Getting Started Edit

Gutenberg is a Node.js-based project, built primarily in JavaScript.

The first step is to install the latest active LTS release of Node. The easiest way (on macOS, Linux, or Windows 10 with the Linux Subsystem) is by installing and running nvm. Once nvm is installed, you can install the correct version of Node by running nvm install in the Gutenberg directory.

Once you have Node installed, run these scripts from within your local Gutenberg repository:

Note: The install scripts require Python to be installed and in the path of the local system.

npm install
npm run build

This will build Gutenberg, ready to be used as a WordPress plugin!

If you don’t have a local WordPress environment to load Gutenberg in, we can help get that up and running, too.

Local Environment Local Environment

Step 1: Installing a Local Environment Step 1: Installing a Local Environment

The quickest way to get up and running is to use the wp-env command, which is developed within the Gutenberg source repository, and published as @wordpress/env to npm. In its default mode, it’ll install and run a local WordPress environment for you; however, it’s also possible to configure it to use a pre-existing local WordPress installation.

If you don’t already have it, you’ll need to install Docker and Docker Compose in order to use wp-env.

To install Docker, follow their instructions here for Windows 10 Pro, all other version of Windows, macOS, or Linux. If running Ubuntu, see these extended instructions for help and troubleshooting.

To install Docker Compose, follow their instructions here, be sure to select your operating system for proper instructions.

Once Docker is installed and running, run this script to install WordPress, and build your local environment:

npx wp-env start

Top ↑

Step 2: Accessing and Configuring the Local WordPress Install Step 2: Accessing and Configuring the Local WordPress Install

Accessing the Local WordPress Install Accessing the Local WordPress Install

The WordPress installation should now be available at http://localhost:8888 (Username: admin, Password: password).
If this port is in use, you can override it using the WP_ENV_PORT environment variable. For more information, consult the wp-env README.

To shut down this local WordPress instance run npx wp-env stop. To start it back up again, run npx wp-env start again.

Top ↑

Toggling Debug Systems Toggling Debug Systems

WordPress comes with specific debug systems designed to simplify the process as well as standardize code across core, plugins and themes. In order to use with wp-env, you’ll have to edit your local WordPress install’s wp-config.php.

Top ↑

Troubleshooting Troubleshooting

See the relevant section in wp-env docs.

Top ↑

On A Remote Server On A Remote Server

Open a terminal (or if on Windows, a command prompt) and navigate to the repository you cloned. Now type npm install to get the dependencies all set up. Once that finishes, you can type npm run build. You can now upload the entire repository to your wp-content/plugins directory on your web server and activate the plugin from the WordPress admin.

You can also type npm run package-plugin which will run the two commands above and create a zip file automatically for you which you can use to install Gutenberg through the WordPress admin.

Top ↑

Storybook Storybook

Storybook is an open source tool for developing UI components in isolation for React, React Native and more. It makes building stunning UIs organized and efficient.

The Gutenberg repository also includes Storybook integration that allows testing and developing in a WordPress-agnostic context. This is very helpful for developing reusable components and trying generic JavaScript modules without any backend dependency.

You can launch Storybook by running npm run storybook:dev locally. It will open in your browser automatically.

You can also test Storybook for the current master branch on GitHub Pages:

Top ↑

Developer Tools Developer Tools

We recommend configuring your editor to automatically check for syntax and lint errors. This will help you save time as you develop by automatically fixing minor formatting issues. Here are some directions for setting up Visual Studio Code, a popular editor used by many of the core developers, these tools are also available for other editors.

Top ↑

EditorConfig EditorConfig

EditorConfig defines a standard configuration for setting up your editor, for example using tabs instead of spaces. You should install the EditorConfig for VS Code extension and it will automatically configure your editor to match the rules defined in .editorconfig.

Top ↑

ESLint ESLint

ESLint statically analyzes the code to find problems. The lint rules are integrated in the continuous integration process and must pass to be able to commit. You should install the ESLint Extension for Visual Studio Code, see eslint docs for more editor integrations.

With the extension installed, ESLint will use the .eslintrc.js file in the root of the Gutenberg repository for formatting rules. It will highlight issues as you develop, you can also set the following preference to fix lint rules on save.

    "editor.codeActionsOnSave": {
        "source.fixAll.eslint": true

Top ↑

Prettier Prettier

Prettier is a tool that allows you to define an opinionated format, and automate fixing the code to match that format. Prettier and ESlint are similar, Prettier is more about formatting and style, while ESlint is for detecting coding errors.

To use Prettier with Visual Studio Code, you should install the Prettier – Code formatter extension. You can then configure it to be the default formatter and to automatically fix issues on save, by adding the following to your settings.

"": {
    "editor.defaultFormatter": "esbenp.prettier-vscode",
    "editor.formatOnSave": true

This will use the .prettierrc.js file included in the root of the Gutenberg repository.

If you only want to use this configuration with the Gutenberg project, create a directory called .vscode at the top-level of Gutenberg, and place your settings in a settings.json there. Visual Studio Code refers to this as Workplace Settings, and only apply to the project.

For other editors, see Prettier’s Editor Integration docs

Top ↑

TypeScript TypeScript

TypeScript is a typed superset of JavaScript language. The Gutenberg project uses TypeScript via JSDoc to type check JavaScript files. If you use Visual Studio Code, TypeScript support is built-in, otherwise see TypeScript Editor Support for editor integrations.