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Setting Up Your Local Dev Environment

This page outlines how to get set up to contribute to Gatsby core and its ecosystem. For instructions on working with docs, visit the docs contributions page. For blog and website setup instructions, visit the blog and website contributions page.

Gatsby uses a “monorepo” pattern to manage its many dependencies and relies on Lerna and Yarn to configure the repository for both active development and documentation infrastructure changes.

Using Yarn

Yarn is a package manager for your code, similar to NPM. While NPM is used to develop Gatsby sites with the CLI, contributing to the Gatsby repo requires Yarn for the following reason: we use Yarn’s workspaces feature that comes really handy for monorepos. It allows us to install dependencies from multiple package.json files in sub-folders, enabling a faster and lighter installation process.

package.json
{
  "workspaces": ["workspace-a", "workspace-b"]
}

Gatsby repo install instructions

  • Install the Yarn package manager.
  • Ensure you have the latest version of Yarn installed (>= 1.0.2). yarn --version
  • Fork the official repository.
  • Clone your fork: git clone --depth=1 https://github.com/<your-username>/gatsby.git
  • Set up repo and install dependencies: yarn run bootstrap
  • Make sure tests are passing for you: yarn test
  • Create a topic branch: git checkout -b topics/new-feature-name
  • See docs setup instructions below for docs-only changes.
  • Run yarn run watch from the root of the repo to watch for changes to packages’ source code and compile these changes on-the-fly as you work.

    • Note that the watch command can be resource intensive. To limit it to the packages you’re working on, add a scope flag, like yarn run watch -- --scope={gatsby,gatsby-cli}.
    • To watch just one package, run yarn run watch -- --scope=gatsby.
  • Install gatsby-dev-cli globally: yarn global add gatsby-dev-cli
  • Run yarn install in each of the sites you’re testing.
  • For each of your Gatsby test sites, run the gatsby-dev command inside the test site’s directory to copy the built files from your cloned copy of Gatsby. It’ll watch for your changes to Gatsby packages and copy them into the site. For more detailed instructions see the gatsby-dev-cli README and check out the gatsby-dev-cli demo video.

    • Note: if you plan to modify packages that are exported from gatsby directly, you need to either add those manually to your test sites so that they are listed in package.json (e.g. yarn add gatsby-link), or specify them explicitly with gatsby-dev --packages gatsby-link).
  • Add tests and code for your changes.
  • Once you’re done, make sure all tests still pass: yarn test.
  • Commit and push to your fork.
  • Create a pull request from your branch.

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