config file to store frequently used configurations and credentials.

      ## Make sure ~/.aws exists
      ls ~/.aws
      ## If you see an error saying no such file or directory then create it
      mkdir ~/.aws
      ## Edit the config file
      nano ~/.aws/config
  • Add the following to your AWS CLI config file.

      ## (Optional) Add a named profile - boto 3 has issues assuming named profiles
      [profile oceansoft]
  • To exit Nano, press Control+X, “Y” to accept changes, and then Return to save the file at /Users/<ALIAS>/.aws/config. After, enter the following in the Terminal.

      ## Check AWS CLI is working well
      aws s3 ls
      ## (Optional) Check that your named profile works
      aws s3 ls --profile oceansoft
      ## If successful, you should see a list of your S3 buckets and AWS CLI is successfully using temporary credentials

Finished & Post Setup

If you followed along with this guide you should now have a working MacOS environment set up for development work. The Post Setup steps following this guide are needed every time you set up a new workspace for development work.

Install Docker

  • [ ] Example Resource Settings:

    • [ ] MacBook - 4 core CPU, 16GB Memory, 250GB SSD Disk

    • [ ] Docker - 2 CPU, 4GB Memory, 32GB Disk

  • docker system prune --all --force


Docker is a tool used to run containerized applications. In the event that you require it for a project, Docker can be installed by following the instructions at

The system resources reserved for Docker should be modified during installation (2 CPUs and 2 GB RAM). If you are only running a few containers at a time then the default settings will be adequate. This will also leave more resources for your actual MacBook to consume if you leave Docker running in the background.

  • Lambda runtimes

    • nodejs16.x

    • python3.9

    • [ ] go1.x

    • [ ] java11 >> amazon-corretto-11

    • [ ] ruby2.7

    • [ ] dotnet6

  • [ ] Enable SSH Kerberos

Install Utilities