Development environment for Meedan Check, a collaborative media annotation app
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check-api @ aad556d
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check-mark @ 4fa0baf
check-web @ 4b0cf47
pender @ 02b20d8


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This is a Docker Compose configuration that spins up the whole Check app locally. Tested on Linux and Mac OS X (with Docker for Mac). The repo contains two Docker Compose files, one for development (docker-compose.yml) and the other for testing (docker-test.yml).


  • Install docker-compose
  • git clone --recursive && cd check
  • Configuration - copy and edit the following files:
    • check-api/config/config.yml.example to check-api/config/config.yml
    • check-api/config/database.yml.example to check-api/config/database.yml
    • check-api/config/sidekiq.yml.example to check-api/config/sidekiq.yml
    • pender/config/config.yml.example to pender/config/config.yml
    • pender/config/database.yml.example to pender/config/database.yml
    • check-web/config.js.example to check-web/config.js
    • check-web/config-build.js.example to check-web/config-build.js
    • check-web/config-server.js.example to check-web/config-server.js
    • check-web/test/config.js.example to check-web/test/config.js
    • check-web/test/config.yml.example to check-web/test/config.yml
    • check-mark/config.js.example to check-mark/config.js
    • check-mark/test/config.yml.example to check-mark/test/config.yml
  • Update your virtual memory settings, e.g. by setting vm.max_map_count=262144 in /etc/sysctl.conf
  • docker-compose pull && docker-compose build --pull && docker-compose up

Available services and container names

development mode using docker-compose.yml

  • Check web client (container web) at http://localhost:3333
  • Check service API (container api) at http://localhost:3000/api - use dev as API key
  • Check service GraphQL at http://localhost:3000/graphiql
  • Check Slack Bot (container bot) at check-bot/dist, a ZIP file that should be deployed to AWS Lambda
  • Check browser extension (container mark) at check-mark/build and Android application at build.apk
  • Pender service API (container pender) at http://localhost:3200/api - use dev as API key
  • Elasticsearch API (container elasticsearch) at http://localhost:9200
  • PostgreSQL (container postgres) at localhost:5432 (use a standard Pg admin tool to connect)

test mode using docker-test.yml

  • Check web client (container web.test) at http://localhost:13333
  • Check service API (container api.test) at http://localhost:13000/api - use test as API key
  • Check service GraphQL at http://localhost:13000/graphiql
  • Check browser extension (container mark) at check-mark/releases/test
  • Pender service API (container pender.test) at http://localhost:13200/api - use test as API key
  • Elasticsearch API (container elasticsearch) at http://localhost:9200
  • PostgreSQL (container postgres) at localhost:5432 (use a standard Pg admin tool to connect)
  • Chromedriver (container chromedriver) at http://localhost:4444/wd/hub
  • Chromedriver VNC at localhost:5900 (use a standard VNC client to connect with password secret)
  • Geckodriver VNC at localhost:5901 (use a standard VNC client to connect with password secret)


  • Build the app in test mode: docker-compose -f docker-test.yml pull && docker-compose -f docker-test.yml build --pull
  • Start the app in test mode: docker-compose -f docker-test.yml up
  • Check web client: docker-compose -f docker-test.yml exec web.test npm run test
  • Check browser extension: docker-compose -f docker-test.yml exec mark.test npm run test
  • Check Slack bot: docker-compose -f docker-test.yml exec bot.test npm test
  • Check service: docker-compose -f docker-test.yml exec api.test bundle exec rake test
  • Pender service: docker-compose -f docker-test.yml exec pender.test bundle exec rake test
  • Running a specific Check web client test: docker-compose -f docker-test.yml exec web.test bash -c "cd test && rspec --example KEYWORD spec/integration_spec.rb"
  • Running a specific Check API or Pender test (from within the container): ruby -I"lib:test" test/path/to/specific_test.rb -n /.*KEYWORD.*/

Load testing

The idea of load testing is to run several concurrent instances of the integration tests. To do so, we first capture the HTTP requests made by the integration tests to the API using Apache JMeter 3.0's proxy feature. JMeter produces a test plan that can then be run locally or via a 3rd party service such as Flood IO.

  • Edit ./check-web/test/config.yml and add the following line to it: proxy: localhost:8080
  • Start Check app in test mode
  • Connect to Chromedriver using a VNC client
  • Open JMeter via a terminal: ./apache-jmeter-3.0/bin/jmeter -t check-proxy.jmx
  • Go to Workbench > HTTP(S) Test Script Recorder
  • Press Start button at the bottom of the screen
  • Run Check web client integration tests
  • Wait until the test is complete
  • Save test plan, e.g. to ./check-test-plan.jmx
  • NOTE: An updated Check test plan is already available at ./chromedriver/check-test-plan.jmx

Running load tests locally

  • Run /path/to/apache-jmeter-3.0/bin/jmeter -n -t /path/to/check/chromedrive/check-test-plan.jmx -Jtestproperty=number-of-threads -Jreport=report-name.csv -JAUTH_USER=your-test-stage-http-auth-username -JAUTH_PASS=your-test-stage-http-auth-password where -Jtestproperty is the number of threads(users) to be executed ; Jreport is the name of the load test report to be generated ; -JAUTH_USER is the test server user ; -JAUTH_PASS is the test server password ; check-test-results.jtl is the JMeter test run results file.

Helpful one-liners and scripts

  • Build the web client bundle: docker-compose run web npm run build
  • Build the browser extension: docker-compose run mark npm run build
  • Build the Android application: docker-compose run mark npm run generate-apk
  • Build the Slack bot: docker-compose run bot npm run build
  • Restart a service, e.g. Check API: docker-compose run api bash -c "touch tmp/restart.txt"
  • Invoke the Rails console on a service, e.g. Check API: docker-compose run api bundle exec rails c d
  • Reset the api.test database: docker-compose -f docker-test.yml run api.test bundle exec rake db:drop db:create db:migrate
  • Update submodules to their latest commit: ./bin/
  • Cleanup docker images and volumes: docker system prune -af (best done while the app is up to avoid rebuilding the images later)
  • Packing your local config files: ./bin/
  • Run a standalone image, e.g. Pender: docker run -e SERVER_PORT=3200 -e RAILS_ENV=test -p 3200:3200 -v /absolute/path/to/check-app/pender:/app check_pender
  • Update the automatic documentation of Check API: docker-compose -f ../docker-test.yml exec api.test bash -c "cd doc && make clean && make"

More documentation

Troubleshooting and known issues

  • Upon initial installation, the submodules may be checked out at a specific commit instead of the develop branch. You will need to go into each submodule and issue an explicit git checkout develop.
  • Upon initial installation, to make sure the frontend is up to date, issue an explicit docker-compose exec web npm run build.