Lesson Weekend

We hope you're as excited about the first day of class as we are! To make sure you start class smoothly, please make sure you install all necessary software on your personal machine before beginning class. This way, you can ensure you will be able to complete Epicodus coursework at home on your own machine.

You will have the opportunity to get setup assistance from Epicodus staff. For in-person students, usually instructors set up a specific time and day to address set up issues. For online students, instructors typically meet with students on an as-needed basis. If you need setup assistance, let your instructor know as soon as possible. Please know that the assistance we can provide is limited and that we do not have the staffing to debug complex personal environment issues.

Operating Systems and Support

Epicodus uses Macs and the Chrome browser. In general, Mac users with a recent OS should not have issues installing any of the software.

PC users often have problems installing the software necessary for Ruby and Rails. We now provide Docker containers for running Ruby and Rails, which makes running Ruby and Rails much easier. No installation of any software needed - other than Docker.

We don't have the staffing to offer setup support for Linux distributions at this time. However, many students have completed the program successfully using Linux.

Regardless of whether you have Windows, Mac, or another OS - or whether your machine is newer or older, it's important to have your machine's environment set up ahead of time.

Software Installation Instructions by Course

Introduction to Programming

All students should follow the instructions in the lesson below to install necessary packages for Introduction to Programming.

Intermediate JavaScript and React

If you are in a full-stack certificate program at Epcocdus, follow the instructions below to install Node.js. Students in the part-time Introduction to Programming course (only 6-weeks) do not need to install Node.js.


If you are in a track that includes C# and .NET, install the packages in the following lessons.


If you are in a track that includes Ruby and Rails, you have two options.


Install Docker, an application which allows you to run containers with environments separate from your operating system. We have set up containers for each section in Ruby/Rails, which means you don't need to do any installation of Ruby or Postgres software on your personal machine. You can just use Docker instead. We recommend installing Docker regardless because it will always be available if you have problems with Ruby software on your machine.

To install Docker, following the instructions in Installing Docker. You'll learn more about using Docker in the Ruby and Rails course.

Ruby and Postgres Installation

Alternatively, you can install Ruby and Postgres using the following instructions. We do not recommend installing Ruby and Postgres on Windows machines (though we do provide instructions on how to do so).

It is also fine to install Docker and install software on your machine. Docker containers run independently of your machine's operating system and configuration.

Not sure whether to install Ruby or use Docker?

Or perhaps you have questions about the benefits and drawbacks of working with Docker instead of installing Ruby? Read through the FAQ: Should I Install Ruby or Use Docker?.

Lesson 2 of 15
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