Getting started with flydra development

This document assumes you are using Ubuntu linux and that you have a basic command line knowledge such as how to change directories, list files, and so on. Flydra is written primarily in the Python language. The Python tutorial is highly recommended when getting started with Python.

Using a Python virtual environment

We use virtualenv to create an installation environment for flydra that does not overwrite any system files. Get the virtualenv source code, upack it and create a “virtual Python installation” in your home directory called “PY_flydra”:

tar xvzf virtualenv-1.3.tar.gz
cd virtualenv-1.3
python ~/PY_flydra

Getting and installing flydra from the source code repository

To download the development version of flydra, you need git. To install it, run:

sudo apt-get install git-core gitk

You will need to send Andrew Straw your ssh key following these instructions.

Now, to download (“checkout”) flydra into your current directory, type:

git clone

To build and install flydra to your virtual Python installation:

sudo dpkg --purge python-flydra # remove system flydra to prevent confusion
source ~/PY_flydra/bin/activate
cd flydra
python develop

You should now have a working flydra installation in your virtual Python environment. To test this, type:

cd ~ # switch to a directory without a flydra/ subdirectory
python -c "import flydra_core.version; print flydra_core.version.__version__"

The output should be something like “0.4.28-svn”, indicating this is the development version after release 0.4.28.

Testing your installation

Finally, the full test suite may be run with nose:

source ~/PY_flydra/bin/activate
easy_install nose
nosetests flydra

Editing the documentation

This documentation is built with Sphinx 0.6.2.

To download and install sphinx into your virtual environment:

easy_install sphinx

Now, to build the flydra documentation:

cd /path/to/flydra/flydra-sphinx-docs/
make html

The documentation will be built in /path/to/flydra/flydra-sphinx-docs/.build/html/index.html You may view it with:

firefox .build/html/index.html

Alternatively, you can automatically build and upload it by pushing your changes to the central git repository and clicking the “Force build” button on the “doc uploader” build slave.

Continuous integration

We are running a Buildbot that builds and tests flydra. You can see the waterfall display at .