This section shows how to set up a development environment for Nebraska. Be also sure to read the contributing section for the general guidelines when contributing to Nebraska.
Nebraska needs a running
PostgresSQL database. Apart from that, the
recommended way to work on it, is to run the backend with the
authentication backend, and the frontend in a “watch” mode (where it
auto-refreshes when there are changes to the frontend).
Preparing the Database
Nebraska uses the
PostgreSQL database, and expects the used
database to be set to the UTC timezone.
By default Nebraska uses a database with the name
nebraska_tests for the tests, respectively. For the main database, the full
URL (with a different database name if desired) can be overridden by the
For a quick setup of
PostgreSQL for Nebraska’s development, you can use
postgres container as follows:
docker run --rm -d --name nebraska-postgres-dev -p 5432:5432 -e POSTGRES_PASSWORD=nebraska postgres
Create the database for Nebraska (by default it is
psql postgres://postgres:nebraska@localhost:5432/postgres -c 'create database nebraska;'
Set the timezone to Nebraska’s database:
psql postgres://postgres:nebraska@localhost:5432/nebraska -c 'set timezone = "utc";'
Set up the nebraska_tests database for running unit tests
psql postgres://postgres:nebraska@localhost:5432/postgres -c 'create database nebraska_tests;' psql postgres://postgres:nebraska@localhost:5432/nebraska_tests -c 'set timezone = "utc";'
Go to the Nebraska project directory and run
Run the backend (with the
Then, in a different terminal tab/window, run the frontend:
Any changes to the backend means that the
make run-backend command should be
run again. Changes to the frontend should be automatically re-built and the
opened browser page should automatically refresh.
Docker compose V2
You may be missing
docker-compose, which is required to run some tests.
docker-compose version cd backend make check-backend-with-container
side of Nebraska is a web application built using
The Nebraska backend is written in Go. The backend source code is structured as follows:
pkg/api: provides functionality to do CRUD operations on all elements found in Nebraska (applications, groups, channels, packages, etc), abstracting the rest of the components from the underlying datastore (PostgreSQL). It also controls the groups' roll-out policy logic and the instances/events registration.
pkg/omaha: provides functionality to validate, handle, process and reply to Omaha updates and events requests received from the Omaha clients. It relies on the
apipackage to get update packages, store events, or register instances when needed.
pkg/syncer: provides some functionality to synchronize packages available in the official Flatcar Container Linux channels, storing the references to them in your Nebraska datastore and even downloading packages payloads when configured to do so. It’s basically in charge of keeping up to date your the Flatcar Container Linux application in your Nebraska installation.
cmd/nebraska: is the main backend process, exposing the functionality described above in the different packages through its http server. It provides several http endpoints used to drive most of the functionality of the dashboard as well as handling the Omaha updates and events requests received from your servers and applications.
cmd/initdb: is just a helper to reset your database, and causing the migrations to be re-run.
nebraskawill apply all database migrations automatically, so this process should only be used to wipe out all your data and start from a clean state (you should probably never need it).
Most unit tests like beside the code for example inside
Tests which depend on a database mostly live in
Some “server” binary integration tests are separate, and live in
Here are some test related environment variables.
- NEBRASKA_SKIP_TESTS, if set do not run slow tests like DB using tests.
- NEBRASKA_RUN_SERVER_TESTS, if set run the integration tests.
- NEBRASKA_DB_URL, database connection URL.
- NEBRASKA_TEST_SERVER_URL, where the test server is running “http://localhost:8000”
Test make targets.
There are a number of make targets setup to run different tests.
Run all the tests that are run on CI with github actions.
Just build it, run quick tests, and lint it.
Does not run tests that require a testing db, or a test server.
Run tests except for the integration tests by default. Requires a test database to be running.
You can use
NEBRASKA_RUN_SERVER_TESTS=1 make check to also test the server integration tests,
but you need to be running a server (with
Run tests inside a container, including the integration tests.
It starts it’s own test server and test database.
Like make check, but it outputs test coverage information.