# Running Locally

This guide explains how to install the Development version of Directus locally so that you can work on the platform's source code. To install the Production version locally, please follow to our standard installation guides.

Minimum Requirements

You will need to have the latest version of Node (opens new window) to build a Development version of Directus.

You can use the JavaScript tool manager volta (opens new window) to automatically install the current node and npm versions.

# 1. Fork the Directus repository

Go to the repository (opens new window) and fork it to your GitHub account. A fork is your copy of the Directus repository. Forking the repository allows you to freely experiment with changes without affecting the original project.

# 2. Clone from your repository

git clone git@github.com:YOUR-USERNAME/directus.git

# 3. Make a new branch

git checkout -b YOUR-BRANCH-NAME

# 4. Install the dependencies and build the project

npm install
npm run build

# 5. Create a .env file

Create a .env file under the api folder. You can use the example.env file provided under api as a starting point.

# To use the example file
cp api/example.env api/.env

# 6. Initialize the database

For this step, you'll need to already have a SQL database up-and-running, except if you're using the SQLite driver, which will create the database (file) for you.

To start the initialization run the following command:

# From within the root of the project
npm run cli bootstrap

# For SQLite you need to run the command in the 'api' context (to ensure the database file is created in the right directory)
npm run cli bootstrap --workspace=api

This will set-up the required tables for Directus and make sure all the migrations have run.

# 7. Start the development server

First you need to choose what packages you want to work on. Then, you should run the dev script on that package. You can see their names and list of scripts in their related package.json. Example of running APP:

npm run dev -w @directus/app

If you want to work on multiple packages at once, you should create a new instance of your terminal for each package: Example of running Api, App:

Terminal 1 [Api] Terminal 2 [App]
npm run dev -w directus
npm run dev -w @directus/app

To work on the Documentation (public website version), you should navigate to the docs directory and run the following command:

npm install

ℹ This is necessary because the way vue-server-renderer imports vue

Then you should run

npm run dev:site


If you encounter errors during this installation process, make sure your node version meets the minimum requirements

# 8. Make your fixes/changes

At this point you are ready to start working on Directus! Before diving in however, it's worth reading through the introduction to Contributing.


Check our Wiki for a guide (opens new window) on debugging the app and api.

# 9. Running tests

Tests run automatically through GitHub Actions. However you may wish to run the tests locally especially when you write tests.

Install Docker (opens new window) and ensure that the service is running.

# Ensure that you are testing on the lastest codebase
npm run build

# Clean up in case you ran the tests before
docker compose -f tests/docker-compose.yml down -v

# Start the necessary containers
docker compose -f tests/docker-compose.yml up -d --wait

# Run the tests
npm run test:e2e
Last Updated: 1/13/2022, 10:32:41 PM