Development: make kat

Important: The version of OpenKAT you are about to install is a development environment, which is used by the developers to build OpenKAT. This is not a version that would be used in a production environment, and it requires some knowledge about Linux, compiling software, and Docker.

make kat

Install OpenKAT on your own machine with make kat. If you want to deploy OpenKAT in a production environment use the hardening settings as well.


You need the following things to install OpenKAT:

  • A computer with a Linux installation. In this document we use Ubuntu, but on many other distributions it works in a similar way. Later we will also add instructions for macOS.

  • Docker. If you don’t already have this, install it first.

  • OpenKAT’s GitHub repository.

Before installing

Install Docker

OpenKAT is installed in Docker, and therefore Docker must be installed first. The preferred method of installation is through a repository. However, OpenKAT requires a newer version of Docker than what is available in the default ubuntu and debian repositories. That is why you should always use Docker’s repository.

On the Docker Engine installation overview page you can find links to installation pages for all major Linux distributions. For a specific example using the Docker repository on Debian, see Debian install using the repository. The installation pages for the other Linux distributions contain similar instructions.

Important: Please follow the post-installation steps as well! You can find them here: Docker Engine post-installation steps.

Install dependencies

Dependencies are packages required for OpenKAT to work. Run the following commands to install them:

Debian based systems:

$ curl -fsSL | sudo -E bash -
$ sudo apt-get install -y nodejs gcc g++ make python3-pip
$ curl -sL | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/yarnkey.gpg >/dev/null
$ echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/yarnkey.gpg] stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yarn.list
$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install yarn

After installing Docker from the Docker repository it might be necessary to create a symlink for the command docker-compose as the latest version now uses a space instead of a dash. You can do this with the following command:

$ ln -s /usr/libexec/docker/cli/plugins/compose /usr/bin/docker-compose

RHEL based systems:

$ sudo dnf install openssl -y
$ sudo dnf install -y
$ sudo dnf install nodejs -y --setopt=nodesource-nodejs.module_hotfixes=1
$ sudo dnf install -y nodejs gcc g++ make python3-pip docker-compose
$ curl --silent --location | sudo tee /etc/yum.repos.d/yarn.repo
$ sudo dnf install yarn -y

Getting Started

Now the installation of OpenKAT can begin. We do this via git.

Default installation

  • Clone the repository:

$ git clone
  • Go to the folder:

$ cd nl-kat-coordination
  • Make KAT:

$ make env
$ make kat

Currently, the make kat command only works for the first user on a *nix system. This is a known problem which will be solved soon. The current user must be user 1000. You can check this by executing id.

In some cases this may not work because Docker does not yet know your user name. You solve this with the following commands, entering your user name instead of $USER:

$ sudo gpasswd -a $USER docker
$ newgrp docker

Then OpenKAT is built, including all the parts such as Octopoes and Rocky.

Front end

Find the frontend of your OpenKAT install at port 8000 (http) of your localhost and follow the ‘onboarding flow’ to test your setup and start using your development setup of OpenKAT.

By default a superuser account is created with email address superuser@localhost. The password can be found as DJANGO_SUPERUSER_PASSWORD in the .env file.

Using http works only when connecting to localhost due to the security flags on the session and xsrf cookies. Localhost is whitelisted to allow secure cookies over an insecure connection. Connecting to any other IP over http results in these cookies being disregarded, resulting in XSRF warnings when logging in.

Specific builds

If you want to create a specific build, you have a number of options. You can also look in the Makefile.


Updating an existing installation can be done with the make update.

Go to the directory containing openkat:

$ cd nl-kat-coordination
$ make update

Clean reinstallation

If you to start over with a clean slate, you can do so with the following commands:

$ cd nl-kat-coordination
$ make reset

This removes all Docker containers and volumes, and then brings up the containers again.

Optionally, first remove the .env file (rm .env) before running make env and make reset to also reset all configuration in environment variables. This should also resolve issues such as database authentication errors (password authentication failed).


OpenTelemetry is a way to trace requests through the system. It is used to find out where a request is going wrong and to instrument performance problems. OpenTelemetry is not enabled by default, but can be enabled by uncommenting the environment variable SPAN_EXPORT_GRPC_ENDPOINT in the .env file.

The Jaeger tracing system is used to view the traces. It can be enabled by enabling the Docker Compose profile, for example by running docker-compose --profile jaeger up -d or using export COMPOSE_PROFILES=jaeger and then running Make as usual. The Jaeger UI can then be found at http://localhost:16686.