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Set up Development Environment

This section will explain how to set up a development environment for Viseron.

Developing in a VSCode Dev Container

The easiest way to get started with development is to use the VSCode Dev Container. This will set up a development environment with all the tools you need to build and test the project.

The Devcontainer contains everything you need to develop the Python backend, the React frontend and the Docusaurus documentation.


Getting started

  • Go to the Viseron repository and click fork.
  • Once your fork is created, copy the URL of your fork and paste it below, then click Open:
  • Your browser will prompt you if you want to use Visual Studio Code to open the link, click Open Link.
  • When Visual Studio Code asks if you want to install the Remote extension, click Install.
  • The Dev Container image will then be built (this may take a few minutes), after this your development environment will be ready.

In the future, if you want to get back to your development environment: open Visual Studio Code, click on the Remote Explorer button in the sidebar, select Containers at the top of the sidebar.


This section was taken from the Home Assistant documentation.


There are a lot of useful tasks in the Devcontainer that can be run from the command palette (Ctrl+Shift+P) in VSCode.

Some of the tasks that are available:

  • Run build, test and lint the backend and frontend
  • Run, build and lint the docs

Debugging in VSCode

The Devcontainer also contains a launch configuration for debugging the Python backend in VSCode. If you go to the Run and Debug (Ctrl+Shift+D) tab in VSCode, you can select Viseron from the dropdown and click Start Debugging to start debugging the backend.

There are also launch configurations for debugging the frontend.

  • Frontend: Debug launches a Chrome instance that can be used for debugging.
  • Frontend: Debug current Test File runs the current Vitest file in debug mode.

Manual Environment

Setting up a manual environment without using the Devcontainer is not something I recommend due to the large number of dependencies and tools that are required.

If you still want to set up a manual environment, you can follow the steps below.


I do not use this method myself, so I cannot guarantee that it will work and I will not provide support for it.

  • Install the dependencies: pip3 install -r requirements.txt -r requirements_test.txt -r requirements_test.txt. It might be wise to do this in a virtualenv but this is up to you.
  • Install docker
  • Install docker-compose
  • Install tox
  • Install nodejs
  • Install npm
  • Run pre-commit install to install the pre-commit hooks

Using tox

tox is the main tool used for linting and testing your code when not using the Dev Container. Simply running the command tox will run all checks. You can single out a specific check by supplying the -e flag. For example:

  • Run pylint only: tox -e pylint
  • Run pytest only: tox -e pytest

A note on pytest

Viseron requires a lot of dependencies. To make testing with pytest as easy as possible, tox will build and run a Docker container which executes pytest. If you would like to run tests outside of tox you can build and run this container manually:

docker-compose --file azure-pipelines/docker-compose-build.yaml --env-file azure-pipelines/.env build amd64-viseron-tests
docker-compose --file azure-pipelines/docker-compose-build.yaml --env-file azure-pipelines/.env run --rm amd64-viseron-tests