What's your dev machine setup? (hardware, OS, accessories, etc.)

ben profile image Ben Halpern Jun 07, 2017

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I'm still using a mid-2012 non-retina MacBook Pro. It has upgraded RAM (16gb) and I swapped the hard drive for an SSD. Both were great, and the machine still runs pretty well. It does have issues turning on sometimes, and maybe it's because the battery is not long for this world.

Either way, I'll be upgrading soon ☺️

What machine are you going to buy?

same setup here, what are you going to upgrade to? I hate that the new MBP are not upgradeable after assembly and I do not care for the touch bar

On the hardware side, pretty basic stuff, can't remember the processor's model, but it's an AMD, 8 gigs of RAM, provided by the company I work for, but we are free to use our notebooks, sometimes I do that.
Moving on software, each dev is free to use whatever IDE he/she wants, but it's company policy that the OS should be any linux distro, for compatibility reasons, we chose xUbuntu (yeah, I know)
Accessories, only an usb headset for music.
In my case, I use Netbeans, VS Code, sometimes IntelliJ Idea, Gitkraken (dark theme rocks), spotify :)
that pretty much covers it

So, I mentioned that I have a crappy PC because government, but really it's more the branch of the federal government that I work for that is so strapped for cash they can only give me an i5 with 8 gigs of RAM. On the plus side, I do have bigger monitors than anyone else.

Really need to go to the private sector some day...

Mac Mini 4-core i7, 16gb, Fusion drive. Parallels installed. Two monitors. Also a 12" MacBook with 8gb. VPN to the office for more servers.

Cannot be better... Exactly the same. But I used the old Mac Mini, it's late 2012 and then I had to upgrade by myself to 16GB and Fusion Drive with SS 850 EV.

24" monitor, i7 6700k, ergonomic vertical mouse, Windows 10, Netbeans, VS Code, Git bash, Stackoverflow, Webpack, Gulp, Maven, Gitlab, Tea

Stackoverflow... key part of stack 🤓

Kinda feeling outgunned here. My basic setup includes a laptop with a core i5-5200u and 8GB of RAM, thankfully with an SSD. Only 128GB though. Everything else pretty much sucks about it. Running Ubuntu 16.04 makes it both suck less and suck more. It's a lot faster, but the Wi-Fi has a mind of its own. But hey, at least I got the dev.to() awesome sloth stickers in the mail today. Putting them on made the laptop work 17% faster and 100% cooler B-). These are legit numbers, I calculated them myself, pinky swear. :)

I calculated them myself

That would make for a good post 🙂

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013 Model)
2ghz Intel Core i7
8GB Ram
macOS Sierra

Stand up desk (adjustable)

Single 27" Thunderbolt Display (two monitors bother me, I can't get over the bezel gap so I'd rather have 1 large monitor).

Terminal + VS Code is pretty much all I use for actual coding work. MAMP for quick local checks of projects. Remote dev and prod machines deployed through via git (git push dev, git push prod is lovely and simple). Docker when I need it (not for my own projects yet, but useful for running other people's software without polluting my machine).

two monitors bother me, I can't get over the bezel gap so I'd rather have 1 large monitor

I think this is like tabs vs spaces. I specifically like the physical separation between the 2 monitors and don't try to keep them right next to each other. It helps me switch contexts easily and when I mess around one workspace, the other is still intact.

I know I can achieve the same with multiple desktops but somehow never got comfortable with it.

See, I don't even use multiple desktops except when I accidentally trigger them in OSX.

I use a window manager called Spectacle so I can use keyboard shortcuts to arrange my windows in half/third/left/right configurations.

If I have more stuff than that needing space, it is like multi-tasking -- nothing gets the attention it needs. So I keep a tidy set of windows, close things I don't need, and keep tabs in browsers to a minimum as well.

My computer environment is far, far more organized than anything else in my life. Ha.

For work: I have to use a underpowered HP Elitebook from 2015 (i5, 8Gb RAM, 128GB SSD) running Windows 7. For my dev workflow I'm using Netbeans, Sourcetree, Track&Release, Bitbucket, Notepad++

For University and Private Projects:
Thinkpad X1 Carbon (i7, 16GB, 512GB PCIeSSD) or my Gaming PC (i7 7700K, 32 GB, 512GB PCIeSSD) both running Antergos Linux.

Sounds awfully familiar. :)

At work I use an HP Elitebook Revolve (i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD) running Win 7. I use Sourcetree as well - hitting up Bitbucket, Github, and some internal repos.

At home I mostly use my gaming machine (a refurbed HP ENVY 700-515XT I got off Woot - i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB, Win 10), and on the go I use the refurbed Surface Pro 4 (i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD) which has been absolutely awesome. Best tablet I've ever had - and I've had more than a few... I only wish I'd had the money to get the next i5 up with a little more RAM and storage.

