Bootstrap Part 2


Bootstrap doesn’t need to be “installed” or “compiled.”

Main Post

I started at’s Getting Started and saw this:

Download instructions for Bootstrap

I braced myself. I’ve been struggling through learning Linux, trying to install stuff and move stuff and configure stuff working with little or conflicting instructions from various tutorials. Here, I am faced with choosing “compiled” Bootstrap, source code for Bootstrap, and some version for Rails and other I haven’t begun to learn.

So from the very beginning, this is all made more complicated than A) it needs to be and B) it actually is.

I’ve found, for my life in Ubuntu, installing software using ppa is the most painless method for tools that aren’t available in the Software Center (most of the things I want). I couldn’t find any ppa instructions for Bootstrap but the download page has a subheading for “Install with npm” and this was the second time I’d seen npm mentioned for something I wanted. I didn’t jump at that at first because I’m so sick of “To use A, use B, to get B, install C, and so on.”

Scrolling down through all the instructions, trying to remain optimistic, I see under header, “Compiling CSS and JavaScript,” that “Bootstrap uses Grunt for its build system.”

Great, I need Grunt to use Bootstrap.

To install Grunt, you must first download and install node.js (which includes npm).

So, I need Bootstrap and to use that I need Grunt. Before I can get Grunt, I have to get node but the good news is, node comes with npm and I need npm to get both Bootstrap and Grunt!

Despite my distaste for using code I’ve never seen and don’t understand, I did the following (from

Installation instructions from Node J S dot org

That didn’t seem to work. I tried

npm install bootstrap

with no success. Then I tried checking the node version in the command line and the command line only mocked me in return.

A DigitalOcean tutorial ( has been nice to me before) told me how to download the latest version of node (v4.2.2) so I don’t have to use the, apparently, ancient version (v0.10.25) that comes by default in Ubuntu repositories. I zeroed in on the “How To Install Using a PPA” header first and noted:

The nodejs package contains … npm, so you don’t need to install npm separately.

Instructions for installing node using a PPA

That didn’t work either, so I followed these instructions:

More instructions for downloading and installing node

The first time I followed those instructions, everything looked normal except it appears I only downloaded the package but it didn’t install. The second time I did it, it definitely installed but installed the ancient (v0.10.25) version. I tried a couple times to download and install the latest version with no success. Later, I’ll try some tutorials on updating node. As with the whole ELK thing, at least I know I’m not alone.

According to the previous directions, npm should have been installed with node but it wasn’t, so I installed it by itself separately using that last set of instructions and, oh my gosh, itook forever but npm installed.

I typed npm install bootstrap, pressed enter and things seemed to go quite well.

Then I didn’t know what to do. I went back to staring at the “compiled” and “source code” stuff and the Grunt stuff and felt I should take a break before trying to figure out what obstacles needed climbing so I could actually use this thing I downloaded. I tried checking the version of Bootstrap but got nothing.

48 Hours Later

Did you know Bootstrap is just a library of CSS and JS files? Yep. That’s exactly what I thought it was before I first looked at their website.

It doesn’t need to be “installed.”

It doesn’t need to be “compiled.”

It’s just like jQuery–you put it I the directory with the rest of your web pages and files and it just works. So here you are:

The JotaScript Tutorial for Installing Bootstrap

  1. Download it.
  2. Put it somewhere and link to it.
  3. That’s it. You’re done. This doesn’t count as a step.

About jotascript

Aiming to please. Seeking to impress.
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One Response to Bootstrap Part 2

  1. Pingback: Aaargh! Updating Node Part 2 | jotascript

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