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Welcome to the contributing guide for PeerTube

Interested in contributing? Awesome!

This guide will present you the following contribution topics:


You can help us to translate the PeerTube interface to many languages! See the documentation to know how.

Give your feedback

You don't need to know how to code to start contributing to PeerTube! Other contributions are very valuable too, among which: you can test the software and report bugs, you can give feedback on potential bugs, features that you are interested in, user interface, design, decentralized architecture...

Write documentation

You can help to write the documentation of the REST API, code, architecture, demonstrations.

User documentation

The official user documentation is available on

You can update it by writing markdown files in the following repository:

REST API documentation

The REST API documentation is generated from support/doc/api/openapi.yaml file. To quickly get a preview of your changes, you can generate the documentation on the fly using the following command:

npx @redocly/cli preview-docs ./support/doc/api/openapi.yaml

Some hints:

Improve the website

PeerTube's website is, where people can learn about the project and how it works – note that it is not a PeerTube instance, but rather the project's homepage.

You can help us improve it too!

It is not hosted on GitHub but on Framasoft's own GitLab instance, FramaGit:


Always talk about features you want to develop by creating/finding and commenting the issue tackling your problem before you start working on it, and inform the community that you begin coding by claiming the issue.

Once you are ready to show your code to ask for feedback, submit a draft Pull Request. Once you are ready for a code review before merge, submit a Pull Request. In any case, please link your PR to the issues it solves by using the GitHub syntax: "fixes #issue_number".


First, you should use a server or PC with at least 4GB of RAM. Less RAM may lead to crashes.

  1. Make sure that you have followed the steps to install the dependencies.
  2. Install parallel to be able to run tests.
  3. Fork the GitHub repository.
  4. Run the following commands.
git clone
cd PeerTube
git remote add me
yarn install --pure-lockfile

Note that development is done on the develop branch. If you want to hack on PeerTube, you should switch to that branch. Also note that you have to repeat the yarn install --pure-lockfile command.

When you create a new branch you should also tell to use your repo for upload not default one. To do just do:

git push --set-upstream me <your branch name>

Then, create a postgres database and user with the values set in the config/default.yaml file. For instance, if you do not change the values there, the following commands would create a new database called peertube_dev and a postgres user called peertube with password peertube:

# sudo -u postgres createuser -P peertube
Enter password for new role: peertube
# sudo -u postgres createdb -O peertube peertube_dev

Then enable extensions PeerTube needs:

sudo -u postgres psql -c "CREATE EXTENSION pg_trgm;" peertube_dev
sudo -u postgres psql -c "CREATE EXTENSION unaccent;" peertube_dev

PeerTube also requires a running redis server, no special setup is needed for this.

In dev mode, administrator username is root and password is test.

Online development

You can get a complete PeerTube development setup with Gitpod, a free one-click online IDE for GitHub:

Open in Gitpod

Server side

To develop on the server-side:

npm run dev:server

Then, the server will listen on localhost:9000. When server source files change, these are automatically recompiled and the server will automatically restart.

More detailed documentation is available:

Client side

To develop on the client side:

npm run dev:client

The API will listen on localhost:9000 and the frontend on localhost:3000. Client files are automatically compiled on change, and the web browser will reload them automatically thanks to hot module replacement.

More detailed documentation is available:

Client and server side

The API will listen on localhost:9000 and the frontend on localhost:3000. File changes are automatically recompiled, injected in the web browser (no need to refresh manually) and the web server is automatically restarted.

npm run dev


The embed is a standalone application built using Vite. The generated files (HTML entrypoint and multiple JS and CSS files) are served by the PeerTube server (behind localhost:9000/videos/embed/:videoUUID or localhost:9000/video-playlists/embed/:playlistUUID). The following command will compile embed files and run the PeerTube server:

npm run dev:embed

RTL layout

To test RTL (right-to-left) layout using ar locale:

npm run dev -- --ar-locale


Unit/integration tests

Your code contributions must pass the tests before they can be merged. Tests ensure most of the application behaves as expected and respect the syntax conventions. They will run upon PR submission as part of our CI, but running them beforehand yourself will get you faster feedback and save CI runner time for others.

See the dedicated documentation to run tests locally.

Play with a federation of PeerTube servers

Create a PostgreSQL user with the same name as your username in order to avoid using the postgres user. Then, we can create the databases (if they don't already exist):

sudo -u postgres createuser you_username --createdb --superuser
createdb -O peertube peertube_test{1,2,3}

Build the application and flush the old tests data:

npm run build
npm run clean:server:test

To run 3 nodes:


Then you will get access to the three nodes at{1,2,3} with the root as username and test{1,2,3} for the password.

Instance configurations are in config/test-{1,2,3}.yaml.


To test emails with PeerTube:

  • Run mailslurper
  • Run PeerTube using mailslurper SMTP port: NODE_CONFIG='{ "smtp": { "hostname": "localhost", "port": 2500, "tls": false } }' NODE_ENV=dev node dist/server

Environment variables

PeerTube can be configured using environment variables. See the list on

Additionally to these ones, we provide some environment for dev/test purpose:

  • PRODUCTION_CONSTANTS=true: in NODE_ENV=dev or NODE_ENV=test PeerTube customizes some constants. To prevent this behaviour, you can set PRODUCTION_CONSTANTS env to true
  • PEERTUBE_LOCAL_CONFIG: directory to find the local configuration file (used by web admin)
  • NODE_DB_LOG=false: disable SQL request logging

Generate/pull translations

See the dedicated documentation to update PeerTube translations from Weblate or to support a new locale.

Release PeerTube

See the dedicated documentation to release a new version of PeerTube.

PeerTube packages

This repository also contains other packages/libraries than PeerTube (embed API, PeerTube types...). You can see the list on the dedicated documentation.


PeerTube uses GitHub actions to run tests every time a commit is pushed or a PR is opened. You can find more information about these tasks on the dedicated documentation.


You can check the content of the client bundle or benchmark the REST API. To do so, see the dedicated documentation.

Test live stream

To easily test a live stream on PeerTube:

  • Enable live support in web admin configuration
  • Create a permanent live on the PeerTube instance
  • Get the RTMP URL and the Live stream key
  • Send the live stream to PeerTube using ffmpeg using a local video:
ffmpeg -stream_loop -1 -re -i any-video.mp4 -c copy -f flv rtmp://{RTMP URL}/live/{STREAM KEY}

Plugins & Themes

See the dedicated documentation: