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Peter Amstutz, 03/03/2016 04:25 PM


We recommend using Arvbox to set up self-contained Arvados development environment.

Running Arvados in development mode

$ arvbox reboot dev

This performs the following operations:

  1. Rebuild the arvbox-dev docker image (typically the layers are cached so this is a no-op unless you are working on arvbox itself)
  2. Create ~/.arvbox/arvbox to store arvbox state
  3. Clone the arvados git repository to ~/.arvbox/arvbox/arvados
  4. Place stateful container data in ~/.arvbox/arvbox/postgres and ~/.arvbox/arvbox/var
  5. Start the container
The container will then:
  1. Download and cache various packages (Ruby gems, Passenger)
  2. Compile and install Arvados server binaries
  3. Build and install Arvados SDK packages (such as arvados-python-client)
  4. Start the Arvados services

The directories inside ~/.arvbox/arvbox are all bind-mounted inside the container. This means that you may edit files on the host file system and the changes will be seen inside the container immediately. For example, if you edit a page template in ~/.arvbox/arvbox/arvados/apps/workbench/app/views you only need to reload the page in your browser to see the change.

You can restart individual services without restarting the whole container. For compiled services, the startup script always recompiles the server before starting it. For example, if you are working on keepproxy

$ arvbox sv restart keepproxy

If any service fails to come up, you can see the debug log using arvbox log. This log will include compilation or install errors:

$ arvbox log keepproxy

Finally, you can get a root shell inside the container using arvbox sh

$ arvbox sh

Running multiple Arvbox containers

To run multiple Arvbox containers, give them different names by setting the environment variable ARVBOX_CONTAINER.

$ arvbox status
Selected: arvbox
Status: running
Data: /home/peter/.arvbox/arvbox

$ export ARVBOX_CONTAINER=arvbox2

$ arvbox status
Selected: arvbox2
Status: not running
Data: /home/peter/.arvbox/arvbox2

Running the test suite

Arvbox can also be used to run the Arvados test suite in an isolated environment.

$ arvbox restart test

You can pass parameters to the test suite as described in Running tests:

$ arvbox restart test --only services/keepproxy