This is a step by step guide for installing Elixir, Phoenix, and other tools for developing your first application. If you want to contribute, please see our Contributing Guide.

Step 1: Prepare for the Installfest

You must bring:

  • Your laptop. You need to have a working wifi connection, a browser and an email account you can readily access.
  • If you have a choice between a Mac and a Windows laptop, please bring the Mac. Linux is an acceptable alternative, but the Installfest is only tested on Ubuntu.
  • Power cord for your laptop
  • If you already have accounts on Heroku or GitHub, make sure you know your username and password.

Step 2: Don’t Panic!

Even if you get stuck, please go through the rest of the instructions and download all the things you’ll need. Bandwidth will be at a premium during the workshop, so it will help immensely to have everything on your laptop already.

There are a lot of steps, and the instructions may seem like they’re in a foreign language, but don’t panic! By the end of the workshop, you’ll know what everything is and how to use it.

Step 3: Read This Overview

Here’s a list of tools you’ll be installing. As you go through the workshop, we’ll explain what each one is for and how to use it.

  • Elixir. A programming language
  • Phoenix. A framework for making web applications with Elixir. It does a lot of the setting up work for you and creates a model-view-controller structure for your web application. We’ll go into more detail about that later.
  • Git. A revision or source control system. It creates a repository, which is a complete history of your programming changes, so you can undo changes and roll back to previous versions of your work if something has gone wrong.
  • GitHub. (optional)
  • Heroku. An application server, which hosts your application during development. This allows you to get your application online and interact with it from any browser, instead of just on your local machine.
  • Atom. To write programs in Elixir, you need a text editor to create, edit and save Elixir files.

You will also create an account on Heroku, an application hosting platform.

If you already have an account on Heroku, make sure you know your username and password.

If you’ve already installed the above tools and are confident they are set up correctly, skip ahead to the Get a Sticker step.