Development Environment Setup

The QMK Compile API consists of a few movings parts:

  • Redis
  • Minio
  • QMK Compiler Worker
  • QMK Compiler API

To get these working together you'll need to install Redis and Minio along with QMK Compiler's dependencies.


We use RQ to decouple compiling the firmware from the webserver. It also handles administrative tasks like cleaning up old firmware hexes. Installing and administering Redis in a production environment is beyond the scope of this document.

For development purposes, you can simply install and run redis with the default configuration.

macOS (Homebrew)

On macOS you can use homebrew to install redis. You only have to do this once.

$ brew install redis
$ brew services start redis

Debian, Ubuntu

The version of redis in the repositories is most likely outdated. You may want to build the latest version from source instead.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install redis-server
$ sudo service redis-server start

Other Operating Systems

If you have experience setting up Redis on a system not listed, please submit a PR with instructions so that others may benefit from your experience.


Minio is a scalable object storage server with an API compatible with Amazon's S3. For development purposes you can run a single instance with no special configuration.

Once you've installed Minio you can use bin/start_minio to start an instance of minio configured for the QMK Compiler development environment. You'll want to do this in a separate terminal from the other services as Minio is very chatty.

macOS (Homebrew)

On macOS you can use homebrew to install Minio. You only have to do this once.

$ brew install minio



$ docker run -p 9000:9000 --name minio1 -v /mnt/data:/data -v /mnt/config:/root/.minio minio/minio server /data

Python 3

QMK Compiler is written in Python 3. It was developed against 3.6 but should work on any release after 3.5. Your computer probably has Python already, but if not install it.


QMK Compiler needs the zip and unzip binaries to be available. These are probably already on your system but if not you will need to install them.

Code Checkout

There are two repositories you'll need to clone to work on QMK Compiler. Make sure to put them in the same directory so they can find each other.

$ git clone
$ git clone


While it is possible to install the dependencies system wide you will keep your development environment cleaner if you develop inside a virtualenv. We've provided a script to make this setup easy:

$ bin/setup_virtualenv

Once you have setup your virtualenv follow the instructions for activating it. You need to make sure it is active before you run the server.

$ source activate-3.6

Running QMK Compiler

First start Minio:

$ bin/start_minio

In another terminal start the backend and worker:

$ bin/start_dev_server

Finally, use the test_compile script to submit a compile job:

$ bin/test_compile json_data

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