Clean Install of OS X El Capitan

General

I switched to using OS X in 2007. I continued using OS X for personal use even while I worked for years at Microsoft.I had probably last started with a clean install back in 2011. Over the last 4-5 years I had installed and uninstalled many things. I had messed around with the shell. I had created symbolic links, implemented complicated workarounds to support the various edge cases that I needed to work with at different points in my life.

OS X has come a long way in the last 5yrs. The App Store was announced and I had started installing/updating my apps using it. Many tweaks and workarounds I had gotten used to became core features of the OS. Setting up development enviroments became a breeze with things like Docker and sophisticated package managers like Node/NPM.

I decided it was time to have a clean break and start over again. See, it’s easy to migrate/re-install and get back to where you were before. But I wanted to start clean for real. Make new decisions for my new workflows to reflect how both me and the tools I use had evolved.

I started on a Friday evening. Made a USB installer. Made a full backup of all my data files. I didn’t backup any configurations and settings on purpose. The thing that took the longest time was getting my pictures back up. I have a 1TB SSD drive (astronomical cost component on my laptop) which is mainly filled with pictures and videos.

So now I have a clean, wiped, brand new, fresh off the press copy of El Capitan with no baggage from the past. I install software as I need it and here’s where I am after a week.

Fix for Wifi issues on a Mac (Yosemite)

Uncategorized

Since the Yosemite upgrade to OS X, I have been facing lots of WiFi issues on my Mac. As I go from home, to cafe, to airport, to train, to cafe etc I notice that my connection just stops working. I kept blaming the public wifi routers until I realized that many times the issue is with OS X. This is not a comprehensive guide on how to fix WiFi issues on a Mac. But this one thing does work, so try it and good luck!

Launch “Terminal”

Now this may appear a little scary. But it’s quite easy. On every Mac, there’s a “command line interface” which lets you type instructions to your computer. This lets you do more advanced things that are not always possible by clicking with a mouse on buttons.

To do this,

  1. Press the “COMMAND” and ”SPACE” keys at the same time.
  2. This will open “Spotlight Search” in the middle of the screen.
  3. In that search box, type “Terminal” and hit “Enter/Return” to launch it

It will look something like this:


Find “discoveryd

Discoveryd is a tool introduced by Apple in Yosemite which is quite buggy and has been the main reason behind the issues. We won’t go into details but you first need to find it on your laptop. You do this by typing the following command in the terminal window:

ps -ax | grep discoveryd

Note that the vertical line is a “pipe”, the key above the return key.

This will show you all the processes running on your laptop with the name discoveryd. In the above example, on my laptop, it is the first result with an ID of 1169. Find the corresponding number on your laptop and note it.

Kill discoveryd

Now, all you have to do is “kill” discoveryd which will force it to start again and magically fix everything. You do this by typing:

sudo kill <process id number>

Sudo tells the terminal to run this command as an administrator. This may prompt you to type the password for your account. It’s safe to enter it here.

Replace 1169 with whatever was the number that you found in the previous step.

Conclusion

That’s it. This should fix the issue. If it doesn’t then you may have o resort to a more comprehensive troubleshooting guide.