Kuma has many components. Even core developers need reminders of how to keep them all working together. This doc outlines some problems and potential solutions running Kuma.

Kuma “Reset”

These commands will reset your environment to a “fresh” version, with the current third-party libraries, while retaining the database:

cd /path/to/kuma
docker-compose down
make clean
git submodule sync --recursive && git submodule update --init --recursive
docker-compose pull
docker-compose build --pull
docker-compose up

Reset a corrupt database

The Kuma database can become corrupted if the system runs out of disk space, or is unexpectedly shutdown. MySQL can repair some issues, but sometimes you have to start from scratch. When this happens, pass an extra argument --volumes to down:

cd /path/to/kuma
docker-compose down --volumes
make clean
git submodule sync --recursive && git submodule update --init --recursive
docker-compose pull
docker-compose build --pull
docker-compose up -d mysql
sleep 20  # Wait for MySQL to initialize. See notes below
docker-compose up

The --volumes flag will remove the named MySQL database volume, which will be recreated when you run docker-compose up.

The mysql container will take longer to start up as it recreates an empty database, and the kuma container will fail until the mysql container is ready for connections. The 20 second sleep should be sufficient, but if it is not, you may need to cancel and run docker-compose up again.

Once mysql is ready for connections, follow the installation instructions, starting at Provisioning a database, to configure your now empty database.

Run alternate services

Docker services run as containers. To change the commands or environments of services, it is easiest to add an override configuration file, as documented in Customizing the Docker environment.

Linux file permissions

On Linux, it is common that files created inside a Docker container are owned by the root user on the host system. This can cause problems when trying to work with them after creation. We are investigating solutions to create files as the developer’s user.

In some cases, you can specify the host user ID when running commands:

docker-compose run --rm --user $(id -u) web ./ collectstatic

In other cases, the command requires root permissions inside the container, and this trick can’t be used.

Another option is to allow the files to be created as root, and then change them to your user on the host system:

find . -user root -exec sudo chown $(id -u):$(id -g) \{\} \;

KumaScript macros are not evaluating

If you’re seeing tags like {{HTMLSidebar}} or {{HTMLElement("head")}} it could be happening because there is an outdated macro that needs to be removed.

For example on /en-US/docs/Web/HTML, there is a deleted macro called CommunityBox. To fix this, log in to edit the page, remove the CommunityBox macro, then click “Publish”. Visit the affected page again and you should see actual content instead of the macros.

Note: Sometimes the wiki site (e.g.$edit) will throw an error after editing the page, acting as if it didn’t save your edit. View the actual URL of the page (e.g. to verify that the changes were accepted.

Fixing a 404 error on a specific page

This most likely happens because the document isn’t in the database yet, so it needs to be scraped. Run the command ./ scrape_document [url of document], e.g.:

docker-compose exec web ./ scrape_document

💡Memorize or have handy the ./ scrape_document command since this will come up often.

See Add an MDN Wiki Document for more details.

Getting more help

Check if there is anything helpful in the logs:

docker-compose logs web kumascript
docker-compose logs web

If you have more problems running Kuma, please:

  1. Paste errors to pastebin.
  2. Start a thread on Discourse.
  3. After you email dev-mdn, you can also ask in the #mdn-dev Slack channel.