Creating and Maintaining a Development Environment


To create a development and test environment, you’ll need Linux or OS X host operating system. Windows is currently not supported.

You will need Python 2.7.

Many components use Docker. You’ll need Docker to perform many tasks. Functionality requiring Docker should be skipped if Docker is not available.

Aside from the base requirements, the development and testing environment should be fully self-contained and won’t pollute your system.

If you are on Windows or want to create a fully-isolated environment, the Vagrant configuration used by Jenkins provides a fully capable environment.

Ubuntu Requirements

On a fresh Ubuntu 16.04 install, the following packages need to be installed:

  • python-dev
  • npm
  • libffi-dev
  • liblzma-dev
  • libsasl2-dev
  • libldap2-dev
  • libssl-dev
  • mercurial (to clone version-control-tools)

Many of these dependencies are needed to compile binary Python extensions that are part of the virtualenv.

You can install these dependencies by running:

$ sudo apt-get install python-dev npm \
  libffi-dev liblzma-dev libsasl2-dev \
  libldap2-dev libssl-dev mercurial

You will also need to install Docker for a number of test and dev environments to work. See the official Docker instructions for more.

Creating and Updating Your Environment

Development and testing requires the creation of a special environment containing all the prerequisites necessary to develop and test. This is accomplished by running the following command:

$ ./create-test-environment


You should periodically run create-test-environment to ensure everything is up to date. (Yes, the tools should do this automatically.)

Activating an Environment

Once you’ve executed create-test-environment, you’ll need to activate it so your current shell has access to all its wonders:

$ source venv/bin/activate


If you are running OS X and have boot2docker installed to run Docker containers, you may want to increase the amount of memory available to the boot2docker VM.

Run the following to see how much memory is currently allocated to boot2docker:

$ boot2docker config | grep Memory

The default is 2048 (megabytes). We recommend at least 4096 MB.

To adjust the amount of memory allocated to boot2docker, run the following:

$ VBoxManage modifyvm boot2docker-vm --memory 4096

Alternatively, if you haven’t created a boot2docker VM yet, define the memory allocation when you create it:

$ boot2docker init --memory=4096