At its most basic, a starter pack can be described as a stack plus the workspace files. Starter packs give users a tremendous amount of ability to customize a template to be used by students. However, you need to understand how all of these components come together to make a starter pack. There are two kinds of stacks, those that have customized workspace files but a standard stack and those that have, perhaps, customized workspace files and a customized stack.
Custom Workspace Files, Standard Stack
This is the simpler of the two types of starter packs. Workspace files include any files added to the file tree on the left, a modified README.md, the guide, or the custom buttons in the menu bar. These are superficial changes, and making a starter pack is relatively easy.
Step 1 - Create a Project
Create a new project. Add or modify the workspace files as you see fit.
Step 2 - Create a Starter Pack
Create a new starter pack. Select the newly created project you just finished created. You will also have to select a stack you want associated with the starter pack.
And that's it, the starter pack is now ready to be used.
Custom Workspace Files, Custom Stack
This starter can have custom workspace files or not; that is not really important. However, if you want a starter pack with additional software installed, then there is an additional step when creating a starter pack.
Step 1 - Create a Project
Just like before, create a new project. Add or modify the workspace files as necessary. This is also the moment to install the extra software.
Step 2 - Create a New Stack
Additional software is not a part of the workspace files. Instead, it is a part of the stack. This means you are using a custom stack, and it will not appear in the list of stacks to use with the starter pack. You must save this custom stack so it can be used in a starter pack. In the menu bar, click on "Projects", then "Stack", and finally click on "Create New...".
Since you are installing the software for the first time, this is a new stack. Give your new stack a name. Making the stack public means others can see it. Most users only have one organization, so there will not be a choice for the owner.
Codio is going to ask if you want to use this newly created stack as the official stack of your project. Say "Yes".
Step 3 - Create a New Stack
Create a new stack. Be sure to use the project as the basis of the starter pack. This will provide all of the custom workspace files. Next, select the custom stack you made in Step 2 above. This will ensure that the additional software will be available to whomever uses the starter pack.
The starter pack is now ready to be used.