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This document contains some additional information and help regarding developing mgmt. Useful tools, conventions, etc.

Be sure to read quick start guide first.


If you would like to avoid doing the above steps manually, we have prepared a Vagrant environment for your convenience. From the project directory, run a vagrant up, and then a vagrant status. From there, you can vagrant ssh into the mgmt machine. The MOTD will explain the rest. This environment isn't commonly used by the mgmt developers, so it might not be working properly.

Using Docker

Alternatively, you can check out the docker-guide in order to develop or deploy using docker. This method is not endorsed or supported, so use at your own risk, as it might not be working properly.

Information about dependencies

Software projects have a few different kinds of dependencies. There are build dependencies, runtime dependencies, and additionally, a few extra dependencies required for running the test suite.


  • golang 1.13 or higher (required, available in some distros and distributed as a binary officially by


A relatively modern GNU/Linux system should be able to run mgmt without any problems. Since mgmt runs as a single statically compiled binary, all of the library dependencies are included. It is expected, that certain advanced resources require host specific facilities to work. These requirements are listed below:

Resource Dependency Version Check version with
augeas augeas-devel augeas 1.6 or greater dnf info augeas-devel or apt-cache show libaugeas-dev
file inotify Linux 2.6.27 or greater uname -a
hostname systemd-hostnamed systemd 25 or greater systemctl --version
nspawn systemd-nspawn systemd ??? or greater systemctl --version
pkg packagekitd packagekit 1.x or greater pkcon --version
svc systemd systemd ??? or greater systemctl --version
virt libvirt-devel libvirt 1.2.0 or greater dnf info libvirt-devel or apt-cache show libvirt-dev
virt libvirtd libvirt 1.2.0 or greater libvirtd --version

For building a visual representation of the graph, graphviz is required.

To build mgmt without augeas support please run: GOTAGS='noaugeas' make build

To build mgmt without libvirt support please run: GOTAGS='novirt' make build

To build mgmt without docker support please run: GOTAGS='nodocker' make build

To build mgmt without augeas, libvirt or docker support please run: GOTAGS='noaugeas novirt nodocker' make build

OSX/macOS/Darwin development

Developing and running mgmt on macOS is currently not supported (but not discouraged either). Meaning it might work but in the case it doesn't you would have to provide your own patches to fix problems (the project maintainer and community are glad to assist where needed).

There are currently some issues that make mgmt less suitable to run for provisioning macOS. But as a client to provision remote servers it should run fine.

Since the primary supported systems are Linux and these are the environments tested, it is wise to run these suites during macOS development as well. To ease this, Docker can be leveraged (Docker for Mac).

Before running any of the commands below create the development Docker image:


This image requires updating every time dependencies ( changes.

Then to run the test suite:

docker run --rm -ti \
	-v $PWD:/go/src/ \
	-w /go/src/ \
	purpleidea/mgmt:development \
	make test

For convenience this command is wrapped in docker/scripts/exec-development.

Basically any command can be executed this way. Because the repository source is mounted into the Docker container invocation will be quick and allow rapid testing, for example:

docker/scripts/exec-development test/

Other examples:

docker/scripts/exec-development make build
docker/scripts/exec-development ./mgmt run --tmp-prefix lang examples/lang/load0.mcl

Be advised that this method is not supported and it might not be working properly.


This project has both unit tests in the form of golang tests and integration tests using shell scripting.

Native golang tests are preferred over tests written in our shell testing framework. Please see for more information.

To run all tests:

make test

There is a library of quick and small integration tests for the language and YAML related things, check out test/shell/. Adding a test is as easy as copying one of the files in test/shell/ and adapting it.

This test suite won't run by default (unless when on CI server) and needs to be called explictly using:

make test-shell

Or run an individual shell test using:

make test-shell-load0

Tip: you can use TAB completion with make to quickly get a list of possible individual tests to run.

Tools, integrations, IDE's etc

IDE/Editor support