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Developing Locally

The following technologies are required to build Airbyte locally.

  1. Java 21
  2. Node 20.
  3. Python 3.9
  4. Docker
  5. Jq

Manually switching between different language versions can get hairy. We recommend using a version manager such as pyenv or jenv.

To start contributing:

  1. Fork the airbyte repository to develop connectors or the airbyte-platform repository to develop the Airbyte platform.
  2. Clone the fork on your workstation:

If developing connectors, you can work on connectors locally but additionally start the platform independently locally using :

git clone [email protected]:{YOUR_USERNAME}/airbyte.git
cd airbyte

If developing platform:

git clone [email protected]:{YOUR_USERNAME}/airbyte-platform.git
cd airbyte-platform
docker compose up

Build with gradle

To compile and build the platform, run the following command in your local airbyte-platform repository:

SUB_BUILD=PLATFORM ./gradlew build

This will build all the code and run all the unit tests.

SUB_BUILD=PLATFORM ./gradlew build creates all the necessary artifacts (Webapp, Jars and Docker images) so that you can run Airbyte locally. Since this builds everything, it can take some time.


Optionally, you may pass a VERSION environment variable to the gradle build command. If present, gradle will use this value as a tag for all created artifacts (both Jars and Docker images).

If unset, gradle will default to using the current VERSION in .env for Jars, and dev as the Docker image tag.


Gradle will use all CPU cores by default. If Gradle uses too much/too little CPU, tuning the number of CPU cores it uses to better suit a dev's need can help.

Adjust this by either, 1. Setting an env var: export GRADLE_OPTS="-Dorg.gradle.workers.max=3". 2. Setting a cli option: SUB_BUILD=PLATFORM ./gradlew build --max-workers 3 3. Setting the org.gradle.workers.max property in the file.

A good rule of thumb is to set this to (# of cores - 1).


On Mac, if you run into an error while compiling openssl (this happens when running pip install), you may need to explicitly add these flags to your bash profile so that the C compiler can find the appropriate libraries.

export LDFLAGS="-L/usr/local/opt/openssl/lib"
export CPPFLAGS="-I/usr/local/opt/openssl/include"

Run in dev mode with docker-compose

These instructions explain how to run a version of Airbyte Platform that you are developing on (e.g. has not been released yet).

In your local airbyte-platform repository, run the following commands:

SUB_BUILD=PLATFORM ./gradlew build
VERSION=dev docker compose up

The build will take a few minutes. Once it completes, Airbyte compiled at current git revision will be running in dev mode in your environment.

If you are running just connectors, you don't need the first step:

VERSION=dev docker compose up

In dev mode, all data will be persisted in /tmp/dev_root.

Add a connector under development to Airbyte

These instructions explain how to run a version of an Airbyte connector that you are developing on (e.g. has not been released yet).

In your local airbyte repository, run the following command:

  • Then, build the connector image:
    • Install our airbyte-ci tool to build your connector.
    • Running airbyte-ci connectors --name source-<source-name> build will build your connector image.
    • Once the command is done, you will find your connector image in your local docker host: airbyte/source-<source-name>:dev.

The above connector image is tagged with dev. You can change this to use another tag if you'd like.

  • In your browser, visit http://localhost:8000/
  • Log in with the default user airbyte and default password password
  • Go to Settings (gear icon in lower left corner)
  • Go to Sources or Destinations (depending on which connector you are testing)
  • Update the version number to use your docker image tag (default is dev)
  • Click Change to save the changes

Now when you run a sync with that connector, it will use your local docker image

Run platform acceptance tests

In your local airbyte-platform repository, run the following commands to run acceptance (end-to-end) tests for the platform:

SUB_BUILD=PLATFORM ./gradlew clean build
SUB_BUILD=PLATFORM ./gradlew :airbyte-tests:acceptanceTests

Test containers start Airbyte locally, run the tests, and shutdown Airbyte after running the tests. If you want to run acceptance tests against local Airbyte that is not managed by the test containers, you need to set USE_EXTERNAL_DEPLOYMENT environment variable to true:

USE_EXTERNAL_DEPLOYMENT=true SUB_BUILD=PLATFORM ./gradlew :airbyte-tests:acceptanceTests

Run formatting automation/tests

Airbyte runs a code formatter as part of the build to enforce code styles. You should run the formatter yourself before submitting a PR (otherwise the build will fail).

