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Gatsby on Linux

This guide assumes you already have a native installation of Linux on your machine. The following steps walk through how to install Node.js and associated dependencies.

Ubuntu, Debian, and other apt based distros

Begin by updating and upgrading.

Install cURL which allows you to transfer data and download additional dependencies.

Once curl is installed, you can use it to install nvm, which will manage node and all its associated versions.

Note that this is the current stable release of nvm. Full installation instructions and troubleshooting can be found at the nvm GitHub page

When nvm is installed, it does not default to a particular node version. You’ll need to install the version you want and give nvm instructions to use it. This example uses the latest release of version 10, but more recent version numbers can be used instead.

To confirm this has worked, use the following command.

Note that npm comes packaged with node

Finally, install git which will be necessary for creating your first Gatsby project based on a starter.

Fedora, RedHat, and other dnf based distros

These distros come installed with curl, so you can use that to download nvm.

Note that this is the current stable release of nvm. Full installation instructions and troubleshooting can be found at the nvm GitHub page

When nvm is installed, it does not default to a particular node version. You’ll need to install the version you want and give nvm instructions to use it. This example uses the latest release of version 10, but more recent version numbers can be used instead.

To confirm this has worked, use the following command.

Note that npm comes packaged with node

Finally, install git which will be necessary for creating your first Gatsby project based on a starter.

Archlinux and other pacman based distros

Begin by updating.

These distros come installed with curl, so you can use that to download nvm.

Note that this is the current stable release of nvm. Full installation instructions and troubleshooting can be found at the nvm GitHub page

Before using nvm, you need to install additional dependencies.

When nvm is installed, it does not default to a particular node version. You’ll need to install the version you want and give nvm instructions to use it. This example uses the latest release of version 10, but more recent version numbers can be used instead.

To confirm this has worked, use the following command.

Note that npm comes packaged with node

Windows Subsystem Linux (WSL)

This guide assumes that you already have WSL installed with a working Linux distro. If you don’t, follow this guide from Microsoft’s site to install WSL and a Linux distro of your choice.

As of October 17th 2017, Windows 10 ships with WSL and Linux distributions are available via the Microsoft Store, there are several different distributions to use which can be configured via wslconfig if you have more than one distribution installed.

Please note that if you have used the Gatsby on Windows setup without WSL, then you have to delete any existing node_modules folder in your project and re-install the dependencies in your WSL environment.

Using Windows Subsystem Linux: Ubuntu

If you have a fresh install of Ubuntu then update and upgrade:

Build tools

To compile and install native addons from npm you may also need to install build tools for node-gyp:

Install node

Following the install instructions on nodejs.org leaves a slightly broken install (i.e. permission errors when trying to npm install). Instead try installing node versions using [n] which you can install with [n-install]:

There are other alternatives for managing your node versions such as [nvm] but this is known to slow down [bash startup] on WSL.

Using Windows Subsystem Linux: Debian

Debian setup is nearly identical to Ubuntu except for the additional installs of git and libpng-dev.

Begin by updating and upgrading.

Additional dependencies need to be installed as well. build-essential is a package that allows other packages to compile to a Debian package. git installs a package to work with version control. linbpng-dev installs a package that allows the project to manipulate images.

Or to install all at the same time and approve (y) all installs:


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