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Computer Setup

Your computer should have:

  1. A recent version of Windows (10 or later), macOS, or Linux, with:

    • current system updates
    • at least 4 GB of RAM
  2. Node.js installed, a recent 16.x, 18.x, or 20.x LTS version.

    • Why? Create React App requires Node >= 14 on your local development machine (not on the server)

    • Visit

    • Click the 20.9.[x] LTS Recommended For Most Users (or similar) green button on the LEFT to download the installer file.

    • Run the installer, accepting all default settings.

    • After installation, confirm that the Path environment variable on your computer has been modified to include the path for node and npm by following these steps.

      • Open a command prompt (Windows) or terminal (Mac).

        In Windows, click the Start button and type cmd

      • Run the following commands:
        node -v
        npm -v
      • Verify the version of each program is returned.
    • Please DO use a recent Node.js (Long Term Support (LTS)) versions for this class.

      • 16.x
      • 18.x
      • 20.x
    • Please DO NOT use these Node.js versions for this class.

      • 8.x
      • 11.x
      • 13.x
      • 15.x
      • 19.x
    • Why?

      Major Node.js versions enter Current release status for six months, which gives library authors time to add support for them. After six months, odd-numbered releases (9, 11, etc.) become unsupported, and even-numbered releases (10, 12, etc.) move to Active LTS status and are ready for general use. LTS release status is "long-term support", which typically guarantees that critical bugs will be fixed for a total of 30 months. Production applications should only use Active LTS or Maintenance LTS releases.

  • If you are using one of the older or experimental versions of Node.js listed above, uninstall it and reinstall a recent LTS version.
    1. Uninstall from Programs & Features with the uninstaller.
    2. Reboot (or you probably can get away with killing all node-related processes from Task Manager).
  • If you are using another version of Node and do not want to uninstall it because you need to support an existing application that uses that version I would recommend using a Node Version Manager so you can install multiple versions of Node.js on a machine.
    • For details on how to do this see this article.
    • Note: As explained in the article, depending on your operating system there are two different open-source projects for installing multiple versions of Node.js: one is named nvm (Mac) and the other nvm for Windows...make sure you use the appropriate one.
  1. Install Create React App and verify a project can be created.

    1. Create a working directory for the course somewhere on your computer that you will remember.

    2. Open a command prompt (Windows) or terminal (Mac).

    3. Change directory (cd) into the working directory you created.

    4. Run the following commands:

    npx create-react-app my-app --use-npm
    cd my-app
    npm start

    If you've previously installed create-react-app globally via npm install -g create-react-app, it is recommended that you uninstall the package using npm uninstall -g create-react-app to ensure that npx always uses the latest version.

    1. After the application builds, your default browser should open to http://localhost:3000/.

      If http://localhost:3000/ does not open automatically, open your browser and navigate there manually.

    2. Verify the React logo is displayed in the browser.

  2. An IDE (Integrated Development Environment) or code editor of your choice.

    Students may use any IDE/editor that they are comfortable with using.

  • We recommend Visual Studio Code.

    • It is free, cross-platform has a small download, and is a quick install.

    • Visit to install.

      Don't confuse Visual Studio Code with the heavier Visual Studio IDE used for .NET development.

    • Configure Visual Studio Code for the course by following these directions.

    ! Don't miss the above link to configure Visual Studio Code with appropriate extensions for the course

  • WebStorm or IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate both made by JetBrains are also great choices.

    • In summary, these IDEs are heavier but have more features built-in.

    • Visit Download WebStorm to install.

      • OR
    • Visit Download IntelliJ IDEA to install.

      Note: IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate includes TypeScript support while the Community Edition does not.

      Each download comes with a free 30-day trial.

  1. Google Chrome browser.

  2. Internet access in the classroom is required because attendees will download additional software packages and material from as part of the class. This can be confirmed by following these steps.

  3. You will need to have Git installed. To verify it is installed open a terminal or command-prompt and run the command:

    git --version

   You have completed the computer setup.

  • If you need to configure npm to use a corporate proxy server the following article may be helpful but it will likely be more helpful to ask a co-worker that has already done it within your organization.