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The website of built with JavaScript on Node.js, JSX for templates and Sass for CSS. It uses SQLite for its database, which is bundled with the Sqlite3 Node.js package. No external database servers required.


After installing a stable version of Node.js (so far tested against Node.js v6 and NPM v2), follow these steps:

  1. Install the JavaScript modules necessary for the server and client-side components.

    npm install
    cd app && npm install

    Ensure NPM uses the included npm-shrinkwrap.json file to get the exact same versions Rahvaalgatus was developed with.

  2. Compile the client-side JavaScripts and stylesheets with Make:

  3. Run the server:

    make web

    For a different port, pass PORT to Make:

    make web PORT=8888
  4. Set up a <rahvaalgatus.test> domain.

    While Rahvaalgatus works fine when accessed via http://localhost, its email confirmation and notification emails use the host from Config.url (config/development.json for the development environment). To be able to click on links in emails during development, update the configuration to use or set up your preferred domain.

    To use <rahvaalgatus.test>, add it to your /etc/hosts file: rahvaalgatus.test
  5. Open your local domain (e.g. http://rahvaalgatus.test:3000) in your browser and proceed with typing code.


To have the frontend JavaScripts and stylesheets be compiled automatically as you change files, use autocompile:

make autocompile


Environment specific configuration for the server is in config/$ENV.js. To run it in the production environment, for example, pass ENV to Make:

make server ENV=production

The few client-side JavaScript files of Rahvaalgatus, however, are not dependent on the environment.



To test signing in or signing initiatives with Mobile-Id, use one of the Mobile-Id test phone numbers:

Phone Personal id Name
+37200000766 60001019906 Mary Änn O’Connež-Šuslik Testnumber
+37200000566 60001018800 Mary Änn O’Connež-Šuslik Testnumber (PNOEE-certificate)

For more info and test numbers, see the SK ID Solutions wiki. You can also register your own phone number for use in the demo environment.


To test signing in or signing initiatives with Smart-Id, use the following test personal id:

Personal id Name
10101010005 Demo Smart-Id

For more test ids, see the Smart-Id documentation wiki.


The project has JavaScript server unit tests written with Mocha, Must.js and Mitm.js.

Run them with Make:

make test

To run a specific test, use the $TEST environment variable when invoking Make:

make test TEST=./test/bin/web_test.js


To have the tests run automatically as you change files, use autotest:

make autotest


Rahvaalgatus also has a public API available that's usable both from the server side and via client-side JavaScript, if you wish to embed a signature counter on your initiative's marketing page, for example.

An example of getting the number of signatures on an initiative:

curl -H "Accept:application/vnd.rahvaalgatus.initiative+json; v=1"

See the full API documentation on SwaggerHub or in a machine-readable OpenAPI v3 format from the openapi.yaml file from this repository. There are a few examples of use in Estonian also on

We're open to adding more structured data to the public API, so feel free to create an issue on GitHub if you find something's missing.


Rahvaalgatus is released under the GNU Affero General Public License, which in summary means:

  • You can use this program for no cost.
  • You can use this program for both personal and commercial reasons.
  • You have to share the source code when you run it online.
  • You have to share modifications (e.g bug-fixes) you've made to this program.

For more details, see the LICENSE file.


Development of Rahvaalgatus is led and sponsored by SA Eesti Koostöö Kogu.
Parts of it sponsored by Andri Möll and Teeme Ära SA.
More details about Rahvaalgatus the platform.

If you find Rahvaalgatus needs improving, please don't hesitate to create an issue on GitHub.

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