Installation guide for new users Prototype Kit requirements

The GOV.UK Prototype Kit runs on Mac, Windows and Linux. At a minimum you’ll need Node.js (install instructions below) and a web browser.

If you're using an M1 Mac issued in 2020 or later, you might experience issues when you run the Prototype Kit. To get support, contact the Prototype team.

Software you need

You'll usually need admin access to your machine to install the software.

If you do not have admin access, ask your IT team to install the software for you.

GDS staff can install the software themselves with the Self Service app.

You'll need:

  • Node.js 16.x.x
  • Git Bash (if you're using Windows, see below)


You'll need a terminal application to install, start and stop the kit. Using a terminal is sometimes called ‘using the command line’.

Mac users

Macs come with a terminal application already. It’s located in the Utilities folder in the Applications folder. You can also find it using spotlight (magnifying glass icon in the top right) and typing 'terminal'.

Windows users

This guide will use Git Bash as a terminal instead of the existing CMD application. Git Bash is more fully featured and uses the same commands as Mac and Linux, so instructions in this guide work for all.

Installing Git Bash installs 2 things for you:

  • a terminal (for entering commands) and
  • Git (used later to share your work with others)

Installing Git Bash for Windows users

Download Git Bash (direct download).

Install with all the default options.

Node.js version 16 LTS

The kit is designed to work with Node.js version 16 LTS. The kit works with any 16.x.x version.

Check if you have Node.js

In terminal (Git Bash in Windows):

node --version

If it says command not found or Error 0x2 starting node.exe --version you don’t have Node and will need to download and install it.

If the version number starts with 16 you have the correct version installed.

If it says another number such as 0.12 or 5.x.x, you need to download and install version 16.

Download and install Node.js

Mac / Windows users

Download version 16 from the Node.js website.

Run the installer with all default options.

Linux users

Follow the Linux instructions on the Node.js. website. Make sure you get version 16.

Once Node is installed

You’ll need to quit and restart the terminal to be able to use Node for the first time.

To check it is installed correctly you can again run:

node --version

If it’s installed correctly it should show a number starting with 16.

Next (How to install the kit)