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Developing Pachyderm in Windows with VSCode


You will need HyperV which is used by minikube as its virtualization backend.


Add any VSCode extensions you may need for development, like go and docker.

Configure your terminal (opened via ctrl+`) to use git bash instead of cmd. Add the following to your settings.json (depending on where your git bash actually exists):

  "": "C:\\Program Files\\Git\\bin\\bash.exe",

Getting started

  • Clone the pachyderm repo into a local folder
  • In your terminal, run git clone
  • Launch the Docker Quickstart Terminal
  • This should show up in your start menu if you search 'docker'
  • You may need to do this any time your computer restarts
  • Start minikube
  • If using the hyperv driver:
  • minikube start --memory=10000mb --cpus=4 --disk-size=40000mb --driver=hyperv
  • If using virtualbox:
  • minikube start --memory=10000mb --cpus=4 --disk-size=40000mb
  • The memory value can be tweaked, but I found the default (1 GB) to be too low for pachyderm compilation
  • The disk value can also be tweaked, occasionally you will have to prune the docker cache, which is responsible for most of the disk usage
  • Pull relevant docker variables into your shell
  • eval $(minikube docker-env --shell bash)
  • This is only necessary if you want to run docker commands in a shell
  • Build pachyderm pachd and worker images
  • Run the task docker-build
  • This can be done through the "Terminal > Run Task..." option, or by hitting ctrl-p and typing task docker-build
  • Build and install pachctl and launch a pachyderm cluster
  • Run the task launch-dev
  • If the service does not come up promptly (the script never says all the pods are ready), you should check the 'Debugging' section below.


Determining the source of an error when launching a local pachyderm cluster can be difficult. Some useful commands to get you started:

  • kubectl get all - lists resources in the 'default' namespace (where we deploy locally)
  • kubectl logs -p <pod> - gets the logs from the previous attempt at running a pod (usually this is where you will find errors)
  • minikube logs - gets the logs from minikube itself, this may be useful if a pod ran into a CreateContainerError
  • docker container ls - lists recently used or in-use docker containers, can be used to get logs more directly
  • docker logs <container> - gets the logs from a specific docker container

Past problems

For posterity's sake, here are some of the problems I've encountered when trying to get this working in Windows:

  • Docker gets confused by command-line windows-style paths, it thinks the ':' is indicating a 'mode' and fails to parse. In addition, Windows (or maybe bash) seems to automatically convert unix to windows-style paths, so you should export MSYS_NO_PATHCONV=1 to prevent this.
  • Kubernetes resource specs (specifically hostPath) do not work if you use a windows-style path. Instead, you must use a unix-style path where the drive letter is the first directory, e.g. '/C/path/to/file'.
  • Etcd failed to mmap a file because it was in a directory shared with the host system. Still not sure how I fixed this because it seems to be working now?

Nuclear option

If your setup is completely fucked, it may be worthwhile to blow away your minikube and start over, this is pretty simple with:

minikube delete
minikube start --memory=10000mb --cpus=4 --disk-size=40000mb

Last update: May 16, 2022
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