Linking to css file 'out of the box'

I’ve been trying get roots working for a few days now. I’ve followed all the documentation and feel like I’m missing something.
After I clone roots and install all the dependencies, should the sample page be linked to any css or bootstrap? I just don’t see how one links css to one’s project. Just loading a sample page with the roots theme shows the css stylesheet link as follows: but there’s no dist/styles/main.css file ‘out of the box’. This file doesn’t exist. When I run gulp ‘gulp’ it doesn’t compile the main.less file into any css file either. The site is not linking to any css or bootstrap files?

Have I not configured something? Where do I edit the main.css file and how do I compile the main.less file into the main.css file? I haven’t changed anything yet so I assumed it would work after following the installation instructions.
I’m working on localhost with Xampp. There’s no HTACCESS file. I followed these instructions: Roots Cannot Find CSS & JS Files

Really keen to get this working. Cheers

This is covered in both the documentation and the README.

You need to follow all of the steps to build the assets.

  1. npm install -g gulp bower
  2. npm install
  3. bower install
  4. gulp