So I did it. The verdict – very easy and friendly. Running one console command I copied & pasted from the Installing Meteor page.
I did that on OS X and on Ubuntu Linux (14.04). On both platforms it worked smoothly. Haven’t tried Windows, since I don’t do development on Windows these days.
At the time of writing, the current Meteor version was 1.2.1.
Dissecting the newbie installation experience
As a complete newbie, I expect the Meteor landing page to clearly instruct me how to begin with Meteor. This is indeed the case, at least at the time of writing:
The installing Meteor page is clear and welcoming enough:
On OS X and Linux, the installation is as simple as getting the installer script from
https://install.meteor.com/, and executing it using
The installation writes out what it’s doing, which is not a trivial thing. It even gives out next steps for after the installation! That’s impressive, isn’t it? So I tried it:
Hey, I just installed this thing, and I already got a fullstack web app up and running!
That’s cool and fun. I’m guessing they were aiming for a warm and fuzzy feeling, by getting a quick win with something working that I can see. I admit it worked – it made me feel good about Meteor. But I hope it’s also valuable beyond that (e.g., as a useful new project template), because at this point, I don’t have much to do with this app staring at me, even if this “Click Me” button can count clicks like a ninja (a counting ninja?) 🙂 .
Also, I know I can stop the running meteor server using
ctrl+c, but I think it would be simple and valuable to have it written out as well once the server is running, being friendly to newbies and all.
Follow the white rabbit
You might have noticed that the
meteor create command suggested trying out some learning resources. So I figured, why not go see what’s there?
A bit odd though (bug?), that the “Official Meteor tutorial” link actually links to the installation page, and not to a tutorial, as I’d expect.
Well, this definitely provides me with lots of options for where to go next. I plan to proceed with one of the tutorials.
What’s in the install script?
As a sidebar, I don’t really like running random scripts that I curl straight from the Internet. I know it’s not inherently different from installing a package (right?), but I feel like I should know what scripts are doing on my system.
So I took a look before executing it:
The installation script is quite short and simple, and surprisingly readable and well commented! It practically just fetches the Meteor SDK tarball from wherever and extracts it under the user home directory. The rest is fun yack shaving for the family (making sure the platform is OK, setting up paths and symlinks, etc.).
That’s all with my experience with installing the Meteor SDK on my laptop. It was as easy as it gets (good thing!), at least on OS X and Ubuntu Linux.
If others have experience with Windows, please go ahead and say something about it in the comments 🙂 .
Stay tuned for my next steps in this journey.