2. How to build wire-server

2.1. Getting up to speed

2.1.1. nix

  1. make sure you have git installed. It will be assumed by nix. Also make sure to run on an amd64 machine, wire-server is not yet compatible with arm64.

  2. Install the nix package manager. Please follow the install instruction provided on their website.

  3. Add the wire-server cachix cache to your system. This is best done by using the cachix executable, which, as soon as you have nix itself installed can be run with this (a bit unwieldy) command:

    nix run \
      --experimental-features 'nix-command flakes' \
      github:nixos/nixpkgs/nixpkgs-unstable#cachix -- \
      use wire-server

2.1.2. direnv

  1. Install direnv. See the installation documentation for further details.

2.1.3. checking out the repo

  1. clone the git repo, it can be found at the wireapp/wire-server github

  2. initialize this repo’s submodules with

    git submodule update --init --recursive

2.1.4. run direnv

Now it’s time to let nix fetch all dependencies. Enter the wire-server checkout, run

direnv allow

and go and grab a coffee. ☕

Your system will likely not build much, but it will definitely spend some time fetching things from different caches.

2.1.5. initializing the cabal mirrors

There are a few dependencies that are not provided by the nix env, for these, please run

cabal update

now that you’re in the devshell.

2.1.6. building wire-server with cabal

You can build within the devshell by using the Makefile targets and cabal. The binaries are then dropped into ./dist/<service-name>

You may build all services in wire-server by running

make c

you may build a single package by running

make c package=brig

you may run the tests by first starting background services with


and then executing

ulimit 10240 # set your resource limit to some high number
make ci-safe # run the ci

If the former command fails, make sure you have a working installation of docker or continue to the troubleshooting section right below. with nix

you may build each individual service by running

nix build -Lv \
  --experimental-features 'nix-command' \
  -f ./nix wireServer.<service>

you may build all the libraries that exist locally or are in the closure of wire-server by running

nix build -Lv \
  --experimental-features 'nix-command' \
  -f ./nix wireServer.haskellPackages.<library>

you may build all the images that would be deployed by running

nix build -Lv \
  --experimental-features 'nix-command' \
  -f ./nix wireServer.allImages

ℹ️ Info

if you don’t want to pass the --experimental-features flag to nix, you may as well add this to your nix.conf which is documented in the nix manual

nix puts all the build outputs into the nix store but leaves a link in the result directory that will appear in the same directory that you have run the command in. To find out what artifacts where build, just run

ls -l result

2.2. Troubleshooting

2.2.1. If the PR doesn’t pass the CI (read check marks on github)

make sanitize-pr

2.2.2. Linker errors while compiling

Linker errors can occur if the nix-provided build environment (see nix/ directory) changes. Since cabal is not aware of the changed environment the cached build artifacts in ./dist-newstyle and ~/.cabal/store/ from previous builds may be invalid causing the linker errors.

Haskell Language Server stores its build artifacts in ~/.cache/hie-bios (equivalent to the ./dist-newstyle directory) which become invalid for the same reason.

The easiest course of action is to to remove these directories via:

make full-clean

2.2.3. Cabal can’t read index (Did you call checkForUpdates?)

Sometimes abording cabal mid-update can corrupt its index. Deleting ~/.cabal/packages/hackage.haskell.org will usually do the trick.

As a side-note: make c doesn’t run cabal update, but make does, so keep that in mind.

2.3. How to run integration tests

Integration tests require all of the haskell services (brig, galley, cannon, gundeck, proxy, cargohold, spar) to be correctly configured and running, before being able to execute e.g. the brig-integration binary. The test for brig also starts nginz, so make sure it has been built before. These services require most of the deployment dependencies as seen in the architecture diagram to also be available:

  • Required internal dependencies:

    • cassandra (with the correct schema)

    • elasticsearch (with the correct schema)

    • redis

  • Required external dependencies are the following configured AWS services (or “fake” replacements providing the same API):

    • SES

    • SQS

    • SNS

    • S3

    • DynamoDB

Furthermore, testing federation requires a local DNS server set up with appropriate SRV records.

Setting up these real, but in-memory internal and “fake” external dependencies is done easiest using docker-compose. Run the following in a separate terminal (it will block that terminal, C-c to shut all these docker images down again):


Also make sure your system is able to resolve the fully qualified domain localhost. (note the trailing dot). This is surprisingly not trivial, because of limitations in how libc parses /etc/hosts. You can check that with, for example, ping localhost.. If you get a name resolution error, you need to add localhost. explictly to your /etc/hosts file.

After all containers are up you can use these Makefile targets to run the tests locally:

  1. Set your resource limits to a high enough number:

    ulimit 10240
  2. Build and run all integration tests

    make ci-safe
  3. Build and run integration tests for a service (say galley)

    make ci package=galley
  4. Run integration tests written using tasty for a service (say galley) that match a pattern

    TASTY_PATTERN="/MLS/" make ci-safe package=galley

    For more details on pattern formats, see tasty docs: https://github.com/UnkindPartition/tasty#patterns

  5. Run integration tests written using hspec for a service (say spar) that match a pattern

    HSPEC_MATCH='Scim' make ci-safe package=spar

    For more details on match formats, see hspec docs: https://hspec.github.io/match.html

  6. Run integration tests without any parallelism

    TASTY_NUM_THREADS=1 make ci-safe package=brig

    TASTY_NUM_THREADS can also be set to other values, it defaults to number of cores available.