Skip to main content
Version: 2.26.0

Developing Richie with Docker

Now that you have Richie up and running, you can start working with it.


Settings are defined using Django Configurations for different environments:

  • Development: settings for development on developers' local environment,
  • Test: settings used to run our test suite,
  • ContinousIntegration: settings used on the continuous integration platform,
  • Feature: settings for deployment of each developers' feature branches,
  • Staging: settings for deployment to the staging environment,
  • PreProduction: settings for deployment to the pre-production environment,
  • Production: settings for deployment to the production environment.

The Development environment is defined as the default environment.

Front-end tools

If you intend to work on the front-end development of the CMS, we also have sweet candies for you! 🤓

# Start the Sass watcher
$ make watch-sass

# In a new terminal or session, start the TypeScript watcher
$ make watch-ts

Container control

You can stop/start/restart a container:

$ docker compose [stop|start|restart] [app|postgresql|mysql|elasticsearch]

or stop/start/restart all containers in one command:

$ docker compose [stop|start|restart]


You can easily see the latest logs for a container:

$ docker compose logs [app|postgresql|mysql|elasticsearch]

Or follow the stream of logs:

$ docker compose logs --follow [app|postgresql|mysql|elasticsearch]

If you need to debug a running container, you can open a Linux shell with the docker compose exec command (we use a sugar script here, see next section):

$ bin/exec [app|postgresql|mysql|elasticsearch] bash

While developing on Richie, you will also need to run a Django shell and it has to be done in the app container (we use a sugar script here, see next section):

$ bin/run app python sandbox/ shell

Using sugar scripts

While developing using Docker, you will fall into permission issues if you mount the code directory as a volume in the container. Indeed, the Docker engine will, by default, run the containers using the root user. Any file created or updated by the app container on your host, as a result of the volume mounts, will be owned by the local root user. One way to solve this is to use the --user="$(id -u)" flag when calling the docker compose run or docker compose exec commands. By using the user flag trick, the running container user ID will match your local user ID. But, as it's repetitive and error-prone, we provide shortcuts that we call our "sugar scripts":

  • bin/run: is a shortcut for docker compose run --rm --user="$(id -u)"
  • bin/exec: is a shortcut for docker compose exec --user="$(id -u)"
  • bin/pylint: runs pylint in the app service using the test docker compose file
  • bin/pytest: runs pytest in the app service using the test docker compose file


If you work on the Docker configuration and make repeated modifications, remember to periodically clean the unused docker images and containers by running:

$ docker image prune $ docker container prune


ElasticSearch service is always down

If your elasticsearch container fails at booting, checkout the logs via:

$ docker compose logs elasticsearch

You may see entries similar to:

[1]: max virtual memory areas vm.max_map_count [65530] is too low, increase to at least [262144]

In this case, increase virtual memory as follows (UNIX systems):

$ sudo sysctl -w vm/max_map_count=262144

This fix will apply to your current session. To make it permanent on your system, edit the /etc/sysctl.conf file and add the following line: