How to install Pixlet

Hi - I am not a programmer but have in the past done a couple of projects where the manual installation of code / software was necessary and I mostly got along with the help of readme files or by googling. Now I downloaded the pixlet.zip package and looked at the instructions on github. It says “to install on Mac OS just type: ``brew install tidbyt/tidbyt/pixlet” .

I tried to use the terminal on mac OS to enter this command in the pixlet folder but this did not work. It would be great if anyone could point me to maybe a tutorial (did not find any on google) or maybe give me some pointers how I could get this installed so that I at least could dabble a little bit with it ?

Thanks so much four any assistance

Was the issue that you don’t have homebrew installed? For this brew command to work on the mac, you’ll first need to install homebrew. It’s a command-line software installer on the mac. You can install it by following the steps here.

If homebrew is installed and you’re having problems with the brew command it failing while trying to run the install, you might try running homebrew’s diagnostics with the command brew doctor.

Hope that’s helpful.

I was not even aware that extra software is necessary. Thanks a lot for the help. I’ll use the link you provided - lets see how far I’ll get :slight_smile:

So I installed homebrew and also installed pixlet. Does Pixlet have a user interface or this just a command line tool ? Sorry for the probably stupid question. I’m not a programmer but I’m willing to invest time to learn new things :slight_smile:

It is just a command line tool. The examples and tutorials posted on Tidbyt’s Github account are a good way to become familiar with developing with Pixlet. The community apps codebases are available to the public on GitHub too, which is another good way to get to know how apps are built since they are in effect working examples.

Typing pixlet --help in the terminal shows the options available for Pixlet.

Thanks so much for your help. So I followed the tutorial in the Tidbyt blog. It says that i should create a ***.star file. I did that but I don’t know where to save this. I was unable to find where the actual Pixlet installation / folder is located. Do I have to save the .star file in a specific folder in order to then serve it ? Or can i just put it anywhere and just start it from that directory using terminal ?

You can save your *.star anywhere on your system. On my computer, I have a projects folder with sub-folders to hold files for various projects.

As for knowing where pixlet is installed, you shouldn’t need to worry about that as homebrew installs it in a location that is typically already added to your PATH variable. In my case, pixlet was installed in /usr/local/bin:

**********@*****-Mac-mini ~ % echo $PATH 
/Users/**********/.nvm/versions/node/v16.4.2/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/Applications/VMware Fusion.app/Contents/Public:/Library/Apple/usr/bin
**********@*****-Mac-mini ~ % which pixlet
/usr/local/bin/pixlet
**********@*****-Mac-mini ~ % 

Once you have saved your *.star file, let’s say you called it my_app.star:

  1. Open a terminal window and navigate to the folder where you have the file stored
  2. Run the following command, pixlet serve my_app.star
  3. The output from step 2 should look something like the following if there are no errors. If there are errors reported, it will output the error which you’ll need to fix and try again:
2022/07/02 15:25:51 listening at http://127.0.0.1:8080
  1. Open a browser window and go to the URL http://127.0.0.1:8080 and you should see the output of your tidbyt app.

Note: If you want the browser to auto refresh when you save a change to your app run this command instead:

pixlet serve --watch my_app.star

So long as there are no errors with the changes you saved, the app will auto-refresh, if there is an error with your app, the error will be displayed in the terminal window. FIx the error and the app will auto update, rinse and repeat.