The kit runs on Mac, Windows and Linux. At a minimum you’ll need node.js (install instructions below) and a web browser.

This guide recommends additional software which will be used in later guides.

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 Managed Software Centre (MSC).

You'll need:

  • Node.js 12.x.x
  • Atom (text editor)
  • Git bash (Windows)


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 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 two things for you: a terminal (for entering commands), and git (used later to share your work with others).

Installing git bash

Download Git bash (direct download).

Install with all default options.

Entering commands in the terminal

Commands to be entered in to the terminal will be inset like this:

command to be typed in to terminal

Once you’ve typed the command, press enter to send it.

Node.js version 12 LTS

The kit is designed to work with Node.js version 12 LTS. The kit works with any 12.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 12 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 12.

Download and install Node.js

Mac / Windows users

Download version 12 from

Run the installer with all default options.

Linux users

Follow the instructions on the Node.js site. Make sure you get version 12.

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 12.

Atom (text editor)

You’ll need a text editor to edit and make changes to your prototype. We recommend Atom - which is free and has lots of useful features.

Next (install the kit)