Installing prerequisites

These prerequisites assume you're working on a Linux-based operating system but have been tested on Ubuntu 18.04.


  1. If you don't already have a Ruby version manager, we highly recommend rbenv. Please follow their installation guide.
  2. With the Ruby version manager, install the Ruby version listed on our badge. (ie with rbenv: rbenv install 2.6.1)

For very detailed rbenv installation directions on several distros, please visit DigitalOcean's guide.


There are two ways to install Yarn.


  1. run sudo apt update && sudo apt install postgresql postgresql-contrib libpq-dev.
  2. To test the installation you can run sudo -u postgres psql which should open a PostgreSQL prompt. Exit the prompt by running \q then run sudo -u postgres createuser -s $YOUR_USERNAME where $YOUR_USERNAME is the username you are currently logged in as.

There are more than one way to setup Postgres. For additional configuration, check out our postgres doc or the official PostgreSQL site for more information.


  1. Fork repository, ie.
  2. Clone your forked repository, ie. git clone<your-username>/
  3. Install bundler with gem install bundler
  4. Set up your environment variables/secrets

    • Take a look at Envfile. This file lists all the ENV variables we use and provides a fake default for any missing keys. You'll need to get your own free Algolia credentials to get your development environment running.
    • This guide will show you how to get free API keys for additional services that may be required to run certain parts of the app.
    • For any key that you wish to enter/replace:
  5. Create config/application.yml by copying from the provided template (ie. with bash: cp config/sample_application.yml config/application.yml). This is a personal file that is ignored in git.
  6. Obtain the development variable and apply the key you wish to enter/replace. ie:

    • If you are missing ENV variables on bootup, envied gem will alert you with messages similar to 'error_on_missing_variables!': The following environment variables should be set: A_MISSING_KEY..
    • You do not need "real" keys for basic development. Some features require certain keys, so you may be able to add them as you go.
  7. Run bin/setup

    • While installing, you might run into an error due to the pg gem requiring PostgreSQL libraries. If so, please run sudo apt-get install libpq-dev before retrying.