Ricing MacOS


About a year ago, Youtube recommended a video titled "Improved AwesomeWM rice (With UI!) ", The minimal aesthetic and exaggerated animations got me hooked, and in a few hours, I got way too deep into the Unix Ricing rabbithole, exploring window managers, aesthetic CLI tools, and color themes.

Having witnessed the greatness of r/unixporn  I felt empty, how could I experience the greatness of an OS tailor-made by me, for me, if I'm trapped in MacOS land? ... The same way one would in any other environment: With Google and a tiny bit of obsession.

Ok, but actually, why?

The goal with my setup is to have a digital space that reflects my philosophy on any workspace, physical or digital: Have simple tools, always at a hand's reach, but never in the way. And make it pretty enough that you're happy to come back to it every single day.

Aesthetics are cool and do play a role in driving my customizations, but the most impactful things in my rice are the ones that make using my tools better for me. Most of my favorite edits hide features away; Thanks to command palettes, either in the form of Raycast or one provided by the app itself, and keyboard shortcuts, I can always reach for what I need, when I need it.

Show me the MacOS Rice already!

Fine! First off, this is how my setup looks right now:

Screenshot of customized MacOS Desktop. The colors in VSCode, Obsidian, and the btop system monitor running in a terminal match the Vesper color paletteScreenshot of customized MacOS Desktop. The colors in Linear, Spotify, Raycast, Discord, and VSCode match the Vesper color palette.

Most apps have the same custom color scheme, I tile windows through Raycast's Window Management Extension  and have keybindings for about everything thanks to Raycast's Hotkeys .

I shared my progress on applying the custom theme to each app on Twitter  bit by bit, and this week, 2 posts about my MacOS rice  got over 360K impressions combined. With this many eyes on it, a few people asked for a guide on how to do it themselves, and it's surprisingly simpler than it seems.

How can I replicate it?

Window Management

The bulk of my rice consists of setting colors, but the most important part of my workflow is the window management aspect of it. Luckily it's simply leveraging Raycast's defaults with custom hotkeys for a few commands. If you don't have installed Raycast yet(Why?), you can get it by running brew install --cask raycast, or following the instructions on their site .

and you're pretty much done, the Window Management Extension has everything I use, and if you want my exact keybindings (and the aesthetic gap between windows), you can copy the following settings:

Screenshot of Raycast settings for Window Manager extension. The hotkeys are as follows: Almost maximize = control + option + command + arrow up; Bottom Left Quarter = control + option + command + h; Bottom Left Sixth = control + option + Shift + command + h; Bottom Right Quarter = control + option + command + j; Bottom Right Sixth = control + option + Shift + command + j; Left Half = control + option + command + arrow left; Make Larger = control + option + Shift + command + arrow up; Make Smaller = control + option + Shift + command + arrow down; Reasonable Size = control + option + command + arrow down; Right Half = control + option + command + arrow right; Top Left Quarter = control + option + command + y; Top Left Sixth = control + option + Shift + command + Y; Top Right Quarter = control + option + command + u; Top Right Sixth = control + option + Shift + command + u. Window Management settings are: Gap = Tiny(8px); Cycling: Cycle ½, ⅔, ⅓; Advanced, Respect Stage Manager: off.

If you fancy a tiling window manager closer to what you'd find on Linux land, give yabai  a try. And if you like snapping apps to the corners of screens like on Windows try Rectangle .


Customizing apps is a mixed bag, some like VSCode and most terminals allow extensive customization by default, others, like Spotify or Discord require the use of third-party modifications, and others, like Linear and Raycast allow for a bit of customization that often is just enough for me.

In no particular order, let's tackle how to customize each app:


VSCode enables you to go DEEP with customizations, and this is a common trait of Applications made with Electron as we'll see later.

On the surface, picking a theme, and icon pack will do a lot of heavy lifting; My preferred combination is Vesper  with Chalice icons . You can either install them from the VSCode Extension Marketplace or use the following commands:

code --install-extension artlaman.chalice-icon-theme code --install-extension raunofreiberg.vesper

For even more control, the Apc Customize UI++  extension enables you to apply styles to the app with no limits, if it's something the VSCode devs could do, you can do it. I use it to change the App font, making it the same as the editor, but see others do way crazier things. You can install it from the marketplace or run the following command:

sh code --install-extension drcika.apc-extension

going deeper, VSCode allows you to do extensive customizations through the settings.json file, to open it you can type "Open User Settings (JSON)" in your command palette. My current config is the following:

