LEAP logo

LEAP Encryption Access Project

Setting up a development environment

The Internet Encryption Toolkit: Encrypted Internet Proxy and Encrypted Mail
Esta página aún no ha sido traducida del Inglés.

Quick start

This document will guide you to get an environment ready to contribute code to Bitmask.

Using an automagic script

You can use a helper script that will get you started with bitmask and all the related repos.

  1. download automagic script
  2. run it :)

Commands so you can copy/paste:

$ mkdir bitmask && cd bitmask
$ wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/leapcode/bitmask_client/develop/pkg/scripts/bootstrap_develop.sh
$ chmod +x bootstrap_develop.sh
$ ./bootstrap_develop.sh help    # check out the options :)
$ ./bootstrap_develop.sh deps    # requires sudo
$ ./bootstrap_develop.sh init ro
$ ./bootstrap_develop.sh helpers # requires sudo
$ ./bootstrap_develop.sh run

This script allows you to get started, update and run the bitmask app with all its repositories.

Note: the deps option is meant to be used in a Debian based Linux distro.

Doing the work manually

Clone the repo


Stable releases are in master branch. Development code lives in develop branch.

git clone https://leap.se/git/bitmask_client
git checkout develop

Install Dependencies

Bitmask depends on these libraries:

  • python 2.6 or 2.7
  • qt4 libraries
  • openssl
  • openvpn

Install dependencies in a Debian based distro

In debian-based systems:

$ sudo apt-get install git make python-dev python-setuptools python-virtualenv python-pip libssl-dev python-openssl libsqlite3-dev g++ openvpn pyside-tools python-pyside libffi-dev libzmq-dev protobuf-compiler

Working with virtualenv


Virtualenv is the Virtual Python Environment builder.

It is a tool to create isolated Python environments.

The basic problem being addressed is one of dependencies and versions, and indirectly permissions. Imagine you have an application that needs version 1 of LibFoo, but another application requires version 2. How can you use both these applications? If you install everything into /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages (or whatever your platform’s standard location is), it’s easy to end up in a situation where you unintentionally upgrade an application that shouldn’t be upgraded.

Read more about it in the project documentation page.

Create and activate your dev environment

You first create a virtualenv in any directory that you like:

$ mkdir ~/Virtualenvs
$ virtualenv ~/Virtualenvs/bitmask
$ source ~/Virtualenvs/bitmask/bin/activate

Note the change in the prompt.

Avoid compiling PySide inside a virtualenv

If you attempt to install PySide inside a virtualenv as part of the rest of the dependencies using pip, basically it will take ages to compile.

As a workaround, you can run the following script after creating your virtualenv. It will symlink to your global PySide installation (this is the recommended way if you are running a debian-based system):

$ pkg/postmkvenv.sh

A second option if that does not work for you would be to install PySide globally and pass the --system-site-packages option when you are creating your virtualenv:

$ apt-get install python-pyside
$ virtualenv --system-site-packages .

After that, you must export LEAP_VENV_SKIP_PYSIDE to skip the installation:


And now you are ready to proceed with the next section.

Install python dependencies

You can install python dependencies with pip. If you do it inside your working environment, they will be installed avoiding the need for administrative permissions:

$ pip install -r pkg/requirements.pip

This step is not strictly needed, since the setup.py develop in the next paragraph with also fetch the needed dependencies. But you need to know abou it: when you or any person in the development team will be adding a new dependency, you will have to repeat this command so that the new dependencies are installed inside your virtualenv.

Install Bitmask

Normally we would install the leap.bitmask package as any other package inside the virtualenv. But, instead, we will be using setuptools development mode. The difference is that, instead of installing the package in a permanent location in your regular installed packages path, it will create a link from the local site-packages to your working directory. In this way, your changes will always be in the installation path without need to install the package you are working on.::

(bitmask)$ python2 setup.py develop --always-unzip

After this step, your Bitmask launcher will be located at ~/Virtualenvs/bitmask/bin/bitmask, and it will be in the path as long as you have sourced your virtualenv.

Note: the --always-unzip option prevents some dependencies to be installed in a zip/egg, which causes some issues with libraries like ‘scrypt’ that needs to access to the files directly from the filesystem.

Compile Qt resources

We also need to compile the resource files:

(bitmask)$ make

Note: you need to repeat this step each time you change a .ui file.

Running openvpn without root privileges

In linux, we are using policykit to be able to run openvpn without root privileges, and a policy file is needed to be installed for that to be possible. The setup script tries to install the policy file when installing bitmask system-wide, so if you have installed bitmask in your global site-packages at least once it should have copied this file for you.

If you only are running bitmask from inside a virtualenv, you will need to copy this file by hand:

$ sudo cp pkg/linux/polkit/se.leap.bitmask.policy /usr/share/polkit-1/actions/

Installing the bitmask EIP helper

In linux, we have a openvpn and firewall helper that is needed to run EIP. You need to manually copy it from bitmask_client/pkg/linux/bitmask-root. Use the following command to do so:

$ sudo cp bitmask_client/pkg/linux/bitmask-root /usr/sbin/


If everything went well, you should be able to run your client by invoking bitmask. If it does not get launched, or you just want to see more verbose output, try the debug mode:

(bitmask)$ bitmask –debug