I've got a 2013-ish era MacBook Pro that I poke around on just to keep familiar with what's going on on the other side of the fence, and I've got an Ubuntu machine somewhere that I lost track of...

The vast majority of my coding at work is done using VS Code. It became my favorite editor from the first run of the early betas.

My main system is running an 8-core AMD with 16GB of RAM. I recently replaced the last spinning disk with SSD, bringing the total volumes up to 1TB, roughly. I've never bothered getting a good keyboard for some reason, a long history on cheap ones got me used to them I guess. I have two mice though, one for each hand. The right one is a vertical mouse.

I use Ubuntu linux (Kubuntu variant) as a desktop OS.

I also have a MacBookPro Retina to do development on Fuse (where I work now). I connect via SSH and mounted filesystems so I generally continue working on my Linux system as the desktop.

I have a second laptop, an older Lenovo also running Linux. I recently upgraded its RAM and put in an SSD. It runs much faster now.

I consider my sound system an essential part of my setup, as I always listen to music. I recently replaced the mixer with a simpler line mixer (both Behringer, not a brand I recommend). I have an Alesis amp and two Alesis monitors. Naturally a CD player as I still use CDs.

Of course a few routers. A KVM. And a PlayStation 4 (that's officially part of the dev setup for tax reasons :)

Lots and lots of cables.

I guess I'm more of a hardware nerd than I realized.

My main driver for development and gaming is a custom desktop:
i7-5820k, 64GB, GTX-1080, 128GB NVMe boot, 2x 1TB SSD workspace drives, 4TB storage drive, Dual boot Ubuntu/Win10, 27in and 24in monitors.

Laptop rolls with i7-6700, 64GB, GTX-1060, 2x 1TB SSD, Dual boot Antergos(Arch)/Win10

Games and data cleaning push the hardware more than everyday development, but the extra horsepower is fun.


Dell XPS 13 i7, 16GB RAM, lovely big SSD, Windows 10

Essential Tools

Chrome, Cmdr (it has Quake mode people, Quake mode), Visual Studio 2015, VS Code, OneNote, Workflowy, Todoist


Dual screen standard, a Dell docking station (it's a bit fussy, but saves plugging lots in when I get to work) and some Shure SE215 sound isolating headphones

I juggle between 3 systems:

An ancient Mac Mini (2011, i5, 8GB RAM, spinning disk) for iOS dev. Use Xcode for iOS dev and VSCode for other stuff.

A Surface Pro 3 (i3, 4GB RAM) for casual stuff and work on the move. Also used it extensively for a web dev project recently. Use VSCode, WSL, HeidiSQL, WinSCP, Source Tree.

Loved using the Surface Pen with OneNote for all my note taking and planning. Also used Sticky Notes, Bamboo Paper and Nebo. Until I lost my stylus and the screen stopped working abruptly :/

Also built a custom PC at home (i7, 16GB RAM, SSD) and use it for my experiments with Docker, Unity, Xamarin etc.

My machine setup at work:

MacBook Pro Retina 15 Inch, Mid 2014 with 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD.
Two 24 inch monitors, One to each side of MacBook. I don't use any external keyboard/mouse/trackpad. So My MacBook Screen is my primary work screen and I don't keep any windows open in that other than Android Studio. Right side monitor is aligned vertically, especially used for debug console and bash scripting. Left side monitor is primarily for browsing and taking note.

Accessories: PowerBeats Headset

Software Stack: Android Studio, Terminal, SourceTree, Evernote, Postman, Transmit, Spotify and Safari.

Two HP laptops, one i5 one i7 both with 12Gb. One 27" external monitor between them connected to my main development machine (Win, VS, developing for Azure). Mouse Without Borders so I can use the same keyboard and mouse and move seamlessly between them.

Keep Skype open on one laptop screen, develop on the middle (external) screen and use the other laptop to bring up documents and searches.

For work:
I have a Lenovo W541, with matching dock, and two dell 1920 X 1200 U2412M monitors on an adjustable bracket. I have one of those Anker ergo mouses, along with "generic logitech keyboard"; I was using a mech keyboard for awhile, but my co-worker complained so I switched back(They were reds, so I can't really be annoyed).
Windows 7, intellij, a proprietary IDE, sublime and spotify.

for Home projects:
2015 Dell inspiron 13 - the 2 in 1 - and a Ducky Shine 5 mx brown switch mech keyboard, along with some 21" 1080p philips monitor. Software includes: VS 2015, intellij community, android studio, spotify while running on Windows 10!

Really want to get a new home laptop.

