Minimal racket not recommended for beginners

Minimal Racket is a tool for the maintainers and developers of Racket to setup build environments for working on packages in the main Racket distribution.

If you are not a maintainer of a package in the Racket distribution you should install/use the full Racket distribution.

Proposed text

# Installation

The Racket distribution can be downloaded from

Installers are provided for 

* Windows
* Linux
* macOS

Please reference Racket's [Getting Started]( page for guidance materials.

The [Racket Guide]( introduces you to interacting with Racket. 

See [DrRacket: The Racket Programming Environment]( for guidance using the DrRacket IDE.

See [Command-Line Tools and Your Editor of Choice]( for an introduction to racket command line tool and using other editors.

## About the Linux installer:
The Linux build is generic enough that it should work on most distributions, including relatively old distributions. 

After downloading the installer file, run it with


You man need to prefix `sudo` to the start of the command to install to a location that requires adminstrator access.

**Warning: Racket may also be available through your distribution's package manager, although it may be older than the latest Racket version.** While you may choose to do this later, as a learner you will have a much better experience if you stick to the current release available from

## About the macOS installer:

If your machine uses the M1 or M2 series processors, select **Apple Silicon** in the platform dropdown menu before downloading.

Original topic text:

I made a PR to fix the guidance but it was auto closed

Yup. See this blog entry. This is working as intended.

If you think something needs reworking, please discuss it on the forum. What needs reworking? Why? How can it be better? If track maintainers agree it’s worth changing, they will suggest/request a PR. Only then should a PR be filed. PRs with pre-approval will be reviewed. PRs without pre-approval are automatically closed.

Note, the same applies to issues filed on GitHub.

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Thanks for the advice.

I have now updated the topic.

I wonder if the creators of the Racket track were thinking of Racket’s student languages? They are trimmed down versions that have fewer features in exchange for more beginner friendly error messages.

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That would be a good idea

Sorry for the brief response yesterday - a busy Saturday
Using the student languages is a good idea, especially given there is a textbook to support this that is freely available online:

It is worth being clear for those unfamiliar with racket that the these trimmed down languages are not associated with minimal racket.

There are two identifiable cohorts of learners for racket

  1. new to programming
  2. already a programmer, and wanting to learn another language

I think that modifying the track to support the first group would be a big help.

- You man need to prefix `sudo` to the start of the command to install to a location that requires adminstrator access.
+ You may need to prefix `sudo` to the start of the command to install to a location that requires root access.

The guidance is taken from the official site.

I see what you mean but I think new learners won’t necessarily know that root is jargon for administrator. If you know what root is you already understand sudo.

But this just distracts from the big issue - recommending minimal-racket actively harms new users.


@spdegabrielle Just a heads-up: your PR lags behind exercism/racket:main by 1 (relevant) commit. The current installation instructions do not seem to recommend Minimal Racket. Is your proposal still applicable?

“Administrator” is also jargon. It’s just Windows jargon so it might be more familiar to some people … and completely incorrect when referring to Unix systems. If you prefer avoiding jargon, I would suggest using words like “privileged user” or “special user”. And, yes, it’s a comment on the specific wording which is orthogonal to the broader question.

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Perfect! I consider this resolved. Thank you