This version of the documentation is NOT an official release. You are reading the documentation version which is in active and ongoing development. You can change versions on the bottom left of the screen.

Work on the source code

First, prepare the development environment with the required packages.

yarn serve

The Live Development Server is now serving at http://localhost:8080.


For more information on how to prepare the environment for the development, please check the guide.


It is possible to install NEST Desktop from source code on a local machine using pip (where it finds setup.py). The recommended method is to install it in the user’s home directory using the command argument --user.

python3 -m pip install --user -e .
nest-desktop start


Do not forget to start NEST Simulator.

Commit changes

Go to the dev branch for the development.

git checkout dev

Fetch the data from GitHub (download it to your local directory):

git fetch

This command can be varied with options to e.g. fetch all branches (git fetch --all) or to discard unreachable content (git fetch --prune), even with multiple of them. If required, intergrate the changes from GitHub into your local repository:

git pull

It is recommended to create a new branch for an an implementation of a new feature/goal.

git checkout -b newBranch

If your changes are ready to be commited, stage and commit them:

git add ...
git commit -m 'This is my commit.'

Push changes to GitHub

Finally, push all of them to repository on the internet (and create a merge request afterwards).

git push --set-upstream origin newBranch

A merge request will then be handled by the team: It will be reviewed and if it provides some nice additions, it will be merged.


It is likely that the review contains some change requests which have to be addressed and committed by you before the merge can be made.