At home I develop my hobby project on a gen4 ThinkPad X1 Carbon running Fedora. The specs are:

  • Intel Core i7-6600U
  • 14,0 WQHD (2 560 × 1 440) IPS ingen styrplatta
  • Intel HD Graphics 520
  • 512 GB SSD

I picked the Carbon for its weight (coming from MacBook Air). I think the Carbon will last me for a few more years at least, but when it IS time to move on I think I'll go for a slightly more upgrade-able ThinkPad. The non-Ultrabook weights are getting low enough for me to still feel comfortable dragging it around everywhere.

At work we have much more beefy Windows PCs.

For work dev, MacBook Pro 2015 and a nice 24" monitor.
For personal dev, Mac Mini 2010 and a basic 19" monitor. Yeah... it's pretty slow and tired... but I can't afford to upgrade right now - I've been intending to for a few years now :( I also need a second monitor, and to replace the current monitor I've got.

Then ofc Git, iTerm, Sublime. Trying to move into Vim.

My XML laptop from Schenker (germany) contains an Intel I7 with 2,50 Ghz, 64 GB Ram, 4 x 1 TB SSD's wich will be used as a raid. Plugged in into three monitors.

Software: HyperV, Visual Studio, Docker, VS Code and finally notepad++ ;)

OS: Windows 10

This sounds very bad as, but for SharePoitn developement I must setup a farm infrastructure.

Instead to thrust on the customer, that they give me a Infrastructure to develop, I thrust myself and bring my own dev env with me.

MacBook Pro Retina 15" mid 2014
iTerm / ZSH
Sublime Text with various useful plugins
Pixelmator for most of my photoshop work, though I do have Photoshop as well
Matlab for schoolwork
Coda 2 for web dev stuff
Slack for battery deletion, I mean team communication
TextEdit for most of my writing and notes
Spillo for my bookmarks and research

... oh and due to the nature of my workplace, I have access to multiple supercomputers I can use fairly regularly. (Perks of DOD funded academic research work :D )

My workstation is a Lenovo Thinkpad T420 laptop w/ 8GB RAM, running Linux Mint 18.1. When I'm working, I usually hook it up on my desk to a 19" adjustable monitor, a 2002 Apple Pro keyboard, and a pair of Sony VAIO speakers that I've had since I was 8 (the bass on those things is amazing).

By some standards, one might say I had a fairly low end machine, but I've never had any problems. (Although I do plan to upgrade my RAM at some point.) And anyway, it's hard to beat the durable case, keyboard light, and 5 hour battery life.


  • Dell Optiplex 9020 tower: i7, 16 Gig RAM, 1 TB hdd, NVidia GTX 645
  • 2 X standard-issue Dell monitors (1680x1050, matte screen)
  • Logitech Trackman Marble, 5" USB fan, Verilux full-spectrum desk lamp, Logic3 Ferrari T250 headphones


  • Thinkpad T520: i5, 16 Gig RAM, 60 Gig mSATA SSD boot + 120 Gig SSD filesystem, 1600x900 matte display
  • Thinkpad docking station, AKG 518LE headphones


  • Linux Mint 18
  • Komodo Edit, Guake, Back in Time, Pidgin (Google and Skype for Business chat), Wunderlist, di.fm
  • Virtual Box w Windows 10 VM, Vagrant w Ubuntu 14.04 LAMP-stack box

Macbook Pro 15, 16GB Ram, 500 GB SSD, Parallels, External monitor, Truly Ergonomic Model 229 Keyboard, Logitech Anywhere MX mouse. For development environments I use Vagrant and VirtualBox, though am evaluating Docker to replace that.

I also have a Dell e6420 (Core i5, 8GB RAM, 320GB Hdd) laptop on my desk sharing the mouse and keyboard through a USB switch, the laptop runs Ubuntu 16.4 LTS, mostly for browsing, email, looking up documentation, and streaming music.

Custom PC Build (i7 6700K 4Ghz Quad Core, Samsung 500GB SSD, 32GB DDR4 RAM) running Windows 10 Pro with 3x 24" monitors.

4 year old Quad core i7, 16Gb RAM,, 1TB HDD ( 5400rpm spinny spinny ) dual boot Win10 and Ubuntu in a notebook ( I mostly do embedded dev so all that is fine )

I'm Running i7 7th gen processor with 8 gigs of RAM and a pretty decent SSD in my lenovo yoga model laptop, Windows 10 all the way.

On the software side I'm using sublime text for editing as I started learning python.

For a CS under graduate this is more than enough.

Lenovo T420, 8 GB RAM and SSD, running macOS Sierra. I can't afford a real Mac for hobby projects anymore.

A razer blade 2017 (I7 7700hq, 16gb of ram, 512 ssd, W10) and a 24" monitor for android development