Development environment

Installing a development environment for different operating systems.
  • Install necessary dependencies:

    Ubuntu 18.04

    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get --no-install-recommends install -y build-essential curl redis-server python3-dev python3-pip python3-venv python3-tk libldap2-dev libsasl2-dev pkg-config libavformat-dev libavcodec-dev libavdevice-dev libavutil-dev libswscale-dev libswresample-dev libavfilter-dev
    # Install Node.js 16
    curl -sL | sudo -E bash -
    sudo apt-get install -y nodejs

    MacOS 10.15

    brew install git python pyenv redis curl openssl node
  • Install FFmpeg libraries (libav*) version 4.0 or higher.

  • Install Visual Studio Code for development

  • Install CVAT on your local host:

    git clone
    cd cvat && mkdir logs keys
    python3 -m venv .env
    . .env/bin/activate
    pip install -U pip wheel setuptools
    pip install -r cvat/requirements/development.txt
    python migrate
    python collectstatic

    Note for Mac users

    If you have any problems with installing dependencies from cvat/requirements/*.txt, you may need to reinstall your system python In some cases after system update it can be configured incorrectly and cannot compile some native modules

  • Create a super user for CVAT:

    $ python createsuperuser
    Username (leave blank to use 'django'): ***
    Email address: ***
    Password: ***
    Password (again): ***
  • Install npm packages for UI and start UI debug server (run the following command from CVAT root directory):

    npm ci && npm run start:cvat-ui

    Note for Mac users

    If you faced with error

    Node Sass does not yet support your current environment: OS X 64-bit with Unsupported runtime (57)

    Read this article Node Sass does not yet support your current environment

  • Open new terminal (Ctrl + Shift + T), run Visual Studio Code from the virtual environment

    source .env/bin/activate && code
  • Install following VS Code extensions:

  • Reload Visual Studio Code from virtual environment

  • Select server: debug configuration and start it (F5) to run REST server and its workers

You have done! Now it is possible to insert breakpoints and debug server and client of the tool.

Note for Windows users

You develop CVAT under WSL (Windows subsystem for Linux) following next steps.

  • Install WSL using this guide.

  • Following this guide install Ubuntu 18.04 Linux distribution for WSL.

  • Run Ubuntu using start menu link or execute next command

    wsl -d Ubuntu-18.04
  • Run all commands from this installation guide in WSL Ubuntu shell.

  • You might have to manually start the redis server in wsl before you can start the configuration inside Visual Studio Code. You can do this with sudo service redis-server start. Alternatively you can also use a redis docker image instead of using the redis-server locally.