{ // vscode meta stuff "workbench.startupEditor": "none", "editor.accessibilitySupport": "off", // text editing stuff "editor.formatOnSave": true, "editor.defaultFormatter": "esbenp.prettier-vscode", "editor.linkedEditing": true, "editor.inlineSuggest.enabled": true, "editor.unicodeHighlight.nonBasicASCII": false, // ui stuff // font "editor.fontFamily": "Geist Mono, Berkeley Mono, monospace", "editor.fontSize": 14, "editor.lineHeight": 1.42857, // makes font size 14 have line height of ~20px "apc.font.family": "Geist Mono", // apply font to ALL the UI, requires APC extension // cursor "editor.cursorBlinking": "smooth", // smol cursor animation, looks nice "editor.cursorSmoothCaretAnimation": "on", // move cursor smoothly // window // title bar "window.title": "${dirty}neovim${separator}${activeEditorShort}", // top bar "workbench.editor.showTabs": "none", // hide tabs "breadcrumbs.enabled": false, // hides breadcrumb path at top of window "window.commandCenter": false, // hides command center at the top of the window. Use cmd+shift+p instead "workbench.layoutControl.enabled": false, // hides those little squares on the top right of the window "workbench.editor.editorActionsLocation": "hidden", // hides the "format" and ellipsis buttons on the top right of the window // minimap "editor.minimap.renderCharacters": false, // make minimap blockish (low level of detail) "editor.hideCursorInOverviewRuler": true, // don't highlight current line in scrollbar "editor.minimap.autohide": true, // shows minimap only on hover // sidebar "workbench.activityBar.location": "hidden", // hide sidebar icons, use cmd+b to toggle open "workbench.sideBar.location": "right", // puts sidebar on the right, less disruptive (doesn't shift code if text wrap is disabled) when opening with cmd+b // bottom bar "workbench.statusBar.visible": false, // hide bottom bar // editor "editor.stickyScroll.enabled": true, // keep block name fixed at top when scrolling "gitlens.mode.active": "zen", // toggle with command palette, zen mode hides gitlens stuff for when you don't need it "editor.wordWrap": "on", // wrap text instead of scrolling horizontally // Theme "workbench.iconTheme": "chalice-icon-theme", "workbench.colorTheme": "Vesper", // Overrides vesper theme start "workbench.colorCustomizations": { "editorGutter.addedBackground": "#A0A0A0", "editorGutter.deletedBackground": "#A0A0A0", "editorGutter.modifiedBackground": "#A0A0A0" }, "editor.tokenColorCustomizations": { "textMateRules": [ // remove peppermint flavor { "name": "String, Symbols, Inherited Class", "scope": [ "string", "constant.other.symbol", "constant.other.key", "meta.group.braces.curly constant.other.object.key.js string.unquoted.label.js" ], "settings": { "foreground": "#A0A0A0" } }, { "name": "CSS ID's", "scope": [ "source.sass keyword.control", "meta.attribute-selector.scss" ], "settings": { "foreground": "#ffffff" } }, { "name": "Inserted", "scope": ["markup.inserted"], "settings": { "foreground": "#ffffff" } } ] }, // Overrides vesper theme end // git stuff "git.openRepositoryInParentFolders": "always", "git.autofetch": true, "git.confirmNoVerifyCommit": false, "git.confirmSync": false, "git.ignoreMissingGitWarning": true, "gitlens.gitCommands.skipConfirmations": [ "fetch:command", "stash-push:command", "switch:command", "push:command" ], "gitlens.hovers.currentLine.over": "line", // js tooling stuff "typescript.preferences.importModuleSpecifier": "non-relative", // prefer aliases when importing "eslint.options": { "extensions": [".js", ".jsx", ".mdx", ".ts", ".tsx"] }, "eslint.validate": [ "mdx", "javascript", "javascriptreact", "typescript", "typescriptreact" ], "tailwindCSS.experimental.classRegex": [ // enables tailwind autocomplete for specified functions ["cva\\(([^)]*)\\)", "[\"'`]([^\"'`]*).*?[\"'`]"], ["cn\\(([^)]*)\\)", "[\"'`]([^\"'`]*).*?[\"'`]"], ["cx\\(([^)]*)\\)", "[\"'`]([^\"'`]*).*?[\"'`]"] ], }

I commented on each section and left notes on what every config does. Mostly, I'm removing stuff! With the command palette and keybindings, I find the most value in the editor by coding with no clutter and then reaching for each tool as I need it.


Raycast Pro gives you themes! To match VSCode I made two versions of Vesper for it, Vesper dark  and Vesper dark only orange . The only orange version overrides ALL support colors with the accent orange from Vesper, I've been using it with no issues for a while, but hope your favorite extension doesn't rely on color alone to signify things!


Linear does such a delightful job at enabling color customization, in Settings, go to "Preferences", select the "Custom" Interface Theme option, and paste #101010,#FFFFFF,#101010,#A0A0A0,#FFC799,#000000 in the "All colors" field. Other than that I do collapse most of the sidebars and rely mostly on the cmd+k menu, but that's not exportable through a file.


