How to... prepare a mac for Isadora - Best practice

  • Hello,

    I would like to share my/our plan for setup of new Isadora/show machines. I hope for new ideas, corrections, additions :-) The list was originally for a Macbook Pro Late 2009 but is usable for all other mac devices too.

    --- clean install

    - clean mac on the inside if necessary, check ram/ssd upgrade possibility. If third-party-ssd is used, upgrade firmware at first. Tape webcam.

    - Remove all devices/dvd. Reset SMC and NVRAM.

    - Clean install High Sierra. While installation takes time, think of needed software: as little as possible: isadora, quicktime, plugins, video card driver, epoccam pro, vlc media player, ...

    - Choose country, language, connect to web, no service information for apple. connect apple id.

    - choose accountname: one word, choose password, complex but short

    - manual settings: deactivate location services, set timezone, no analysis data, no Siri, no iCloud, no FileVault.

    - when setup is finished, open App Store, perform all updates, reboot. check again for updates, repeat until nothing is left. Use the waiting time to clean the monitor and keyboard or at least plan to do so while enjoying a cup of coffee.

    --- System Settings

    - General: uncheck "allow handoff..."

    - desktop /ss: set desktop to black, screen saver to never

    - dock: minimize windows using... SCALE effect; uncheck "animate opening app", check "hide and show deck" if wanted

    - mission control: uncheck "displays have spaced", deactivate all shortcuts, deactivate hot corners (if activated before)

    - security: uncheck "require password", allow apps from store and developers

    - spotlight, privacy: add main hdd/ssd to prevent spotlight to search at all

    - cd/dvd: set everything to "no action"

     - displays: uncheck "automatically adjust brightness", uncheck mirroring

    - energy saver: battery AND adapter! set both to never; uncheck "put hard disk to sleep..."

    - keyboard: deactivate all shortcuts

    - mouse/touchpad: set secondary click to right corner, check "tap to click"

    - sound: uncheck "play user interface sound effects", uncheck "play feedback...". set "alert volume" to 0, check "show volume in menu bar"

    - iCloud: uncheck everything. or better: quit iCloud after the installation process is completed

    - bluetooth: check "show in menu bar", turn off bluetooth

    - network: remove all adapters you don't need. wlan: check "show in menu bar", deactivate wlan unless necessary.

    - users & groups: deactivate guest user

    - date&time: if necessary, set correct date, time. under "clock": check "display seconds", "show date"

    - finder settings: check "hard disk"

    --- Terminal settings; everything case sensitive!

    - reboot to recovery mode, disable SIP: csrutil disable, reboot to os.

    - deactivate spotlight: sudo mdutil -a -i off

    - deactivate dashboard: defaults write mcx-disabled -boolean YES 

    - deactivate message center: launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/ 

    - deactivate mission control: defaults write mcx-expose-disabled -bool TRUE 

    - deactivate iCloud saving: defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSDocumentSaveNewDocumentsToCloud -bool false

    - deactivate resume: defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -bool false

    - deactivate time machine new disk search: defaults write DoNotOfferNewDisksForBackup -bool true

    - deactivate power saving: sudo pmset -a displaysleep 0 disksleep 0 sleep 0

    - deactivate time machine: sudo tmutil disable

    - deactivate automatic software update: sudo softwareupdate --schedule off

    - deactivate starting sound: sudo nvram SystemAudioVolume=%00

    - if you use third party ssd, enable trim force: sudo trimforce enable

    - reboot to recovery mode, re-enable SIP in terminal: "csrutil enable". reboot to os.

    --- Isadora

    - install quicktime

    - install isadora, go to programs, rename and add version number

    - register; add plugins

    - go to view, tip of the day, uncheck "show tips"; 

    - install all further software

    - set all needed shortcuts to dock, remove everything not necessary.

    (!!!) - for all show relevant software, go to software list, right click the software, choose informations, check "disable app nap". or disable app nap systemwide, terminal: "defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAppSleepDisabled -bool YES"


    Did I forget anything, anything to add?



  • @schaubühnevideo

    Hi timo, I would add to disable OS X auto save feature for Izzy see this post

    I don’t know if it will be needed for Izzy 3 but for version 2 it is quite useful to avoid loops of crashes.

    Best clemens

  • Hello everyone,

    is there anything special to consider for the new v3?

    (I posted the topic from Schaubühne Account, this is my private one).



  • Tech Staff


    On laptops running Mojave: grant Isadora access to the camera and microphone.

  • @woland

    How does one do that?  :)

  • Tech Staff

  • I updated the guide, it can be found here: