Following on from part 1: Installing GalliumOS on a Chromebook - we should have full access to install applications and developer tools onto the Chromebook through GalliumOS (or any other Linux distribution). There are many tools and editors available for web development, in this tutorial we're going to setup a complete web development environment by installing NodeJS - for running server side Javascript and installing packages, Git - for source control, Visual Studio Code my preferred code editor and a couple of NPM packages to generate some skeleton web applications to get us up and running quickly.

Installing NodeJS

NodeJs can be installed via the command line using the standard sudo apt-get install command however with GalliumOS, I'd strongly advise installing node via the Node Version Manager (NVM). I found this easier because when Node is installed using sudo, all node commands need to be executed with sudo permissions however this falls over when automated scripts try to run node/npm commands without sudo permissions and it becomes difficult to maintain. Using the NVM instead enables you to run any node/npm command without using sudo and it also enables multiple versions of node to be installed and managed on the same machine with he ability to switch versions on demand which is pretty cool.

To install the Node Version Manager run the following command:

curl -o- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/creationix/nvm/v0.33.1/install.sh | bash  

Once the NVM has been installed we can install the latest version of NodeJS

nvm install 6.10  

One installed, run the following command to double check that you have a version of NodeJs installed:

nvm ls  

Now node is installed, we just need to install Node's package manager (NPM) and we're ready to install VsCode

npm install -g  

Installing Visual Studio Code

To install Visual Studio Code we first need to get the installer from the VsCode Website (download the Debian *.deb installer and install it from the command line.

sudo dpkg -i <VsCodeFileName>.deb  

Now we're all setup, navigate to a directory on your file system and run the following command to launch VsCode

code .  

We've now turned our ChromeBook into a portable web development machine, stay tuned for more posts on how to be productive using visual studio code.