Set up the local development environment

In order to work on your project, we need to set it up in the local development environment. This also uses Docker.

Docker makes it possible to run and work on a project in the same environment as on the cloud, thus side-stepping some of the most troublesome problems faced by development teams, in which something works well in development, but runs into problems as a result of different environment conditions in production, or when another team member tries to set it up on their own machine.

Using Docker means that not only does every member of the development team work in the same environment - versions of installed packages, environment variables, database and other services - but they’re all in the same environment that the application will have in production.

Older versions of Macintosh OS X and Windows

Older versions of Macintosh OS X and Windows do not support the native Docker application. Instead, they require Docker to be run in a virtual machine (in VirtualBox) while the Docker Toolbox application provides a set of tools to interact with it.

This is considerably more difficult to set up than Docker running natively. It’s possible to manage, but we are not able to provide support for this combination.

You will need to have the following installed or configured, and know at least the basics of using them, before proceeding:

Install the Divio CLI package

The Divio CLI application is installable using Pip (depending on your system, use pip3 in the examples below):

pip install divio-cli

If you already have it installed, check that they are up-to-date:

pip install --upgrade divio-cli

You can do this in a virtual environment if you prefer not to install it globally. Otherwise, it’s a lightweight component and can easily be removed later if you decide you don’t require it.

Log in

The Divio CLI needs to be authenticated with the Control Panel in order to interact with it:

divio login

This will open your browser at, where you can copy an access token to paste into the prompt.

Add your public SSH key to the Control Panel

The Control Panel needs your public key, so that you can interact with our Git server and so on. Visit SSH Keys in the Control Panel. Add your public key. If you’re not sure how to manage SSH keys, see the excellent GitHub articles on how to connect with SSH.

Test that your key is set up correctly; you should receive a No interactive access response:

ssh -T

Install Docker and Docker Compose

(Windows users should consult the checklist below).

Launch Docker. You can check that it’s running correctly with:

docker run --rm busybox true

Additional checklist for Docker installation on Windows

  • In Docker’s settings, make sure that it is set to use Linux containers.
  • Ensure that your Windows user is in the docker-users group.
  • When you launch Docker, make sure that you do so as a Windows administrator.

You’re now ready to set up the project you created in the previously step in your local environment for development work.