Developing with Pycharm

Within this section we will cover a vast array of Pycharm configuration options in the context of Cuckoo development. We will try to cover all aspects of running and developing Cuckoo under this IDE.

Cuckoo Web

This section covers the Cuckoo Web interface that runs on Django. The code is quite easy to modify and creating custom features is simple.

Locations and concepts

  • Cuckoo Web provides the web interface and a REST API
  • The Django project root is located at cuckoo/web
  • The configuration is located at cuckoo/web/web/
  • URL dispatchers are in cuckoo/web/web/, as well as other locations such as (but not limited to) cuckoo/web/analysis/
  • The HTML templates use the Django Templating Language.
  • The front-end uses cuckoo/web/static/js/cuckoo/ for the Cuckoo related JavaScript includes, while their sources are in cuckoo/web/static/js/cuckoo/src/ (ECMAScript 5/6) - See paragraph ‘JavaScript transpiling’.
  • So called ‘controllers’ are used instead of class-based views, where a controller is responsible for (usually back-end) actions that don’t belong in view functions. Example: cuckoo/web/controllers/analysis/
  • View functions are functions used by views, located in Example: cuckoo/web/controllers/analysis/
  • API functions are functions used by the API, located in Example: cuckoo/web/controllers/analysis/

Running and debugging

Running and debugging Cuckoo web straight from Pycharm comes down to circumventing the cuckoo launcher and using Pycharm’s built-in Django server. Thankfully, no modifications are neccesary to the Cuckoo code in order to do this.

Firstly, It is recommended that you work in a virtualenv to keep the dependencies required by Cuckoo seperate from your system-wide installed Python. Secondly, you should install Cuckoo in development mode; python develop.

Assuming Cuckoo is installed correctly (and has an active working directory; see Cuckoo Working Directory Installation ); Start Pycharm and open the Cuckoo directory. Go to Run->Edit Configurations and click the + button. Pick ‘Django server’. Use the following values:

  • Name - web
  • Host -
  • Port - 8080
  • Environment variables - Click ... and add 2 new values: CUCKOO_APP: web and CUCKOO_CWD: /home/test/.cuckoo/, where the path is the location of your CWD (Cuckoo Working Directory).
  • Python interpreter - Pick the virtualenv you made earlier. If it’s not there, add the virtualenv to this project under File->Settings->Project: Cuckoo->Project Interpreter
  • Working directory - This absolute path to the Django project root. For me this is /home/test/PycharmProjects/virtualenv/cuckoo/cuckoo/web/

Cuckoo web can now be run (and debugged) from Pycharm. Go to Run->Run->web from the menu and the webserver shall start.

JavaScript transpiling


Transpiling JavaScript through Pycharm file watchers is not recommended. The recommended way is explained in the ‘Frontend’ section of the documentation.

The Javascript code in Cuckoo web is developed in ECMAScript 6. For browser compatibility, this will need to be transpiled back to ECMAScript 5.

Firstly, make Pycharm regonize and understand the ECMAScript 6 syntax. Go to File->Settings->Languages & Frameworks->Javascript and pick ‘ECMAScript 6’ from the ‘Javascript language version’ dropdown. Hit Apply.

Then, use Babel to transpile the Javascript code. Install Babel in the Cuckoo project root (requires npm):

(cuckoo)    test:$ pwd
(cuckoo)    test:$ npm install --save-dev babel-cl

Which will create a folder called node_modules in the Cuckoo project root.

Switch back to Pycharm and open any .js file in cuckoo/web/static/js/cuckoo/src/. Pycharm will ask you if you want to configure a File watcher for this file. Click Add watcher (if this option is not available to you, find the ‘file watcher’ configuration under File->Settings->Tools->File watchers).

In the following pop-up screen ‘Edit Watcher’, enter these values.

  • Name - Babel ES6->ES5
  • Description - Transpiles ECMAScript 6 code to ECMAScript 5
  • Output filters - None
  • Show console - Error
  • Immediate file synchronisation - yes
  • Track only root files - yes
  • Trigger watcher regardless of syntax errors - no
  • File type - Javascript
  • Scope - Click ... -> Click + (add scope) -> Click local -> Press OK. In the file browser, browse to cuckoo/web/static/js/cuckoo/src/ and whilst selecting the src folder, click include. The files containing in src should now turn green. Press OK.
  • Program - Should be the absolute path to node_modules/.bin/babel, for me this is /home/test/PycharmProjects/virtualenv/cuckoo/node_modules/.bin/babel. Double check that the path you enter reflects the actual location of the node_modules/.bin/babel file.
  • Arguments - --source-maps --out-file $FileNameWithoutExtension$.js $FilePath$
  • Working directory - Browse and select cuckoo/web/static/js/cuckoo
  • Output paths to refresh $FileNameWithoutExtension$-compiled.js:$FileNameWithoutExtension$

Finally; a mock file needs to be created in order for Pycharm to see it as a Django project. Create the following file cuckoo/web/web/ with the contents:

#!/usr/bin/env python
import sys

if __name__ == "__main__":
   from import execute_from_command_line

Go to File->Settings->Languages & Frameworks->Django and;

  • Django Project root - cuckoo/web
  • Settings - web/
  • Manage script - web/


The configuration should now be complete. Try running Cuckoo from within Pycharm & happy coding!