All attendees

There are two key preparation steps:

  1. Back up your data. It is possible to delete things by mistake, it's best to have a backup!
  2. Ensure you have a working bash shell - see below for your operating system's instructions.

OSX

  1. Open Terminal: Applications → Utilities → Terminal
  2. Run the command bash --version
  3. You should see a message like GNU bash, version 3.2.57

In the unlikely event this does not work, try installing iTerm.

Linux

  1. Find "Terminal" in your Linux application menu. The exact name varies but it's usually pretty easy to find.
  2. Run the command bash --version
  3. You should see a message like GNU bash, version 4.3.30

In the unlikely event this does not work, you'll need to investigate installing a bash shell on your Linux distribution - the precise details vary, although it's usually only an apt-get away.

Windows

Installation ahead of time is required for all versions of Windows:

  • All versions of Windows can use Cygwin.
  • Windows 10 can also use WSL.

See details below; and if in doubt use Cygwin. Other shells including Git Bash, cmd and Powershell are not suitable.

Cygwin

  • Download the installer from cygwin.com
  • Follow the instructions for a fresh install (basically, run the installer..)
  • If you have any issues with the package list, try the http option for Internode (this is pretty reliable)
  • At the "select packages" stage, add the following packages by searching, then changing them from "skip" to install (it will show the version number):
    • (editor) vim
    • (editor) nano
    • (development) git
    • (python) python (2 not 3)
    • (net) ping
    • (net) curl
    • (web) wget
    • (utils) tree
    • (utils) colordiff
    • (utils) dos2unix
  • When it asks about "resolving dependencies" say yes, it'll download any extras required to install the options you specified.
  • When everything's installed, run Cygwin.
  • Run the command bash --version
  • You should see a message starting with GNU bash, version 4.3.42 (or similar)
  • To orient yourself to the location Cygwin has been installed, run cygstart . - this should open Windows Explorer in your bash home directory.
  • Note that your firewall may prompt for permission multiple times when you start Cygwin and run commands for the first time. Although it's a bit annoying this is normal, as bash is running lots of small, separate programs.

WSL (Bash on Ubuntu on Windows)

The Windows 10 'anniversary' update released in August 2016 includes Windows Subsystem for Linux (beta), which is a long name for a bash shell.

WSL is a genuine beta and still has features to add and bugs to fix. As such it is recommended that you have Cygwin installed as well to be sure you can complete all exercises.

See the blog post Getting started with WSL for setup and configuration suggestions; and don't forget to add your WSL username and password to your password safe.