Students will need their laptops set up with Microsoft Excel and R by week 3. This year with UW hosting JupyterHub, we can use Unix Shell - Bash and Jupyter in the cloud. However you can use your own machine if you prefer.

Microsoft Excel

You likely already have this installed or please visit the IT Connect page on UW Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus

Unix Shell - Bash

from Software Carpentry Lesson

The shell is a program that enables us to send commands to the computer and receive output. It is also referred to as the terminal or command line.

Some computers include a default Unix Shell program. The steps below describe some methods for identifying and opening a Unix Shell program if you already have one installed. There are also options for identifying and downloading a Unix Shell program, a Linux/UNIX emulator, or a program to access a UNIX server.

If none of the options below address your circumstances, try an online search for: UNIX shell [your computer model] [your operating system].


The default shell for Linux operating systems is usually Bash. On most versions of Linux, it is accessible by running the Terminal program, which can be found via the applications menu or the search bar.
If your machine is set up to use something other than bash, you can run it by opening a terminal and typing bash.

Mac OS

For a Mac computer, the default Unix Shell is Bash, and it is available via the Terminal Utilities program within your Applications folder.

To open Terminal, try one or both of the following:

  • Go to your Applications. Within Applications, open the Utilities folder. Locate Terminal in the Utilities folder and open it.
  • Use the Mac ‘Spotlight’ computer search function. Search for: Terminal and press [Enter] - this will open Terminal.


How to Use Terminal on a Mac


Computers with Windows operating systems do not automatically have a Unix Shell program installed. In this course, we encourage you to use an emulator included in Git for Windows, which gives you access to both Bash shell commands and Git.

Once installed, you can open a terminal by running the program Git Bash from the Windows start menu.


  1. Download the Git for Windows installer.
  2. Run the installer and follow the steps bellow:
    1. Click on “Next”.
    2. Click on “Next”.
    3. Click on “Next”.
    4. Click on “Next”.
    5. Click on “Next”.
    6. Select “Use Git from the Windows Command Prompt” and click on “Next”. If you forgot to do this programs that you need for the workshop will not work properly. If this happens rerun the installer and select the appropriate option.
    7. Click on “Next”. Keep “Checkout Windows-style, commit Unix-style line endings” selected.
    8. Select “Use Windows’ default console window” and click on “Next”.
    9. Click on “Next”.
    10. Click on “Finish”.


Download and install the R base system. We will be using R studio to work with the base system.