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This is the code base for the UK Government's petitions service ( We have open sourced the code for you to use under the terms of licence contained in this repository.

We hope you enjoy it!

A few things to know:

  • You will need ruby 2.2.2
  • You will need PostgreSQL and Memcached

Setting your development environment

  • clone the repo to your local machine
  • install postgres. Easiest with homebrew using $ brew install postgres
    • If you like you can add postgres to your LaunchAgent. Follow instructions at end of console output
  • Set up your dev and test databases
    • $ psql postgres
    • # CREATE DATABASE epets_development;
    • # CREATE DATABASE epets_test;
    • # GRANT all privileges ON database epets_development TO epets;
    • # GRANT all privileges ON database epets_test TO epets;
    • # ALTER USER epets WITH PASSWORD 'replace_me';
    • # \q to quit
  • You will need to set up the config/database.yml. Copy what is in config/database.example.yml and add the password you used earlier for the epets postgres user
  • $ rake db:structure:load - load the sql structure into your new databases
  • $ rails s - boot the app


  • If you want jobs (like emails) to be run, use $ rake jobs:work
  • For setting up a sysadmin user
    • rake epets:add_sysadmin_user - to set up an admin user with email '' and password 'Letmein1!'
    • go to /admin and log in. You will be asked to change your password. Remember, the password must contain a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.
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