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Development: Getting Started


Be sure to use the Nightly version of the docs to ensure you're up to date with the latest changes.

After reading through the Code Contributions Guide and forking the repo you can start working. This project is developed with 🐳 docker and as such you will be greatly aided by using docker for development. It's not necessary but it is helpful.

With VSCode Dev Containers


  • Docker
  • Visual Studio Code

Linux and MacOS

First ensure that docker is running. Then when you clone the repo and open with VS Code you should see a popup asking you to reopen the project inside a development container. Click yes and it will build the development container and run the setup required to run both the backend API and the frontend webserver. This also pre-configures pre-commit hooks to ensure that the code is up to date before committing.


Make sure the VSCode Dev Containers extension is installed, then select "Dev Containers: Clone Repository in Container Volume..." in the command palette (F1). Select your forked repo and choose the mealie-next branch, which contains the latest changes. This mounts your repository directly in WSL2, which greatly improves the performance of the container, and enables hot-reloading for the frontend. Running the container on a mounted volume may not work correctly on Windows due to WSL permission mapping issues.


For slow terminal checkout the solution in this GitHub Issue

git config oh-my-zsh.hide-info 1

Without Dev Containers


Installing Dependencies

Once the prerequisites are installed you can cd into the project base directory and run task setup to install the python and node dependencies, and download the NLP model.

# Naviate To The Root Directory
cd /path/to/project

# Utilize the Taskfile to Install Dependencies
task setup


The taskfile has two commands that need to be run to run the development environment against a postgres database.

  • task dev:services - This will start the postgres database, and a smtp server for email testing.
  • task py:postgres - This will run that backend API configured for the local postgres database.

Starting The Server

Now you're ready to start the servers. You'll need two shells open, One for the server and one for the frontend.

# Terminal #1
task py

# Terminal #2
task ui



We use vue-i18n package for internationalization. Translations are stored in json format located in frontend/lang/messages.


Translations are stored in json format located in mealie/lang/messages.

Quick frontend localization with VS Code

i18n Ally for VScode is helpful for generating new strings to translate using Code Actions. It also has a nice feature, which shows translations in-place when editing code.

A few settings must be tweaked to make the most of its features. Some settings are stored on project level, but most of them have to be set manually in your workspace or user settings.\ We've found that the following settings work best:

  "i18n-ally.enabledFrameworks": ["vue"],
  "i18n-ally.extract.autoDetect": true,
  "i18n-ally.dirStructure": "auto",
  "i18n-ally.extract.targetPickingStrategy": "global-previous",
  "i18n-ally.displayLanguage": "en-US",
  "i18n-ally.keystyle": "nested",
  "i18n-ally.sourceLanguage": "en-US",