Gatsby on Windows

Setting up your environment for building native Node.js modules.

Many Gatsby plugins and themes require building native Node.js modules, e.g. Sharp (a common Gatsby dependency used for image processing). To do so, you need a functional build environment (Python and Visual C++ Build Tools).

The easy way to setup your build environment on Windows is to install the windows-build-tools package by running npm install windows-build-tools -g on an admin PowerShell console. Upon installing this package, it downloads and installs the Visual C++ Build Tools 2015, provided free of charge by Microsoft. These tools are required to compile popular native modules. It will also install Python 2.7, configuring your machine and npm appropriately.

If npm install still fails…

Sometimes the windows-build-tools won’t properly install the required libraries. This is true if you already have a regular .NET development environment setup. This has been reported on Windows 10 x64 (and possibly other architectures or Windows versions).

This might be your problem if, after running npm install on a Gatsby site, you see compilation errors such as node-gyp or sharp or binding.gyp not found.

If you suspect this is your problem, download the Visual Studio Community 2015 Package and install only the part of the package that interests us : Programming languages > Visual C++ > Common tools for Visual Studio 2015. Be sure to download the 2015 version of VS Community, not the 2017 version (see Note 1 below) ; you’ll have to use the search bar on the VS site to find it. You can uncheck everything else. You don’t need to install the full VS2015 Express on your system and this won’t mess up your existing VS201x installs.

Common tools for Visual Studio 2015 inside the VS 2015 Community Package

Then run the commands on Gatsby:

npm uninstall node-gyp -g
npm config set python python2.7
npm config set msvs_version 2015
npm cache clean -f
npm install

You should then be all set.

If that still doesn’t work, refer to the node-gyp npm package homepage for further instructions and contact the node-gypteam on GitHub.

Note 1 : the Visual Studio Community 2017 surely contains the package too but we weren’t able to find it. If you found it, run npm config set msvs_version 2017 instead and report it here with a screenshot!