Debugging inside Containers

MDMC’s source code has a .devcontainer folder that can be used by Visual Studio Code to run VSCode inside a Docker container. This is very useful for debugging or testing problems in our container setup.

How to run VSCode inside a container

This is an abridged form of this guide.

First, install and configure the following software:

  • Windows: Docker Desktop 2.0+ and set up WSL 2.

  • Mac OS: Docker Desktop 2.0+

  • Linux: Docker 18.06+ and Docker Compose 1.21+

If on Linux, add your user to the docker permissions group with sudo usermod -a -G docker $USER.

Next, install Visual Studio Code and then install the Remote Development extension pack.

Finally, simply start VSCode within the MDMC repo using code . or open the MDMC repo in VSCode, after a moment, a box in the bottom right-hand corner pops up saying “Folder contains a Dev Container configuration file…”. Then, click “Reopen in Container”. If this box does not pop up then open the Command Palette (by pressing F1) and run the command Remote-Containers: Open Folder in Container… toopen the MDMC project inside the MDMC container.

In addition, to run or debug the tutorials:

  • open terminal in VSCode

  • run python -m pip install . to install MDMC

  • Then simply open relevant jupyter notebook tutorial in VSCode to run or debug

Note the way this works is that VSCode makes the MDMC repo visible inside the container. This means that when you python -m pip install . it will install MDMC with reference to that folder, including picking up (as per normal) any old build/lib files from previously installs. So if you experience that this setup appears to magically pick up an old version of MDMC then you need to delete the build/lib folder in your repo (as you would need to also if you didn’t use containers).

Finally to build the documentation:

  • run apt-get update && apt-get install pandoc -y && pip3 install sphinx nbsphinx sphinx_rtd_theme docutils==0.16

  • if not already done install MDMC with python -m pip install .

  • cd into doc folder and run make html. First time you run it will take a bit of time because it runs the code in all the tutorials

Note the extra apt-get install packages needed to build the docs may change from time to time. Please the see the continious integration build instructions which builds the docs for up-to-date instructions on which apt-get packages are needed.