The preferred way to get started on Learn is the Learn IDE. Occasionally students may have an issues with the Learn IDE because it requires a constant internet connection. If that's the case, you may be interested in setting up a local environment. Setting up your own local environment can come with it's own set of issues, so we are not able to provide much local environment support for students in free tracks. That all being said, here are the instructions if it is what you are looking to do!
Mac or Ubuntu (Debian)
Go to https://learn.co/manual_setup and follow the instructions :) Note: These instructions will be different depending if you go to that page on machine running Mac OSX as opposed to Linux. It will automatically load the instructions for your operating system.
It is very difficult to setup the development environment for this course on a Windows machine, for that reason, the best option would be to install Ubuntu (a very friendly version of Linux). Follow these instructions to backup your computer and install Linux. You are of course welcome to setup Linux with any set of instructions you prefer, these are just the ones we recommend.
Once Ubuntu is setup on your computer, see the steps for setting up a development environment above :)