The quickest way to set up a Rocket.Chat development environment is by using Gitpod. Gitpod offers a shared workspace for open-source project developers, including those working on SaaS projects like Rocket.Chat. It provides a hosted development environment accessible through a web browser, allowing you to contribute to Rocket.Chat conveniently.

Set up a Rocket.Chat Development Environment in GitPod

To set up a Rocket.Chat enviroment on Gitpod,

  • Go to Gitpod.

  • Create a New Workspace. Enter the Rocket.Chat GitHub project URL or the link to your forked repo of Rocket.Chat.

  • Initiate your workspace and, if needed, connect it to your GitHub account. This will set up a workspace with a familiar Visual Studio Code environment.

  • Next, launch a terminal within your workspace and proceed to install Meteor with this command, passing the required Metoer release:

curl | sh

See the Rocket.Chat GitHub repository to confirm the required Metoer version for Rocket.Chat before installing.

Alternatively, you can streamline the process by running this command:

    curl -so- | cut -d@ -f2
) | sh

Expect warning messages during this process, and keep in mind that sudo (root access) is not necessary on Gitpod.

  • Add the newly installed meteor to your path by running this command:

export PATH=$PATH:/home/gitpod/.meteor
  • Install the node dependencies with this command:


You might encounter an error if your Node version doesn't meet Rocket.Chat's requirements. Check the release notes for the compatible Node.js version and install it accordingly.

  • Set your ROOT_URL. Your Rocket.Chat server may misbehave without it.

export ROOT_URL=$(gp url 3000)
  • Finally, build and start the Rocket.Chat server.

yarn build
yarn dev # it will build the sub projects and then run meteor project

The code is spread through the folders, packages/ and apps/meteor. After a few minutes, your development environment is up and running.

Once the server starts a popup window will appear, confirming that your server is active on port 3000. Click the "Open Browser" button to access and engage with your Rocket.Chat server instance.

You can modify the code in Visual Studio Code and see the changes immediately on the server instance. Now, you can start contributing to Rocket.Chat!

Last updated

Rocket.Chat versions receive support for six months after release.