Installing DEV on Windows 10

Installing prerequisites

These prerequisites assume you're working on a 64bit Windows 10 operating system machine.

Installing WSL

Since DEV's codebase is using the Ruby on Rails framework, we will need to install Windows Subsystem for Linux. Some dependencies used by the source code triggered errors when installing on Windows, so using WSL allows you to work on the software and not having to fix gem incompatibilities.

First, let's enable Windows Subsystem for Linux in your machine. You can do this by opening Control Panel, going to Programs, and then clicking Turn Windows Features On or Off. Look for the Windows Subsystem for Linux option and check the box next to it. Windows will ask for a reboot.

Enable WSL on Windows

Once you've got this installed and after rebooting, install Ubuntu 18.04 on Windows.

On your first run, the system will ask for username and password. Take note of both since it will be used for sudo commands.

Ruby on WSL

First, install Ruby language dependencies:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install git-core curl zlib1g-dev build-essential libssl-dev libreadline-dev libyaml-dev libsqlite3-dev sqlite3 libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev software-properties-common libffi-dev

For installing Ruby, we recommend using rbenv:

git clone ~/.rbenv
echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bashrc
echo 'eval "$(rbenv init -)"' >> ~/.bashrc
exec $SHELL

git clone ~/.rbenv/plugins/ruby-build
echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/plugins/ruby-build/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bashrc
exec $SHELL

rbenv install $(cat .ruby-version)
rbenv global $(cat .ruby-version)
ruby -v

Installing Rails

As a pre-requisite to install Rails, we're going to need to install a JavaScript runtime like Node.js.

To install Node.js, we're going to add it using the official repository:

curl -sL | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt-get install -y nodejs
node -v
npm -v

Please refer to NodeSource installation instructions for further details.

If npm -v gives Syntax error: word unexpected (expecting "in"), restart the terminal and try again.

And now, for rails itself:

gem install rails -v

Then run rbenv rehash to make the Rails executable available. Check it out by using rails -v command

rbenv rehash
rails -v


The fastest way to install Yarn for WSL would be from Debian package repository. Configure the repository with the following commands:

curl -sS | sudo apt-key add -
echo "deb stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yarn.list

Then you can simply issue:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install yarn

Make sure that Yarn is installed with yarn -v


DEV requires PostgreSQL version 9.5 or higher.

If you don't have PostgreSQL installed on your Windows system, you can do so right now. WSL is able to connect to a PostgreSQL instance on your Windows machine.

Download PostgreSQL for Windows and install it.

Pay attention to the username and password you setup during installation of PostgreSQL as you will use this to configure your Rails applications to login to the database later.

For additional configuration options, check our PostgreSQL setup guide.


DEV uses ImageMagick to manipulate images on upload.

Please refer to ImageMagick's instructions on how to install it.


DEV requires Redis version 4.0 or higher.

We recommend to follow this guide to run Redis under WSL.


DEV requires a version of Elasticsearch between 7.1 and 7.5. Version 7.6 is not supported. We recommend version 7.5.2.

We recommend following the install guide in Elasticsearch's docs for installing on Windows machines.

NOTE: Make sure to download the OSS version, elasticsearch-oss.

Installing DEV

  1. Fork DEV's repository, eg.
  2. Clone your forked repository, eg. 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.
    • If you use a remote computer as dev env, you need to set APP_DOMAIN variable to the remote computer's domain name.
    • The backend 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:

      1. 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.
      2. Obtain the development variable and apply the key you wish to enter/replace. ie:
    • If you are missing ENV variables on bootup, the 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.
  5. Run bin/setup

Possible error messages

  1. There is a possibility that you might encounter a statement timeout when seeding the database for the first time. Please increase the value of statement_timeout to 9999999 in config/database.yml.

  2. If the installation process failed with the following error ERROR: Error installing pg. Please consider installing the following package libpq-dev :

sudo apt-get install libpq-dev
  1. If the command bin/setup fails at installing cld-0.8.0 with the warnings 'aclocal-1.10' is missing on your system and 'automake-1.10' is missing on your system. Please install automake-1.10 using the commands below.
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install autoconf
tar xf automake-1.10.tar.gz
cd automake-1.10/
./configure --prefix=/usr/local

WSL2 and System test

In WSL2, hostname/IP address are no longer shared between Windows and Linux. There are currently two work-arounds.

  1. Use dockerized selenium, ie docker-selenium. You will need docker for the following steps

    1. docker run -d --name selenium-hub -p 4444:4444 selenium/hub:3.141.59-20200409
    2. CH=$(docker run --rm --name=ch --link selenium-hub:hub -v /dev/shm:/dev/shm selenium/node-chrome:3.141.59-20200409)
    3. Add SELENIUM_URL: "http://localhost:4444/wd/hub" to your application.yml
    4. Run your System test!
  2. Port forward with socats (more info needed).

If you encountered any errors that you subsequently resolved, please consider updating this section with your errors and their solutions.