This guide will bring you through the steps of creating a local server and development environment. It will walk through the setup of the core ecosystems we work within: Django/Python and React/Node/JS. It will additionally require the setup of a PostgreSQL database.

Fork/Clone The Repository

Forking will create your own version of listed on your GitHub! Cloning your fork will create a directory with all of the code required to run your own local development server. Navigate to the directory you wish to work from, then execute:

  1. Fork navigate to our GitHub repository then, in the top-right corner of the page, click Fork.

  2. Clone by executing this line on the command line:


    ATTENTION: Be sure to replace [YOUR-USERNAME] with your own git username

    git clone[YOUR-USERNAME]/semesterly

Setup a Python Virtual Enviroment

Make sure you have installed Python 2.7. If you have not you can follow this. Please also download the python installer, PIP (install guide). We will now install and setup a python virtual environment. This keeps your dependencies for other projects and classes seperate from those required for

Install virtualenv:

sudo pip install virtualenv

Create a virtual environment called venv:

virtualenv -p /usr/bin/python2.7 venv

To enter your virtual environment, execute the following code from your Semesterly directory:

source venv/bin/activate


Be sure to execute the above “source” command anytime you are working on Semesterly!

Check your OS info

If you’re on a posix OS (Mac, Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, etc.) this is how you check what version of OS you’re on.

uname -n

Install PostgreSQL

Before installing the python requirements, you must make sure to have PostgreSQL setup on your device.

On mac, install Homebrew and run:

brew install postgres
pg_ctl -D /usr/local/var/postgres start && brew services start postgresql

On Ubuntu 14.x.x use apt-get:

sudo apt-get install postgresql python-psycopg2 libpq-dev libxslt-dev libxml2-dev

On Ubuntu 16.x.x use apt:

sudo apt install postgresql python-psycopg2 libpq-dev libxslt-dev libxml2-dev

On CentOS / Fedora use yum:

sudo yum install postgresql gcc python-lxml postgresql-libs libxslt-devel libxml2-devel

Install Python Requirements


ATTENTION MAC USERS: you must install the xcode command line tools via xcode-select --install before proceeding. You may also need to update openssl. If so, please follow this guide.

All python dependencies are kept in a file called requirements.txt. Anytime a dependency is added or changed, we update it in this file. To bring your virutal environment up to date with all of these requirements easily, simply execute:

pip install --upgrade pip
pip install -r requirements.txt

There are python modules that are missing from requirements.txt. Install them with:

pip install pyyaml pygments kombu==3.0.33 billiard

Install Node Packages

Node and node package manager are the backbone of our frontend setup. To begin, install Node Package Manager (npm).

On mac:

brew install node

On Ubuntu 14.x.x:

wget -qO- | sudo bash -
sudo apt-get install nodejs
sudo apt-get install npm

On Ubuntu 16.x.x:

wget -qO- | sudo bash -
sudo apt install nodejs
sudo apt install npm

On CentOS / Fedora:

sudo yum install -y gcc-c++ make
curl -sL | sudo -E bash -
sudo yum install nodejs

Then use the newly installed Node Package Manager (npm) to install all javascript dependencies. When you execute this command, it reads from the file package.json which specifies all dependencies, their versions, and some additional node related configurations:

sudo npm install