The command to run formatting varies slightly depending on which part of the codebase you are working in.


If you are working in the platform run SUB_BUILD=PLATFORM ./gradlew format from the root of the airbyte-platform repository.


To format your local airbyte repository, run airbyte-ci format fix all.

Develop on airbyte-webapp

  • Spin up Airbyte locally in your local airbyte-platform repository so the UI can make requests against the local API.

Note: basic auth must be disabled by setting BASIC_AUTH_USERNAME and BASIC_AUTH_PASSWORD to empty values, otherwise requests from the development server will fail against the local API.

  • Install nvm (Node Version Manager) if not installed
  • Use nvm to install the required node version:
cd airbyte-webapp
nvm install
  • Install the pnpm package manager in the required version. You can use Node's corepack for that:
corepack enable && corepack install
  • Start up the react app.
pnpm install
pnpm start
  • Happy Hacking!

Using a custom version of the CDK declarative manifest schema for the connector builder UI

When working on the connector builder UI and doing changes to the CDK and the webapp at the same time, you can start the dev server with CDK_MANIFEST_PATH or CDK_VERSION environment variables set to have the correct Typescript types built. If CDK_VERSION is set, it's loading the specified version of the CDK from pypi instead of the default one, if CDK_MANIFEST_PATH is set, it's copying the schema file locally.

For example:

CDK_MANIFEST_PATH=../../airbyte/airbyte-cdk/python/airbyte_cdk/sources/declarative/declarative_component_schema.yaml pnpm start

Connector Specification Caching

The Configuration API caches connector specifications. This is done to avoid needing to run Docker everytime one is needed in the UI. Without this caching, the UI crawls. If you update the specification of a connector and need to clear this cache so the API / UI picks up the change, you have two options:

  1. Go to the Admin page in the UI and update the version of the connector. Updating to any version, including the one you're already on, will trigger clearing the cache.
  2. From your local airbyte-platform repository, restart the server by running the following commands:
VERSION=dev docker compose down -v
VERSION=dev docker compose up

Resetting the Airbyte developer environment

Sometimes you'll want to reset the data in your local environment. One common case for this is if you are updating an connector's entry in the database (airbyte-config-oss/init-oss/src/main/resources/config), often the easiest thing to do, is wipe the local database and start it from scratch. To reset your data back to a clean install of Airbyte, follow these steps:

  • Make sure you are in your local airbyte-platform repository

  • Delete the datastore volumes in docker

      VERSION=dev docker compose down -v
  • Remove the data on disk

      rm -rf /tmp/dev_root
    rm -rf /tmp/airbyte_local
  • Rebuild the project

     SUB_BUILD=PLATFORM ./gradlew clean build
    VERSION=dev docker compose up -V

While not as common as the above steps, you may also get into a position where want to erase all of the data on your local docker server. This is useful if you've been modifying image tags while developing.

docker system prune -a
docker volume prune

If you are working on python connectors, you may also need to reset the virtualenv and re-install the connector's dependencies.

# Assuming you have a virtualenv loaded into your shell

# From the connector's directory
# remove the venv directory entirely
rm -rf .venv

# make and activate a new venv
python3 -m venv .venv
source .venv/bin/activate
pip install -e ".[dev]"


gradlew Could not target platform: 'Java SE 14' using tool chain: 'JDK 8 (1.8)'.

Somehow gradle didn't pick up the right java version for some reason. Find the install version and set the JAVA_HOME environment to point to the JDK folder.

For example:

env JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-14-openjdk ./gradlew  :airbyte-integrations:connectors:your-connector-dir:build

Inspecting the messages passed between connectors

From your local airbyte-platform repository, you can enable LOG_CONNECTOR_MESSAGES=true to log the messages the Airbyte platform receives from the source and destination when debugging locally. e.g. LOG_CONNECTOR_MESSAGES=true VERSION=dev docker compose up