Spotify doesn't surface significant customization at all, but the Open Source does! Using Spicetify  you can change anything in the Spotify UI. You can install it with the following commands:

curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/spicetify/spicetify-cli/master/install.sh | sh

For guidance on installation and usage, see the Spicetify Docs 

Using the Spicetify CLI, you'll be able to apply a "Theme" to your Spotify, You can find my theme in the spicetify-vesper-theme  Github repo. To use my theme, clone the repo into a folder in spicetify/Themes/ (mine is in ~/.config/spicetify/Themes/Vesper), and update the "current_theme" Setting in /spicetify/config-xpui.ini.


Similar to Spotify, my Discord setup requires a third-party application, Better Discord  enables extensive customization through CSS, similar to the aforementioned APC extension for VSCode. For installation guidance, see the Better Discord documentation .

You can find my theme in the better-discord-vesper-theme  Github repo. To use my theme, copy the content of the repo into the BetterDiscord/themes folder, you can open it from the Discord UI in Settings > Better Discord > Themes > "Open Themes Folder" after setting up Better Discord.


The cool thing about terminals is that themes are often very portable, I daily drive HyperTerm  because Alacritty didn't let me use different padding from the top and bottom of the window. As you might've learned from previous items, electron-based things are great for customization.

For my colors, I use some Vesper colors on top of the Mellow nvim theme  :

colors: { // Basic bg: "#101010", fg: "#ffffff", bg_dark: "#101010", // Normal black: "#101010", red: "#f5a191", green: "#90b99f", yellow: "#e6b99d", blue: "#aca1cf", magenta: "#e29eca", cyan: "#ea83a5", white: "#A0A0A0", // Bright lightBlack: "#7E7E7E", lightRed: "#ff8080", lightGreen: "#99FFE4", lightYellow: "#FFC799", lightBlue: "#b9aeda", lightMagenta: "#ecaad6", lightCyan: "#f591b2", lightWhite: "#ffffff", // Grays gray01: "#101010", gray02: "#1C1C1C", gray03: "#282828", gray04: "#57575f", gray05: "#7E7E7E", gray06: "#A0A0A0", gray07: "#ffffff", // Special none: "NONE", }

If you use the Warp terminal , you can get the theme straight from my Github repo . And if you use the default MacOS terminal the simple version that changes the background, text color, and caret color in this gist  might be enough to the the right look.

I also use Fig  for autocomplete in the terminal, the theme for it is available in my fork of the Fig themes repo  (and come on Fig maintainers, it has been 5 months since I made the PR to include Vesper in the default themes ).


In Obsidian, I use the Simple Theme  with a couple of overrides using the Style Settings  plugin. You can get my overrides by copying the following JSON into the Settings > Community Plugins > Style Settings > "Import" field.

{ "minimal-advanced@@styled-scrollbars": false, "minimal-style@@tag-radius": "4px", "minimal-style@@tag-border-width": "0", "minimal-style@@base@@dark": "#282828", "minimal-style@@bg1@@dark": "#101010", "minimal-style@@bg2@@dark": "#101010", "minimal-style@@ui1@@dark": "#282828", "minimal-style@@ax1@@dark": "#FFC799", "minimal-style@@sp1@@dark": "#000000", "minimal-style@@ax3@@dark": "#FFC799", "minimal-style@@tag-color@@dark": "#8B8B8B94", "minimal-style@@tx1@@dark": "#B4B4B4", "minimal-style@@tx2@@dark": "#7B7B7B", "minimal-style@@tx3@@dark": "#6E6E6E", "minimal-style@@hl1@@dark": "#FFFFFF25", "minimal-style@@window-title-off": false, "minimal-style@@frame-background@@dark": "#101010", "minimal-style@@frame-icon-color@@dark": "#101010", "minimal-style@@titlebar-text-color-focused@@dark": "#101010", "minimal-style@@titlebar-text-color@@dark": "#101010", "minimal-style@@tabs-style": "tabs-underline", "minimal-style@@workspace-background-translucent@@dark": "#101010" }

Physical setup??

Ah, and the Vesper mania wouldn't be complete if I didn't make the LEDs in my keyboard and mouse match the orange(or white sometimes; black and white are too nice to pass).

Keyboard and mouse in the dark, both with LED lights shining in an orange color that matches the Vesper theme's orange


While writting this, I realized how much care went into my rice. It was a gradual process that spanned several months, so I didn't even notice the extent of the work. I hope this inspires you to personalize your workspace. Wether by overfocussing on silly colors or diligently organizing and minimizing clutter. The most important part is crafting something yourself, for yourself.