Development Workflow

This section describes the steps necessary to build Elyra in a development environment.


Setting up your development environment

  • Install Miniconda Download and install a Python 3 version of Miniconda according to your Operating System

  • Create a new Python environment using a version that is supported by Elyra.

    conda create -n <env-name> python

    The Python version of your environment will match the miniconda version you installed. You can override the default by explicitly setting python=3.10, for example.

  • Activate the new environment

    conda activate <env-name>
  • Verify your miniconda environment

    python --version # should yield a version that is supported by Elyra
    which python     # displays current `python` path
    pip3 --version   # should be a recent version to avoid build issues
    which pip3       # displays current `pip` path

    Python path must be under miniconda envs folder. Confirm pip3 location matches where miniconda is installed.

  • Install a version of Node.js that is supported by Elyra.

    conda install -y -c conda-forge/label/main nodejs
  • Verify node is installed correctly

    node --version 
  • Install Yarn

    conda install -y -c conda-forge/label/main yarn
  • Verify yarn is installed correctly

    yarn --version 
  • Install GNU Make

    Refer to the following link for installation instructions: GNU Make

    To verify the installation, run make. If you have yet to set up the repository, you should see a message like the following:

    make: *** No targets specified and no makefile found.  Stop.

    Once the repository is set up, running make from that location should display the available tasks that are listed in the Build & Installation section below.

Setting up your Elyra Github repository


Elyra is divided in two parts, a collection of Jupyter Notebook backend extensions, and their respective JupyterLab UI extensions. Our JupyterLab extensions are located in our packages directory.

Build & Installation

Elyra uses make to automate some of the development workflow tasks.

Issuing a make command with no task specified will provide a list of the currently supported tasks.

$ make

clean                          Make a clean source tree and uninstall extensions
container-images               Build all container images
docs                           Build docs
install-all                    Build and install, including examples
install-examples               Install example pipeline components
install-server                 Build and install backend
install                        Build and install
lint                           Run linters
publish-container-images       Publish all container images
release                        Build wheel file for release
test                           Run all tests (backend, frontend and cypress integration tests)
watch                          Watch packages. For use alongside jupyter lab --watch

You can build and install all Elyra packages with:

make clean install

You can check that the notebook server extension was successfully installed with:

jupyter serverextension list

You can check that the JupyterLab extension was successfully installed with:

jupyter labextension list

NOTE: When switching between Elyra major versions, it is recommended to clean your JupyterLab environment before a build. The clean-jupyterlab removes your JupyterLab packages and completely deletes your Jupyter workspace. Make sure to backup any important data in your environment before running the script. To clean your environment and install the latest JupyterLab: etc/scripts/ To specify a JupyterLab version x.y.z to be installed: etc/scripts/ --version x.y.z

Parallel Development with @elyra/pipeline-editor

You can install Elyra using a local build of @elyra/pipeline-editor with:

make clean install-dev

Back-end Development

After making code changes to the back-end, you can re-build Elyra’s Python package with:

make install-server

This command builds and installs the updated Python package independently, skipping any UI component build.

Restart JupyterLab to pick up the new code changes.

Front-end Incremental Development

Elyra supports incremental development using --watch. This allows you to make code changes to front-end packages and see them without running make install again.

After installation run the following to watch for code changes and rebuild automatically:

make watch

Then in a separate terminal, using the same Python environment, start JupyterLab in watch mode:

jupyter lab --watch

When in watch mode JupyterLab will watch for changes in the build of each package and rebuild. To see your changes just refresh JupyterLab in your browser.

NOTE: JupyterLab watch mode will not pick up changes in package dependencies like services. So when making changes to services you will need to stop and restart jupyter lab --watch and not just refresh your browser.

Building the Elyra Container Image

Elyra’s container image can be built in two ways (production and development):


make elyra-image

By default, the command above will build a container image (development) with the changes that exist in your local branch.

From main branch:

make elyra-image TAG=3.7.0

or after checking out a git tag e.g. git checkout tags/v3.7.0

make elyra-image 

In order to build from a particular release (production), you can pass a TAG parameter to the make command or you can checkout the respective tagged release and omit the TAG parameter.

Official container images are published on Docker Hub and

Developing Elyra against the Jupyterlab source repo

Sometimes it is useful to develop Elyra against a local build of Jupyterlab. To use a local build of Jupyterlab use the following steps in the same python environment.

  1. Uninstall any pip installations of Jupyterlab. You can use etc/scripts/ --version dev as mentioned above with --version dev to not reinstall Jupyterlab at the end of the script.

  2. Build your local repo of Jupyterlab, step-by-step instructions can be found in the Jupyterlab documentation. Uninstalling in the previous step will also wipe any previous installations of a local build.

  3. cd to the builder/ directory in your Jupyterlab repo and run yarn link. The Elyra Makefile will use this yarn link in step 6.

  4. In your Elyra repo, uncomment the following line in tsconfig.base.json to tell Typescript to use the local Jupyterlab packages when building:

    "paths": { "@jupyterlab/*": ["../jupyterlab/packages/*"] },

  5. Comment out jupyterlab and jupyterlab-lsp in the install_requires section of in your Elyra repo. This will prevent Jupyterlab from being pip installed during the Elyra build. Note: jupyterlab-lsp also pip installs Jupyterlab when installed

  6. Run make install-dev to install Elyra using the linked @jupyterlab/builder from step 3.

  7. You can now start Jupyterlab by running jupyter lab --dev-mode --extensions-in-dev-mode, this will automatically watch for changes in the Jupyterlab repo. To also watch for changes in Elyra run make watch in a separate terminal in the same Python environment.

When you want to switch back to developing Elyra against a Jupyterlab release, you just have to undo the comments in steps 4 and 5 and rebuild with make clean install

Analyzing automated test failures

The Elyra GitHub repository is configured to run automated tests whenever a pull request is opened. These tests include static code quality analysis and UI, server, and integration tests.

The test results can be accessed from the pull request or the actions tab. If the test log does not include enough details to diagnose failures, download and review test artifacts that might have been generated.

Accessing test artifacts

  1. Open the Elyra repository actions panel (

  2. Locate the failing workflow. Locate failing workflow

  3. Open the workflow.

  4. Click the ‘home’ (summary) button. Open workflow summary

  5. Locate the ‘Artifacts’ section. If present, it should contain a download link. Locate artifacts

  6. Download the archive, extract it, and review the artifacts.