Software setup

We will need the following software set up on whatever computer(s) you plan to use for this course. It should all work equally well on Mac, Windows, or Linux. These are somewhat ‘bare bones’ instructions, so use Piazza to ask questions if you encounter any problems.

Git and GitLab

Git is a version control tool, that helps developers keep track of any changes that are made to a set of files. We’ll also use it to submit and collaborate on assignments. You may have heard of GitHub, a social code-sharing site. We’ll be using a similar service called GitLab, which more easily allows private code repositories.

  1. Install the Git distributed version control application from The default settings are fine.

  2. Sign up for an account on GitLab: Once logged in to your dashboard, create a new private project named cs120.

  3. Open the Git bash application on Windows, or use Utilities » Terminal on Mac. Type these commands, substituting your actual name and email address in the double quotes:

    git config --global "YOUR NAME"
    git config --global ""
  4. Create an SSH key pair, assuming you don’t already have one on this computer. To do that, in the Git bash terminal, enter ssh-keygen. You’ll press enter for all the defaults, including an empty passphrase. It should go something like this:

    $ ssh-keygen
    Generating public/private rsa key pair.
    Enter file in which to save the key (/c/Users/league/.ssh/id_rsa):
    Created directory '/c/Users/league/.ssh'.
    Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
    Enter same passphrase again:
    Your identification has been saved in /c/Users/league/.ssh/id_rsa.
    Your public key has been saved in /c/Users/league/.ssh/
    The key fingerprint is:
    b7:27:3e:8d:83:df:9a:21:c7:27:0d:fa:43:ac:d0:7e league@WIN7
  5. Now you’ll want to access the public part of the key that it generated. It’s easiest to open it in a text editor, using:

    • On Windows: notepad .ssh/
    • On Mac: open -e .ssh/

    The editor will pop up with a line that begins ssh-rsa AAAA… copy the whole thing onto your clipboard.

  6. In your GitLab account, go to Profile settings » SSH Keys » Add SSH Key and paste your key in the big box, then Add Key.

  7. On your computer, open the Git GUI application. Select Create New Repository. In the Directory box, browse to somewhere convenient such as Desktop or Documents, and then manually add /cs120 onto the end (without creating that folder). In my example, the Directory is C:/Users/league/Desktop/cs120

    Create New Repository

    Create New Repository

    Mac users: you may not be able to find the Git GUI application. Here is how to proceed.
  8. You should now see the repository status viewer. You will interact with this interface whenever you want to save your work and synchronize it to the GitLab server.

    Repository status viewer

    Repository status viewer

  9. Create a new file called readme.txt and save it within the new cs120 folder. In the file, just type your name and whatever else you want.

  10. Switch back to the repository status viewer.

    1. Hit the Rescan button. Your readme.txt should appear in the upper left area, labeled Unstaged Changes.

    2. Hit the Stage Changed button. The app will confirm and move the readme.txt to the lower left area, labeled Staged Changes.

    3. Type a message such as “my initial commit” in the lower box labeled Initial Commit Message.

    4. Hit the Commit button. The status bar at the bottom should say something like “Created commit abcdef: my initial commit.”

    5. Another way to see the commit is to select Repository » Visualize master’s history from the menu. Your commit should be highlighted, and the contents of your readme file will also appear there.

      History viewer

      History viewer

      After confirming the details, you can close the history viewer.

  11. The next step is to push the new commit up to the GitLab server, which we will configure as a ‘remote’. Go back to your GitLab cs120 project page and find the SSH URL. It should look something like Copy that onto the clipboard.

  12. In the repository status viewer, select Remote » Add from the menu.

    Add New Remote

    Add New Remote

    Type origin as the Name, and paste your git@gitlab… URL as the Location. Select Initialize Remote Repository and Push, and hit Add.

    A successful push should look something like this:

    Not allowed command [ignore this]
    Pushing to
     * [new branch]      master -> master
    updating local tracking ref 'refs/remotes/origin/master'
    Mac users: if the push seems to be taking a while, switch back to the terminal where you started the git GUI. If it’s asking a yes/no question, type ‘yes’ and press enter; then the process should continue.
  13. Now, in some text editor, make a small change to the readme file you saved in cs120 – just add a one-line message to it. In the repository status viewer, repeat these steps. We’ll use these whenever you have something new to submit or synchronize:

    1. Rescan button
    2. Stage Changed button
    3. Type a Commit Message, such as “added one line to readme”
    4. Commit button
    5. Push button
    6. Confirm the Push in the next dialog.

    If you reload the project page on GitLab, you should see a summary of the history, with your most recent commit first: “Christopher League pushed to branch master at Christopher League / cs120 … added one line to readme.”

  14. Congratulations, your Git is working!

JetBrains WebStorm

The main integrated development environment (IDE) we’ll use is called WebStorm, by a company called JetBrains. Their products have licensing fees for commercial use, but are free to students and to open-source projects.

  1. Apply for a JetBrains student account by filling in the form at You must use your address. Confirm your account by email, and set the password.

  2. Download WebStorm from and run the installer.

  3. WebStorm may require Java to be installed first. If so, you can get Java from but be careful – by default that installer may also add an annoying toolbar to your web browser. You can and should opt out, and express your anger with Oracle for this nonsense.

  4. Once WebStorm starts, the splash screen will ask you to enter a license key. Instead, select JetBrains Account and enter your email address and password.

    Activate using your JetBrains student account

    Activate using your JetBrains student account

  5. WebStorm might ask you about importing settings; you can just go with the default.

  6. Then it will display the startup screen. Select Create New Project.

    Welcome to WebStorm

    Welcome to WebStorm

  7. Call your project testpage and, for the Location, make sure it gets saved in your cs120 folder, but in a sub-folder also called testpage. In my case, the Location says C:\Users\league\Desktop\cs120\testpage. The Project type can remain “Empty project.”

  8. As the project opens, one of the pop-ups you’ll see says “Unregistered Vcs root detected.” You can try the Add root link and see this should resolve automatically. For the other pop-up, you can choose I don’t agree.

  9. In the project pane on the left side, right-click on testpage and choose New » HTML File. Type the name index.html and hit OK. WebStorm might offer to add the file to Git… you can say Yes.

  10. WebStorm will have filled in a basic template for your HTML5 page. Inside the <body> section, add an <h1> tag containing your name, so it looks something like this:

        <h1>Hello, Chris!</h1>
  11. Save the file, and then select View » Open in Browser » [whichever browser] and it should open that browser and show your page. The location bar of your browser will include a host section something like localhost:63342.

  12. Now I want to ensure you know how to take a screen-shot on your OS, because it’s so useful for troubleshooting. If you’re not sure, start at – save your image as a PNG file, and place or copy it into the cs120 folder. For full credit, make sure it is named testscreen.png and shows just the code portion of your WebStorm window, like this:

    Sample screen-shot from WebStorm

    Sample screen-shot from WebStorm

  13. Now choose File » Close project and quit WebStorm.

  14. In your git repository status viewer, do Rescan, and Stage Changed. Make sure that at least testpage/index.html and testscreen.png appear in the staged changes list (there will be a few other files within .idea as well). Type a Commit Message, Commit, and Push.

  15. This last step will allow me to see your work. On your GitLab repository page, open up Settings in the left sidebar, and then select Members. Hit the green New project member box, and search for the account named league. My name should appear. Select that, and add me with access Master, as shown below.

    Confirm by hitting Add users.

  16. Congratulations, your WebStorm is licensed and works, you know how to take a screenshot, and you’ve uploaded and shared your work with me.