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Getting Started

Setting up a Development Environment

Getting started with development is pretty straightforward, and should feel familiar to anyone with Django development experience. There are a few things you'll need:

  • A Linux or macOS environment
  • A PostgreSQL server, which can be installed locally or with Docker
  • A Redis server, which can also be installed locally or with Docker
  • A supported version of Python

Enable Pre-Commit Hooks

Peering Manager ships with git pre-commit hooks that check for style compliance prior to committing changes. This helps avoid erroneous commits that result in CI test failures. You'll need pre-commit:

$ pre-commit install

Create a Python Virtual Environment

A virtual environment is like a container for a set of Python packages. It makes sure that you do not mess with system packages or other projects. When installed per the documentation, Peering Manager uses a virtual environment in production, so it's a must to use it for development as well.

Create a virtual environment using the venv Python module:

$ mkdir ~/.venv
$ python3 -m venv ~/.venv/peering-manager

This will create a directory named .venv/peering-manager/ in your home directory, which houses a virtual copy of the Python executable and its related libraries and tooling.

Once created, activate the virtual environment:

$ source ~/.venv/peering-manager/bin/activate
(peering-manager) $ 

Notice that the console prompt changes to indicate the active environment. This updates the necessary system environment variables to ensure that any Python scripts are run within the virtual environment.

Install Dependencies

With the virtual environment activated, install the project's required Python development packages using the pip module:

(peering-manager) $ python -m pip install -r requirements_dev.txt
Collecting Django<3.3,>=3.2 (from -r requirements.txt (line 1))

Configure Peering Manager

Within the peering_manager/ directory, copy to and update the following parameters:

  • ALLOWED_HOSTS: This can be set to ['*'] for development purposes
  • DATABASE: PostgreSQL database connection parameters
  • REDIS: Redis configuration, if different from the defaults
  • SECRET_KEY: Set to a random string (use in the parent directory to generate a suitable key)
  • DEBUG: Set to True

Start the Development Server

Django provides a lightweight HTTP/WSGI server for development use. Run it with the runserver management command:

$ python runserver
Performing system checks...

System check identified no issues (0 silenced).
July 12, 2021 - 19:38:41
Django version 3.2.5, using settings 'peering_manager.settings'
Starting development server at
Quit the server with CONTROL-C.

This ensures that your development environment is now complete and operational. Any changes you make to the code base will be automatically adapted by the development server.

Running Tests

Throughout the course of development, it's a good idea to occasionally run unit tests to catch any errors. Tests are run using the test management command:

$ python test

Submitting Pull Requests

Once your work finished and you verified that all tests pass, commit your changes and push it upstream to your fork. Always provide descriptive (but not excessively verbose) commit messages. When working on a specific issue, be sure to reference it.

Commit messages should be formatted as mentionned here. Do not use useless capital letters, write commit messages like you would write a text, including for the summary line.

$ git commit -m "Closes #1234: Add support for 128-bit ASN"
$ git push origin

Once your fork has the new commit, submit a pull request to propose the changes. Be sure to provide a detailed list of the changes being made and the reasons for doing so.

Once submitted, a maintainer will review your pull request and either merge it or request changes. If changes are needed, you can make them via new commits to your fork: The pull request will update automatically.