Setup Guide#

This guide is intended as a help for setting up a development environment for gcampus. While we try to be as lean as possible when it comes to outside dependencies, there is still a significant amount of additional software that is required for the web application. All this requirements serve a specific purpose as listed below:

Django, GeoDjango, Celery and WeasyPrint#

The Do-It-Yourself Setup Variant#

While conda works great for most - especially on macOS on which it is not trivial to install GDAL - other users may choose a different route to install dependencies and manage Python. For this case, we provide an unordered list of resources that should help you get stated:


Redis can be installed using a package manager such as brew on macOS or your distro’s package manager if you are on GNU/Linux. This method is recommended as it has a rather small footprint.

Alternatively, you can use Docker and the provided docker-compose.yml file to run Redis with the following command:

docker-compose up redis -d

PostgreSQL with PostGIS#

Using conda#

Recommended for macOS users that do not want to use Docker. Install postgis with conda:

conda install postgis -c conda-forge

Choose a directory in which you want to put the database files. Replace <database dir> in the following commands with your directory:

pg_ctl init -D database
pg_ctl start -D database --log=database.log
createuser --superuser --encrypted --pwprompt gcampus
createdb --owner=gcampus gcampus

When asked for the password for the user gcampus, enter admin. This is the default password used in the development environment.

Using Docker#

The provided docker-compose.yml file contains everything needed to get a working PostgreSQL server with PostGIS up and running:

docker-compose up postgis -d

Node.js and npm#

Refer to the documentation and download page of Node.js for instructions. We recommend the latest LTS release.

Once you installed Node.js and npm you can install the required dependencies located in package.json using one of the following commands:

npm ci  # installs the packages as they are in package-lock.json
npm install  # installs packages as stated in package.json

Post Setup#


You will need to set the environment variable MAPBOX_ACCESS_TOKEN with a valid Mapbox access token for some things to work properly.

Prepare database and load example data (to get a clean database after a reset refer to Mockup):

python migrate
python loaddata production.json
python loaddata fixture.json

A user with credentials admin and admin will be created from the fixture. Note that the fixture does not include the default permissions. To apply these permissions to all token users, run the following command:

python defaultpermissions

Build static files using webpack:

npm run dev
# or alternatively
npm run build

Run a Celery worker:

celery --app=gcampus.tasks worker -l INFO