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Thumbnail for YouTube video: "Lichess Development: A Quickstart to Contributing"

Lichess Development Made Easy With Gitpod

Now you can write code for Lichess using a web browser

Lichess has always been open-source, and it's always been possible to download and run its code. However, that hasn't always been easy to do. Lichess has a lot of dependencies that need to be installed and quite a few background services that need to be running. Coordinating everything on your own machine in real-time can be difficult.

But now we've massively simplified the process of setting up a complete development environment and running lila, the primary Lichess codebase that's written in the Scala programming language (lila is short for "Lichess in Scala").

All you need to be able to run lila and write code for Lichess is a web browser like Chrome or Firefox.

With the open-source project Gitpod, you can run software projects in a ready-to-code environment on a cloud service. You get 50 hours of free usage each month.

Log in to Gitpod with a GitHub account, go to the lila-gitpod project, and click "Open in Gitpod". In about 10 minutes, you'll have an instance of lila running, where you can edit code and navigate a development version of the site. We've configured and automated all the setup, so all you have to do is click a button and a personal development environment will be created for you.

Check out this video to see how it works and what a contribution workflow can look like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imuo-d5vGS8

See the lila-gitpod documentation for more on how to work with Lichess inside your workspace.

Now that you can run lila, the hard part may be determining what to work on. If you need ideas, check out some of the open issues on GitHub or see other ways to contribute.

Lichess developers in a deep discussion during the Barcelona meetup (September 2023).

Our devs in action. Join Thibault and the gang, and help improve Lichess!

Lichess is a charity and entirely free/libre open source software.
All operating costs, development, and content are funded solely by user donations.