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1.2 Prerequisites

In this lesson I’ll explain what you need to follow along with this course. I’ll show you how to install a supported version of Ubuntu Linux as well as some virtual machine software you can use if you don’t have Linux installed on your personal laptop or desktop.

I’m assuming you have a basic understanding of the Swift programming language. If you don’t, check out the Envato Tuts+ course “Up and Running With Swift 2” to get more familiar with it.

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1.2 Prerequisites

Before we can actually get started using Swift on another platform or another operating system, we really need to know what it is we're getting into. And in this course, I'm gonna take you through some of the basics here, but there is a lot more to cover to really get a good feel for this. The first place that you should really head over to is Swift.org, this is the website that is being championed by Apple to contain all the information that you really need to know to get up and running with Swift as an open source project. On this website, you're gonna find a lot of good information about Swift. A blog, where to download it, how to get started with the installation and use of it. As well as links to a lot of good documentation and source code and a lot of information in the community to see what exactly is going on right now. Once you've kinda become familiar with the structure of Swift.org and kinda understand the basic building blocks of what it is you are gonna have to do to get this up and running on another platform, then you'll be able to kinda move on to the next step. But, in order to really understand that, if you take a look at the Download section, you're gonna see here that it's only supported right now on two platforms. Obviously on the Apple Platforms, but then also on Linux. And specifically on Ubuntu 15.10 and 14.04. Those are currently the supported platforms. That you're gonna want to take advantage of this. Does that mean that those are the only ones that this is gonna work on? Not necessarily. You may find some documentation or some links out there with people getting this up and running on other platforms or other version of Linux distributions and that's great, but right now that's not really supported by Apple. So, depending on where you stand with going with the support or unsupported, it's completely up to you. If you just wanna play around with this, I say feel free. But, the interesting thing here to pay attention to is that, yeah sure it's just Linux but Linux is a very flexible operating system and it can run on a lot of different platforms. So, if you have an empty laptop laying around or a desktop and you wanna install it and go for it, then that's absolutely fine. But, if you also start to expand your horizon a little bit, and think about what that really opens the door for, you can come up with some pretty cool things. Well, I could run that operating system on a raspberry pie, and get Swift up and running on that, and maybe be able to write some libraries and some things that will help me to control different things that I've hooked up to my raspberry pie. Now things like that really start to get me excited for the future of Swift as a programming language and being able to control things using it. Now, for this particular course, we're gonna be sticking with the basics that you're gonna see here in the documentation. We're gonna be using Swift 2.2 on Ubuntu 14.04, but you can use 15.10 if you like, the process is not gonna be much different. But, once you're able to get this all installed, what are you gonna do with it? Well, you really have to have a decent understanding of Swift as a language. Now, if you are unfamiliar with Swift or haven't had much stick time with it, then I suggest you head over to tuts plus and take a look at one of my previous courses called Up and Running With Swift 2. In here, you'll see a lot of good beginner information, as well as introducing some intermediate topics of the Swift programming language. So, definitely urge you to go over there and take a look at this. Now, once you have a basic understanding of all this stuff, how are we gonna get it set up? Well, we're gonna use a little bit of help from some virtualization software. For now, like I said before, if you have an empty laptop or desktop laying around and you wanna install Linux on it and you wanna go natively for it, then absolutely, by all means, go for it. But not all of us have machines laying around that we really wanna do that with, so the other option is to use VirtualBox. So, if you head over to virtualbox.org, you're gonna see some nice software here that's gonna allow us to create some VMs or some virtual machines that we can install just about any operating system on and I'm using the 5.0.12 version. I'm not gonna take you through the process of downloading and installing that because it's really very simple. All you really have to do is download whichever version for your platform you need and then go through the installation process. It's actually quite simple. But from there, we can also take it a step further and use something called Vagrant. And what Vagrant is it's a nice little assistant into the world of VirtualBox. It's actually a command line interface into it that's gonna allow you to automate a lot of steps that I'm gonna show you in the next lesson. So, all you really have to do for both of these tools is go to the appropriate link that's gonna have the correct executables for your platform and your version downloaded and install it, it's quite simple, and then you'll be ready to go. So in the next lesson, I'm gonna take you through the process of configuring Vagrant to download the appropriate version of the operating system and get everything set up for you, so you can really get in and start to use this, VM as a development machine.

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