The development setup¶
To contribute to pretalx, it’s useful to run pretalx locally on your device so you can test your changes. First of all, you need install some packages on your operating system:
If you want to install pretalx on a server for actual usage, go to the Administrator documentation instead.
Python 3.6(!) or newer
A recent version of pip
gettext (Debian package:
tox as your development environment
If your operating system does not provide Python 3.6 or newer, you might need to compile it yourself or install it from the unstable or experimental repositories.
Some Python dependencies might also need a compiler during installation, the Debian package
build-essential or something similar should suffice.
If you are working on Ubuntu or Debian, we strongly recommend upgrading your pip and setuptools installation inside the virtual environment, otherwise some of the dependencies might fail:
sudo pip3 install -U pip setuptools wheel
tox is not available in your distribution’s repositories, you can install it via pip:
sudo pip3 install tox
Get a copy of the source code¶
You can clone our git repository:
git clone https://github.com/pretalx/pretalx.git cd pretalx/
Working with the code¶
First up, check that
tox is installed and working as expected:
$ tox --listenvs dev lint tests-mysql-codecov tests-postgres-codecov tests-sqlite-codecov installation docs docs-linkcheck docs-autobuild
Then, create the local database:
tox -e dev manage.py migrate
To be able to log in, you should also create an admin user, organiser and team by running:
tox -e dev manage.py init
If you want to see pretalx in a different language than English, you have to compile our language files:
tox -e dev manage.py compilemessages
If you need to test more complicated features, you should probably look into the setup documentation to find the bits and pieces you want to add to your development setup.
Run the development server¶
To run the local development server, execute:
tox -e dev
Now point your browser to http://localhost:8000/orga/ – You should be able to log in and play around!
Code checks and unit tests¶
Before you check in your code into git, always run the static checkers and unit tests:
tox -e lint tox -e tests-sqlite
If you have more than one CPU core and want to speed up the test suite, you can run
tox -e dev -- -m pytest -n NUM with
NUM being the number of threads you want to use.
If you edit a stylesheet
.scss file, please run
sass-convert -i path/to/file.scss
afterwards to autoformat that file.
Working with mails¶
If you want to test emails in your development setup, we recommend starting Python’s debugging SMTP server in a separate shell and configuring pretalx to use it. The debugging SMTP server will print every email to its stdout.
Add this to your
[mail] port = 1025
python -m smtpd -n -c DebuggingServer localhost:1025.
Working with translations¶
If you want to translate new strings that are not yet known to the translation system, you can use
the following command to scan the source code for strings we want to translate and update the
*.po files accordingly:
tox -e dev manage.py makemessages
To actually see pretalx in your language, you have to compile the
*.po files to their optimised
tox -e dev manage.py compilemessages
pretalx by default supports events in English, German, or French, or all three. To translate
pretalx to a new language, add the language code and natural name to the
LANGUAGES variable in
settings.py. Depending on the completeness of your changes, and your commitment to maintain
them in the future, we can talk about merging them into core.
Working with the documentation¶
To build the documentation, run the following command:
tox -e docs
You will now find the generated documentation in the
If you find yourself working with the documentation more than a little, give the
functionality a try:
tox -e docs-autobuild