1.2. Getting Started

1.2.1. Prerequisites

Bookdown uses PHP. It runs on PHP 5.6 and later, but we recommend using the latest available version of PHP.

1.2.2. Installation

First, choose an existing project directory, likely a Git repository. We will call this the {$REPO} directory.

Next, use Composer to install a Bookdown skeleton as a subdirectory inside {$REPO}. We suggest _bookdown/ since Github Pages will not publish underscore-prefixed paths.

cd {$REPO}
composer create-project bookdown/project _bookdown/

You may wish to add the following lines to {$REPO}/.gitignore so that the underlying libraries are not committed to your main repository.


1.2.3. Confirming Installation

The Bookdown skeleton includes an example to confirm that installation succeeded. Change into the skeleton directory, then issue the bookdown command to generate the example files:

cd _bookdown/
./vendor/bin/bookdown book/bookdown.json

You should see some output logs indicating file reading and creation. The HTML will be generated at the root of {$REPO}, not in the _bookdown subdirectory. You should see two files, index.html and example.html.

To browse these files, start the built-in PHP server on localhost:8080 (or some other port) and then use a web client to review them.

php -S localhost:8080 -t {$REPO}

Be sure to terminate the server when done.