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docs: updates to contributor documentation #4039
docs: updates to contributor documentation #4039

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Development setup

RhodeCode Enterprise runs inside a Nix managed environment. This ensures build environment dependencies are correctly declared and installed during setup. It also enables atomic upgrades, rollbacks, and multiple instances of RhodeCode Enterprise for efficient cluster management.

To set up RhodeCode Enterprise inside the Nix environment, use the following steps:

Setup Nix Package Manager

To install the Nix Package Manager, please run:

$ curl https://nixos.org/nix/install | sh

or go to https://nixos.org/nix/ and follow the installation instructions. Once this is correctly set up on your system, you should be able to use the following commands:

  • nix-env
  • nix-shell


Update your channels frequently by running nix-channel --upgrade.

Switch nix to the latest STABLE channel


nix-channel --add https://nixos.org/channels/nixos-16.03 nixpkgs

Followed by:

nix-channel --update

Clone the required repositories

After Nix is set up, clone the RhodeCode Enterprise Community Edition and RhodeCode VCSServer repositories into the same directory. To do this, use the following example:

mkdir rhodecode-develop && cd rhodecode-develop
hg clone https://code.rhodecode.com/rhodecode-enterprise-ce
hg clone https://code.rhodecode.com/rhodecode-vcsserver


If you cannot clone the repository, please request read permissions via support@rhodecode.com

Enter the Development Shell

The final step is to start the development shell. To do this, run the following command from inside the cloned repository:

cd ~/rhodecode-enterprise-ce


On the first run, this will take a while to download and optionally compile a few things. The following runs will be faster.

Creating a Development Configuration

To create a development environment for RhodeCode Enterprise, use the following steps:

  1. Create a copy of ~/rhodecode-enterprise-ce/configs/development.ini

  2. Adjust the configuration settings to your needs


    It is recommended to use the name dev.ini.

Setup the Development Database

To create a development database, use the following example. This is a one time operation:

paster setup-rhodecode dev.ini \
    --user=admin --password=secret \
    --email=admin@example.com \

Start the Development Server

When starting the development server, you should start the vcsserver as a separate process. To do this, use one of the following examples:

  1. Set the start.vcs_server flag in the dev.ini file to true. For example:

    ### VCS CONFIG ###
    vcs.start_server = true
    vcs.server = localhost:9900
    vcs.server.log_level = debug

    Then start the server using the following command: rcserver dev.ini

  2. Start the development server using the following example:

    rcserver --with-vcsserver dev.ini
  3. Start the development server in a different terminal using the following example:


Run the Environment Tests

Please make sure that the tests are passing to verify that your environment is set up correctly. More details about the tests are described in: :file:`/docs/dev/testing`.