Software and Tools¶
The software you’ll need to download and install on your computer in order to contribute varies between projects; please refer to the documentation for the project you want to contribute to for details.
The following information is a generic description of software or tools that you’ll most likely need regardless of the project you work on.
Operating Systems: Windows, Linux, or macOS/OS X?¶
Generally speaking, automation and test tools need to run on the platforms that are being tested. Linux and Mac are often used as development environments because the tooling is much more comprehensive. If you are a Windows user, you may want to use a program like VirtualBox to create a virtual machine running a Linux-based operating system. The rest of this guide assumes you are using macOS/OS X or a Linux-based operating system.
If you are running macOS/OS X, most of the software mentioned here can be installed using the Homebrew package manager.
Git is a distributed version control system. It tracks the history of changes we make to our code, which allows us to see how the code has changed over time. Git also makes it very easy for multiple people to work on the same code at the same time and merge their changes together at the end.
If you are a contributor who is completely new to distributed version control systems, you might enjoy stepping through some or all of this fun and easy tutorial.
- A great guide to getting started with Git and GitHub, which hosts most of our Git repositories.
- GitHub for Windows
- A Windows program for interacting with GitHub as an alternative to using Git in a terminal. Useful if you are not used to using a terminal yet.
- GitHub for Mac
- A Mac OS X program for interacting with GitHub as an alternative to using Git in a terminal. Useful if you are not used to using a terminal yet.