Getting Started

Last Updated: May 2023

This section describes how to get Tethys Platform up and running as a fresh installation for app development. If you are upgrading an existing installation then refer to the Upgrade to 4.2 docs. If you are deploying a production instance of Tethys Portal refer to the Production Installation Guide docs. If you want to contribute to the Tethys Platform source code itself then refer to the Developer Installation docs.


Tethys Platform requires the conda packaging system. If you do not already have an installation of Miniconda (or Anaconda) then refer to their documentation for installation instructions.

Also, be sure that the system you are using meets the minimum System Requirements.

1. Install the tethys-platform Conda Package

  1. To install tethys-platform into a new conda environment then run the following commands:

conda create -n tethys -c conda-forge tethys-platform


Installation Speedup

If conda is taking too long to solve the Tethys environment, try using the libmamba solver: Using the libmamba Solver.

Install Micro-Tethys

The micro-tethys-platform conda package is a minimal version of tethys-platform. It has the exact same code base, but doesn't include any of the optional dependencies. As a result the environment is much smaller, but none of the optional features will be enabled. Any of the optional features can be enabled simply by installing the dependencies required by those features (see Optional Features).

conda create -n tethys -c tethysplatform -c conda-forge micro-tethys-platform

Install Development Build

To install the latest development build of tethys-platform add the tethysplatform/label/dev channel to the list of conda channels:

conda create -n tethys -c tethysplatform/label/dev -c conda-forge tethys-platform

Alternatively, to install from source refer to the Developer Installation docs.

2. Activate the Tethys Conda Environment

Anytime you want to work with Tethys Platform, you'll need to activate the tethys Conda environment. You will know the tethys environment is active when (tethys) is displayed to the left of the terminal prompt. Activate the tethys environment now as follows:

conda activate tethys

3. Create a portal_config.yml File

To add custom configurations such as the database and other local settings you will need to generate a portal_config.yml file. To generate a new template portal_config.yml run:

tethys gen portal_config

You can customize your settings in the portal_config.yml file after you generate it by manually editing the file or by using the settings command command. Refer to the Tethys Portal Configuration documentation for more information.

4. Configure the Tethys Database

There are several options for setting up a DB server: local, docker, or remote. Tethys Platform uses a local SQLite database by default. For development environments you can use Tethys to create a local server:

tethys db configure


The tethys db command (db command) will create a local database file in the location specified by the NAME setting in the DATABASES section of the portal_config.yml file (by default tethys_platform.sqlite). If the value of NAME is a relative path then the database file will be created relative to directory specified by the TETHYS_HOME environment variable. By default TETHYS_HOME is at ~/.tethys.

For additional options for configuring a database see Database Configuration

5. Start the Development Server

Once you have a database successfully configured you can run the Tethys development server:

tethys manage start

This will start up a locally running web server. You can access the Tethys Portal by going to http://localhost:8000 in your browser.


You can customize the port that the server is running on by adding the -p option.

tethys manage start -p 8001

See manage command for more details.

6. Next Steps

There are several directions that you may want to go from here.

  • Install an app you have already developed using the Application Installation guide.

  • Complete one or more Tutorials to learn how to develop apps using Tethys Platform.

  • Install one or both of the Showcase Apps to see live demos and code examples of Gizmos and Layouts.

  • Checkout the Web Admin Setup docs to customize your Tethys Portal.

  • For help getting started with docker see Using Docker