Note: This guide is for Windows users. If you are working on a Mac, Start with our docs.


I’ll present a recommended setup for getting started with BowTie development on the Windows platform. There are a number of other methods, including the GitHub Windows client, but these may require additional work or more intensive configuration.

Some existing software solutions that BowTie integrates with do not officially support Windows, but we’ve found that there’s not much hindrance to development once you’ve configured your environment. Please reach out to if you have any issues, or submit a Pull Request to submit any corrections.

Installing Git

  1. Download the official Git build for Windows from the GitHub Downloads Page.
  2. Run the executable file that you just downloaded to begin the Git installation process.
  3. Install with the default options (esp. Use Git from Git Bash only).

Configuring SSH Keys

  1. Click the Start Button, find the Git Bash Application, and run it.
  2. In the resulting terminal window, run $ ssh-keygen.exe
  3. Save the file the default location (%HOMEDIR%/.ssh/id_rsa).
  4. Now run $ cat %HOMEDIR%/.ssh/ | clip, where %HOMEDIR% should be your user’s home directory.
  5. Navigate to the BowTie New Account Key page and paste the clipboard contents into the “Key” field.
  6. Give your Key a Title that describes the machine you’re working from, and submit with the “Save” button.

Cloning the Repository

  1. Visit your BowTie Project Dashboard, and copy the value from the “SSH clone URL” field at the top of the page.
  2. Launch the Git Bash Application and navigate to the directory where you want your Projects to live.
  3. Run $ git clone %GITCLONEURL%, where %GITCLONEURL% is the value from the “SSH clone URL” field from step 1.
  4. If your configuration is correct, you should see Git pull down your Project contents into a directory named after your Project.

Installing Ruby

  1. Download Ruby (2.1.5 works, as of the date of this writing) from RubyInstaller.
  2. Run the Installer - make sure you “Add Ruby executables to your PATH”
  3. Download the DevKit release for the same version of Ruby you downloaded above.
  4. Extract the DevKit release into C:\RubyDevKit
  5. Run the Command Prompt with Ruby from your start menu
  6. Run cd \RubyDevKit
  7. Run $ ruby dk.rb init
  8. Run $ ruby dk.rb install
  9. Run $ gem update and confirm overwrites

The BowTie Client

  1. Run gem install bowtie-io and accept any Security Prompts.
  2. In your Project’s clone directory, edit the _config.yml file and add the line highlighter: false. Without it you’ll get blank pages served. If you figure out how to get pygments working on Windows, please let us know.
  3. Run $ bowtie serve and open https://localhost:4000/ in your web browser.


If you are new to BowTie, check out our other Getting Started guides.

Getting Started with BowTie:

To keep up to date, follow us on twitter at @bowtie_io

Questions? Please comment! Thanks for your support and feedback.