Local Setup

Note that for the quickest setup, you may want to consider our Docker Setup instructions.

This application requires Python 2.7. Install it (if you haven’t already), set up a virtualenv for this project and activate it (using Python 2.7), and then clone this repository. Throughout these docs, we’ll assume you are running in a *nix environment (Linux, BSD, OS X, etc.); Windows instructions would be similar.


python --version

should return something like

Python 2.7.10+

Next, we need to install all of the appropriate requirements (including the other components of eRegs). We’ll assume you have pip and Node.JS & npm installed.

npm install -g grunt-cli bower
pip install -r requirements.txt

Then initialize the database (SQLite by default; see Production) and build the frontend:

python manage.py migrate --fake-initial
python manage.py compile_frontend

Then select one of the two setup options in the Data section. After that, you can run a development server locally via

python manage.py runserver


For an instance of ATF-eRegs to display regulations data, it needs to have access to said data. There are two basic schemes to set this up – you can either point your checkout to existing parsed regulations (ideal for folks only working on the front-end or who want to see a UI quickly), or you can populate your database with parsed regulations.

Point to Existing Data

In this scenario, we just need to configure the UI to point to the live API:

echo "API_BASE = 'https://atf-eregs.app.cloud.gov/api/'" >> local_settings.py

Parsing Regulations

To parse ATF’s regulations, you will need to also install the parsing library.

pip install git+https://github.com/eregs/regulations-parser.git@4.0.0#egg=regparser

Then, you will want to start your local server and send it the parsed data. These steps will take several minutes.

python manage.py runserver &    # start the server as a background process
# Set up the parser's database
python manage.py migrate --settings=regparser.web.settings.dev
eregs pipeline 27 447 http://localhost:8000/api   # send the data for one reg
eregs pipeline 27 478 http://localhost:8000/api
eregs pipeline 27 479 http://localhost:8000/api
eregs pipeline 27 555 http://localhost:8000/api
eregs pipeline 27 646 http://localhost:8000/api

Then navigate to http://localhost:8000

Editable Libraries

Though this repository (atf-eregs) contains all of the ATF-specific code, you will most likely want to extend functionality in the base libraries as well. To do this, fork and check out the appropriate library (regulations-site, regulations-core, regulations-parser) into a separate directory, then install it via

pip install -e /path/to/that/checkout

This will tell Python to use your local version of that library rather than the upstream version. Although the Python and templates will change as soon as you modify them in the -site checkout, you will need to run compile_frontend (see above) to integrate stylesheet and JS changes.

Fixing Errors

If you pulled down the latest code changes, ran the server locally, and something didn’t build correctly (you got an error message instead of seeing eRegulations), try running standard updates:

For any component that you’re working with (including atf-eregs), first do pip install -r requirements.txt to update the requirements.

If working with the parser, do eregs clear.

Or if working with atf-eregs, do python manage.py compile_frontend to compile the frontend.

And then try running the server again.



For the time being, this application, which cobbles together regulations-core and regulations-site, makes HTTP calls to itself. The server therefore needs to know which port it is set up to listen on.

We default to 8000, as that’s the standard for django’s runserver, but if you need to run on a different port, use:

python manage.py runserver 1234

You will also have to either export an environmental variable or create a local_settings.py file as follows:

export PORT=1234


echo "API_BASE = 'http://localhost:1234/api/'" >> local_settings.py