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This document covers the steps necessary to download, build, and deploy Nomulus.


You will need the following programs installed on your local machine:

Note: App Engine does not yet support Java 9. Also, the instructions in this document have only been tested on Linux. They might work with some alterations on other operating systems.

Download the codebase

Start off by using git to download the latest version from the Nomulus GitHub page. In the future we will release tagged stable versions, but for now, just download HEAD of the master branch as follows:

$ git clone
Cloning into 'nomulus'...
[ .. snip .. ]
$ cd nomulus
$ ls
apiserving       CONTRIBUTORS  java        LICENSE    scripts
AUTHORS          docs          javascript  python     third_party  google        javatests  WORKSPACE

The most important directories are:

  • docs -- the documentation (including this install guide)
  • java/google/registry -- all of the source code of the main project
  • javatests/google/registry -- all of the tests for the project
  • python -- Some Python reporting scripts
  • scripts -- Scripts for configuring development environments

Everything else, especially third_party, contains dependencies that are used by the project.

Build the codebase

The first step is to build the project, and verify that this completes successfully. This will also download and install dependencies.

$ bazel --batch build --javacopt="-target 8 -source 8" \
INFO: Found 584 targets...
[ .. snip .. ]
INFO: Elapsed time: 124.433s, Critical Path: 116.92s

There may be some warnings thrown, but if there are no errors, then you can proceed. The most important build output files from the build are the ear files:

$ ls bazel-genfiles/java/google/registry/*.ear
registry_alpha.ear  registry.ear        registry_sandbox.ear
registry_crash.ear  registry_local.ear

Each ear file is a compiled version codebase ready to deploy to App Engine for a specific environment. By default there are five environments, with the unnamed one being production. Each ear file contains App Engine-specific metadata files in the META-INF directory, as well as three directories for the three services used in the project, default, backend, and tools (each of these directories is an unpacked war file.

(Optional) Run the tests

You can run the tests to verify that all expected functionality succeeds in your build:

$ nice bazel --batch test  --javacopt="-target 8 -source 8" \
  //javatests/google/registry/... \
Executed 360 out of 360 tests: 360 tests pass.

Note: The tests can be pretty resource intensive, so experiment with different values of parameters to optimize between low running time and not slowing down your computer too badly. Refer to the Bazel User Manual for more information.

Create an App Engine project

First, create an application on Google Cloud Platform. Make sure to choose a good Project ID, as it will be used repeatedly in a large number of places. If your company is named Acme, then a good Project ID for your production environment would be "acme-registry". Keep in mind that project IDs for non-production environments should be suffixed with the name of the environment (see the Architecture documentation for more details). For the purposes of this example we'll deploy to the "alpha" environment, which is used for developer testing. The Project ID will thus be acme-registry-alpha.

Now log in using the command-line Google Cloud Platform SDK and set the default project to be this one that was newly created:

$ gcloud auth login
Your browser has been opened to visit:
[ ... snip logging in via browser ... ]
You are now logged in as [user@email.tld].
$ gcloud config set project acme-registry-alpha

Deploy the code to App Engine

One interesting quirk about the App Engine SDK is that it can't use ear files in their packed form; you have to unpack them first, then run commands on the unpacked contents of the ear. So grab the compiled ear file for the alpha environment (it's one of the outputs of the build step earlier), copy it to another directory, and extract it:

$ mkdir /path/to/app-dir/acme-registry-alpha
$ unzip bazel-genfiles/java/google/registry/registry_alpha.ear \
  -d /path/to/app-dir/acme-registry-alpha
$ ls /path/to/app-dir/acme-registry-alpha
backend  default  META-INF  tools

Now deploy the code to App Engine.

$ -A acme-registry-alpha --enable_jar_splitting \
  update /path/to/app-dir/acme-registry-alpha
Reading application configuration data...
Processing module default
Oct 05, 2016 12:16:59 PM readConfigXml
INFO: Successfully processed /usr/local/google/home/mcilwain/Code/acme-registry-alpha/./default/WEB-INF/datastore-indexes.xml
Ignoring application.xml context-root element, for details see
Processing module backend
Ignoring application.xml context-root element, for details see
Processing module tools
Ignoring application.xml context-root element, for details see

Beginning interaction for module default...
0% Created staging directory at: '/tmp/appcfg7185922945263751117.tmp'
5% Scanning for jsp files.
20% Scanning files on local disk.
[ ... snip ... ]
Beginning interaction for module backend...
[ ... snip ... ]
Beginning interaction for module tools...
[ ... snip ... ]

Note that the update command deploys all three services of Nomulus. In the future, if you've only made changes to a single service, you can save time and upload just that one using the -M flag to specify the service to update.

To verify successful deployment, visit in your browser (adjusting appropriately for the project ID that you actually used). If the project deployed successfully, you'll see a "You need permission" page indicating that you need to configure the system and grant access to your Google account. It's time to go to the next step, configuration.

Configuration is handled by editing code, rebuilding the project, and deploying again. See the configuration guide for more details. Once you have completed basic configuration (including most critically the project ID in your copy of ProductionRegistryConfigExample), you can rebuild and start using the nomulus tool to create test entities in your newly deployed system. See the first steps tutorial for more information.