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Developer Setup


For local development, engineers will need to walk through the basic setup steps to setup Vets API locally.

Vets API requires:

  • Ruby 3.2.2

  • PostgreSQL 11.x (including PostGIS 2.5)

  • Redis 5.0.x

    The most up-to-date versions of each key dependency will be specified in the docker-compose.yml file and the Dockerfile.

    We suggest using a Ruby version manager such as rbenvasdfrvm, or chruby to install and maintain your version of Ruby.

Base Setup

  1. Follow the common base setup.

  2. Install Bundler to manage dependencies

    gem install bundler
  3. Follow the platform specific notes below for OSX or Ubuntu to get dependencies installed.

  4. Install gem dependencies:

    cd vets-api; bundle install

    More information about installing with Sidekiq Enterprise as well as our credentials are on the internal system here

  5. Install overcommit

    overcommit --install --sign
  6. Make sure you have the vets-api-mockdata repo locally installed, preferably in a sibling directory to vets-api.

  7. Go to the file config/settings/development.yml and make sure the cache-dir points to the local installation of vets-api-mockdata from the previous step.

    cache_dir: ../vets-api-mockdata # via rails; e.g. bundle exec rails s or bundle exec rails c
    # cache_dir: /cache # via docker; e.g. make up or make console
  8. Add this key in config/settings.local.yml pointing to your vets-api-mockdata directory.

    # settings.local.yml
      cache_dir: ../vets-api-mockdata
  9. Run bin/setup to setup the database and start the server.


If you have trouble enabling query stats from the PgHero dashboard, try enabling it manually

Add the lines below to your main postgresql.conf file

On Mac it should be located somewhere similiar to the following:

~/Library/Application Support/Postgres/var-12/postgresql.conf

shared_preload_libraries = 'pg_stat_statements'
pg_stat_statements.track = all
pg_stat_statements.max = 10000
track_activity_query_size = 2048

Make sure to migrate your database to enable the pg_stat_statements extension

Settings and configuration

We use the config gem to manage settings in the application. Local settings for each developer should be managed in your own local config/settings.local.yml file, which by default can override the standard configuration and is excluded from source control so the settings can persist.

This file has the necessary configuration settings for local development as well as comments outlining some additional configuration that some developers may wish to use.

Configuring ClamAV antivirus


Prior to EKS, ClamAV (the virus scanner) was deployed in the same process as Vets API. With EKS, ClamAV has been extracted out into it’s own service. Locally you can see the docker-compose.yml config for clamav.

TODO: Running clamav natively, as we did in Vets API master still needs to be configured. For the time being, please run via docker:

Please set the clamav intitalizer initializers/clamav.rb file to the following:

# ## If running hybrid
if Rails.env.development?
   ENV["CLAMD_TCP_PORT"] = "33100"


Option 1: Run ONLY clamav via Docker

You can either run:
docker-compose -f docker-compose-clamav.yml up - this will run ONLY clamav via docker

After that, follow the native instructions and run foreman start -m all=1

Option 2: See hybrid setup

Option 3: Mock ClamAV

There is a third choice to "mock" a successful clamav response. If you choose this path, please set the clamav mock setting to true in the local settings.yml. This will mock the clamav response in the virus_scan code.

  mock: true

Platform Specific Notes

Specific notes for our most common native installation platforms are in this section. Note that most Windows users tend to use Docker instead of a native installation.


All of the OSX instructions assume homebrew is your package manager

  1. Install Redis

    • brew install redis

  2. Install Postgresql & PostGIS

    • It is MUCH easier to use the which installs the correct combination of Postgresql and PostGIS versions.

    • Download the with PostgreSQL 10, 11 and 12

    • Install Instructions here:

    • sudo mkdir -p /etc/paths.d && echo /Applications/ | sudo tee /etc/paths.d/postgresapp

    • ARCHFLAGS="-arch x86_64" gem install pg -v 1.2.3

    • Alternatively Postgresql 11 & PostGIS 2.5 can be installed with homebrew

      • brew install postgresql@11

      • brew services start postgresql@11

      • Install the pex manager to add your Postgresql 11 extensions from here

      • Install the postgis extension along with a number of patches using the instructions summarized here:

      • CODE
         PG_CPPFLAGS='-DACCEPT_USE_OF_DEPRECATED_PROJ_API_H -I/usr/local/include' CFLAGS='-DACCEPT_USE_OF_DEPRECATED_PROJ_API_H -I/usr/local/include' pex install postgis
  3. Install ImageMagick

    • brew install imagemagick

  4. Install Poppler

    • brew install poppler

  5. Install ClamAV or use the fake scanner for development

    brew install clamav # Take note of the the post-install instructions "To finish installation & run clamav you will need to edit the example conf files at `${conf_files_dir}`", which will be displayed as part of the installation process. Recent installations have been to `/usr/local/etc/clamav/`
    cd ${conf_files_dir}
    touch clamd.sock
    echo "LocalSocket ${conf_files_dir}" > clamd.conf
    echo "DatabaseMirror" > freshclam.conf
    freshclam -v

    NOTE: Run with /usr/local/sbin/clamd -c /usr/local/etc/clamav/clamd.conf and you will also have to override (temporarily) the config/clamd.conf file with -LocalSocket /usr/local/etc/clamav/clamd.sock

  6. Install pdftk

    • curl -o ~/Downloads/pdftk_download.pkg

    • sudo installer -pkg ~/Downloads/pdftk_download.pkg -target /

  7. continue with Base setup

Alternative (Ubuntu 20.04 LTS)

  1. Install Postgres and enable on startup

    wget --quiet -O - | sudo apt-key add -
    echo "deb focal"-pgdg main | sudo tee  /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pgdg.list
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install postgresql-11
    sudo systemctl start postgresql
    sudo -i -u postgres
    createuser --superuser YOURNAME
  2. Install PostGIS

    sudo apt install -y postgresql-11-postgis-2.5
    sudo -i -u postgres
    createuser postgis_test
    createdb postgis_db -O postgis_test
    psql -d postgis_db
    SELECT PostGIS_version();
  3. Install Redis

    sudo apt install -y redis-server
    sudo sed -i 's/^supervised no/supervised systemd/' /etc/redis/redis.conf
    sudo systemctl restart redis.service
    sudo systemctl status redis # ctrl+c to exit
  4. Install ImageMagick

    • sudo apt install -y imagemagick

  5. Install Poppler

    • sudo apt install -y poppler-utils

  6. Install ClamAV

    • sudo apt install -y clamav

  7. Install pdftk

    • sudo apt install -y pdftk

  8. continue with Base setup

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