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Setup for contributors

General requirements

First, go through the general Local Installation Instructions. Additionally, make sure you have the following installed:

  • golang 1.12+
  • docker
  • jq
  • pv

Bash helpers

To stay up to date, we recommend doing the following.

First clone the code: (Note, as of 07/11/19 pachyderm is using go modules and recommends cloning the code outside of the $GOPATH, we use the location ~/workspace as an example, but the code can live anywhere)

cd ~/workspace
git clone

Then update your ~/.bash_profile by adding the line:

source ~/workspace/pachyderm/etc/contributing/bash_helpers

And you'll stay up to date!

Special macOS configuration

File descriptor limit

If you're running tests locally, you'll need to up your file descriptor limit. To do this, first setup a LaunchDaemon to up the limit with sudo privileges:

sudo cp ~/workspace/pachyderm/etc/contributing/ /Library/LaunchDaemons/

Once you restart, this will take effect. To see the limits, run:

launchctl limit maxfiles

Before the change is in place you'll see something like 256 unlimited. After the change you'll see a much bigger number in the first field. This ups the system wide limit, but you'll also need to set a per-process limit.

Second, up the per process limit by adding something like this to your ~/.bash_profile :

ulimit -n 12288

Unfortunately, even after setting that limit it never seems to report the updated version. So if you try


And just see unlimited, don't worry, it took effect.

To make sure all of these settings are working, you can test that you have the proper setup by running:

make test-pfs-server

If this fails with a timeout, you'll probably also see 'too many files' type of errors. If that test passes, you're all good!

Timeout helper

You'll need the timeout utility to run the make launch task. To install on mac, do:

brew install coreutils

And then make sure to prepend the following to your path:


Dev cluster

Now launch the dev cluster: make launch-dev-vm.

And check it's status: kubectl get all.


This will install the dev version of pachctl:

    cd ~/workspace/pachyderm
    make install
    pachctl version

And make sure that $GOPATH/bin is on your $PATH somewhere

Fully resetting

Instead of running the makefile targets to re-compile pachctl and redeploy a dev cluster, we have a script that you can use to fully reset your pachyderm environment:

1) All existing cluster data is deleted 2) If possible, the virtual machine that the cluster is running on is wiped out 3) pachctl is recompiled 4) The dev cluster is re-deployed

This reset is a bit more time consuming than running one-off Makefile targets, but comprehensively ensures that the cluster is in its expected state, and is especially helpful when you're first getting started with contributions and don't yet have a complete intuition on the various ways a cluster may get in an unexpected state. It's been tested on docker for mac and minikube, but likely works in other kubernetes environments as well.

To run it, simply call ./etc/ from the pachyderm repo root.

Last update: July 16, 2020