Development of Securedrop-Admin in the Admin Directory

The admin directory in the SecureDrop repository root contains the source of the securedrop-admin script which is used in Tails to perform various administrative tasks. It is a standalone python module which can be tested on Debian GNU/Linux stretch with:

source .venv3/bin/activate
pip3 install --no-deps --require-hashes -r requirements-dev.txt

A Docker helper bin/dev-shell is provided to simplify the installation and make it portable on various operating systems. From the admin directory, run bin/dev-shell without any arguments to execute securedrop-admin or other commands interactively in the container. If this is your first time running bin/dev-shell, it may take several minutes to build the image.


The SecureDrop repository contains two scripts named dev-shell. admin/bin/dev-shell is used for securedrop-admin while securedrop/bin/dev-shell is used for the server environment.

Run only flake8 with:

bin/dev-shell tox -e flake8

Run only one test foobar with:

bin/dev-shell tox -e py3 -- -k foobar

Docker has the admin directory mounted from the host into the container, at the same location to avoid any trouble with hardcoded absolute paths. It runs with the id of the host user so files created in the container are owned by the host user instead of root. If a script needs root access, it has passwordless sudo permissions.

Convenience Makefile targets are also provided for the most common tasks:

$ make
Makefile for developing and testing securedrop-admin.

help                       Print this message and exit.
test                       Run tox
update-pip-requirements    Updates all Python requirements files via pip-compile.