Developer documentation#

Here we provide some guides for the development of Argilla.


ElasticSearch or OpenSearch#

Argilla supports ElasticSearch and OpenSearch as his main search engine. One of the two is required to correctly run Argilla in your development environment.


Argilla supports ElasticSearch versions 8.8, 8.5, 8.0, and 7.17 and OpenSearch versions 1.3 and 2.3.

For more information please visit our Setup and Installation section.


By default Argilla will use SQLite to store information about users, workspaces, etc. Non additional configuration is required to start using SQLite.

By default the database file will be created at ~/.argilla/argilla.db, this can be configured setting different values for ARGILLA_DATABASE_URL and ARGILLA_HOME_PATH environment variables.

Development setup#

Forking and config your Argilla Git repository#

To set up your system for Argilla development, you first of all have to fork our repository and clone the fork to your computer:

git clone[your-github-username]/argilla.git
cd argilla

To keep your forkโ€™s main/develop branch up to date with our repo you should add it as an upstream remote branch:

git remote add upstream

Install dependencies#

To be able to use Argilla via either the Python client or the Python Command Line Interface (CLI), youโ€™ll need to install argilla and its extra dependencies, if applicable. To do so, you can either install it via pip or setup a Conda environment with all the required dependencies.

Via pip#

If youโ€™re using pip, you can either install just argilla or argilla with any combination or all the extras available. Weโ€™ll install it in editable mode using the -e/--editable flag in the pip command to avoid having to re-install it on every code modification, but if youโ€™re not planning to modify the code, you can just omit the -e/--editable flag.

pip install -e .

Or installing just the server extra:

pip install -e ".[server]"

Or installing all the extras, that are also required to run the tests via pytest to make sure that the implemented features or the bug fixes work as expected, and that the unit/integration tests are passing.

pip install -e ".[server,listeners,postgresql,integrations,tests]"

Via conda#

If youโ€™re using conda, you can go ahead and create a new conda development environment, and then, activate it:

conda env create -f environment_dev.yml
conda activate argilla

In the new Conda environment, Argilla will already be installed in editable mode with all the server dependencies. But if youโ€™re willing to install any other dependency you can do so via pip to install your own, or just see the available extras besides the server extras, which are: listeners, postgresql, and tests; all those installable as pip install -e ".[<EXTRA_NAME>]".

Running tests#

To make sure there are no breaking changes, you should run all the tests as follows:

pytest tests

You can also run only the unit tests by providing the proper path:

pytest tests/unit

For the unit tests, you can also set up a PostgreSQL database instead of the default sqlite backend:

ARGILLA_DATABASE_URL=postgresql://postgres:postgres@localhost:5432 pytest tests/unit

For running more heavy integration tests you can just run pytest with the tests/integration folder:

pytest tests/integration

Note: For now, integration tests are mocking the connection to the Argilla server. In the future, this may change and tests will be launched using an up and running Argilla server instance.

You will need an Elasticsearch instance up and running for the time being. You can get one running using Docker with the following command:

docker run -d --name elasticsearch-for-argilla -p 9200:9200 -p 9300:9300 -e "ES_JAVA_OPTS=-Xms512m -Xmx512m" -e "discovery.type=single-node" -e ""

Code formatting tools#

To keep a consistent code format, we use pre-commit hooks. So on, you first need to install pre-commit if not installed already, via pip as follows:

pip install pre-commit

Then, you can proceed with the pre-commit hooks installation by simply running:

pre-commit install

Running Frontend#

First, make sure you have Docker installed. If you donโ€™t have it installed, please download and install it, using this guide as reference.

Run the Argilla backend using Docker with the following command:

docker run -d --name quickstart -p 6900:6900 argilla/argilla-quickstart:latest

Navigate to the frontend folder from your projectโ€™s root directory.

Then, execute the command:

npm run dev

To log in, use the username admin and the password 12345678. If you need more information, please check here.

Building Frontend static files#

Build the static UI files in case you want to work on the UI:

bash scripts/

Running database migrations#

Run database migrations executing the following task:

argilla server database migrate

The default SQLite database will be created at ~/.argilla/argilla.db. This can be changed setting different values for ARGILLA_DATABASE_URL and ARGILLA_HOME_PATH environment variables.

Generating a database migration#

If you have updated one of the SQLAlchemy ORM classes in src/argilla/server/models/ or added a new one, then you will need to generate a new migration script that you can later apply to the database. To generate a new migration script execute the following command:

alembic -c src/argilla/alembic.ini revision --autogenerate -m "descriptive message here"

alembic will automatically detect the changes made and generate a new migration script in the src/argilla/server/alembic/versions directory.


After generating a new migration script, you will need to apply the migrations as described in running database migrations.

Recreating the database#

Occasionally, it may be necessary to recreate the database from scratch to ensure a clean state in your development environment. For instance, to run the Argilla test suite or troubleshoot issues that could be related to database inconsistencies.

First you need to delete the Argilla database with the following command:

rm ~/.argilla/argilla.db

After deleting the database, you will need to run the database migrate task:

argilla server database migrate

By following these steps, youโ€™ll have a fresh and clean database to work with.

Creating your first user#

At least one user is required to interact with Argilla API and web UI. You can easily create one user executing the following command:

argilla server database users create

This task will ask you for the required information to create your user, including username, password and so on.

Running Argilla server#

Finally to run the web app now simply execute:

argilla server start

Congrats, you are ready to take Argilla to the next level ๐Ÿš€

Building the documentation#

To build the documentation, make sure you set up your system by installing the required dependencies:

pip install -r docs/_source/requirements.txt

Then use sphinx-autobuild to continuously deploy the webpage using the following command:

sphinx-autobuild docs/_source docs/_build/html

This will create a _build/html folder that is served at Also, it starts watching for changes in the docs/source directory. When a change is detected in docs/source, the documentation is rebuilt and any open browser windows are reloaded automatically. KeyboardInterrupt (ctrl+c) will stop the server.


If you get warnings while building documentation then you can handle them this way: If they are toctree warnings then they can be ignored and If they are import errors then they can be resolved by installing autodoc and argilla from docs/_source/requirements.txt