RapidPro Development Server
RapidPro comes with everything you need to quickly get started with development. Note that development and deployment has only been tested on OSX and Ubuntu, you’ll likely need to modify the directions below if using Windows.
You’ll need the following to get started:
- Python 3.6.5 or later
- PostgreSQL 9.6 or later along with the PostGIS extensions
- Redis 3.2 or later installed and listening on localhost
- NPM which handles our JS dependencies
Create temba user for PostgreSQL
Create a temba user with password temba:
Create temba database, add PostGIS
Create the database making temba the owner:
Now connect as a superuser that can install extensions and install postgis, hstore and uuid extensions:
Now clone the RapidPro repository and link up the development settings:
Build virtual environment
You should always use a virtual environment to run your RapidPro installation. The
pinned dependencies for RapidPro can be found in
pip-freeze.txt. You can
build the needed environment as follows (from the root rapidpro directory):
Sync your database
You should now be able to run all the migrations and initialize your development server. This takes a little while on RapidPro as migrate also creates and initializes all the user groups and permissions.
Install lessc and coffeescript
Because our templates and CSS files need compilation, you’ll need to use NPM
Start Django server
At this point you’ll be able to run the development server and run RapidPro. It
will be available at
If you wish to edit and run flows in your development environment, you will also need to run mailroom locally.
You can do so by just downloading the latest mailroom version from the Mailroom releases and running the executable. The default options should work without any changes for your development server. (you will see warnings about S3 buckets but these can be ignored for development)
Testing with the RapidPro SMS Channel Android app
Configure to connect to your development server
There is a hidden feature of the RapidPro SMS Channel Android app for testing your RapidPro development instance on a local network.
If you tap the rapidpro logo in the app 11 times you can unlock the advanced settings,
which will let you enter any an IP address. The app will attempt to connect to RapidPro
using the given IP address on port 8000 so you can claim the relayer and test
sending/receiving with real SMS messages. If you need to use a different port, you can
append it to the IP address like:
Android only allows a single app to send a certain number of messages per hour. However, you can increase your message throughput by installing “SMS Channel Pack” apps, which effectively raise the allowed number of messages for the RapidPro SMS Channel Android app. On the RapidPro SMS Channel app’s page in the Play Store, click on ‘More by Nyaruka Ltd.’ and install up to 9 of the SMS Channel Packs to increase your message volume.