If you run into any problems getting Tide setup see the Help page for common issues or ask in the #tide channel in WordPress Slack.

Environment Variables

Copy the .env.dist file to .env.

$ cp .env.dist .env

If you are running Tide locally, you do not need to change any of these .env values. If you are deploying this into the cloud, make sure to read all the documentation for which variables you should update and their values.

Create an empty .env.gcp file.

touch .env.gcp

The .env.gcp file overwrites the .env file values and can be left blank if you are running Tide locally. These files are used to store custom values of environment variables for various services. Before setting up any of the services, update the values according to the instructions for each service. The variables and their descriptions can be found at the end of each relevant section.


By default MongoDB is used as the local message provider for the Lighthouse & PHPCS Servers. You do not need to change any of the default settings in your .env file, but you could before starting the API if you wanted.

Variable Description
MONGO_DATABASE_NAME The name of the database. Default is queue.
MONGO_DATABASE_PASSWORD The database root password. Default is root.
MONGO_DATABASE_USERNAME The database root username. Default is root.
MONGO_QUEUE_LH Specifies which collection in MongoDB to use for the Lighthouse message queue. Default is lighthouse.
MONGO_QUEUE_PHPCS Specifies which collection in MongoDB to use for the PHPCS message queue. Default is phpcs.


We typically update at minimum the following environment variables in the .env file:

Variable Description
API_ADMIN_EMAIL The email associated with the local admin account. Default is admin@tide.local. Note: unless you setup the Gmail SMTP plugin, any generated emails will not get sent by WordPress.
API_ADMIN_PASSWORD The password associated with the local admin account. Default is wordpress.
API_ADMIN_USER The username associated with the local admin account. Default is admin.
API_KEY The API key used both locally and on GCP to authenticate the audit-server user. Default is uRhZgeYt$v5u0vR5fpcDSWcZU.
API_SECRET The API secret used both locally and on GCP to authenticate the audit-server user. Default is rVvUWQlPQr8trSEd2qdwmE4Eiua$MjLX.

To make local development simple we have added default values for the API_KEY and API_SECRET associated with the audit-server user, which will automatically update the user meta values when make api.setup is ran. However, you are free to change these values and we encourage you to, especially if you plan on deploying to the cloud — in that case you should overwrite these values in the .env.gcp file.

If you are running Tide in production, then you can access the auto generated key and secret from the audit-server user's profile after you setup the API and before you deploy the Kubernetes clusters.

Initialize WordPress

From the project root directory run the following make commands to initialize and setup WordPress.

Install the dependencies:

make api.composer

Then start the API Docker images in isolation:

make api.up

Open a new shell and run the setup script:

make api.setup

You can run the setup script to initialize WordPress for the first time or if you would like a convenient way to update the default values when you change relevant environment variables.


The local database is stored in the data/api/mysql directory. If you ever need to start from scratch delete that directory and run make api.setup again. Be sure to stop the API with make api.down or make down and then start it again with make api.up.

Running make down will stop all Docker services.

Hosts File

Add the following entry to your hosts file to make sure tide.local is pointed at your local Tide instance: tide.local

You can change the tide.local URL to some other value by modifying the API_AUTH_URL and API_HTTP_HOST variables inside the .env file.

Build Images

Installs the Glide dependencies, creates the Go binaries, and builds all the Docker images:

make build.images

Isolated Build

Lighthouse Image:


PHPCS Image:


Sync Image:


Start Servers

It is recommended that you run these Docker containers separately and start the servers in new shells in order to isolate the output. However, you can start all services (API, Lighthouse Server, PHPCS Server, Sync Server) with the following command:

make up

Isolated Start

Lighthouse Server:

make lighthouse.up

PHPCS Server:

make phpcs.up

Sync Server:

make sync.up

Run Audits

Now that all the Tide services are up and running, you can run audits on themes and plugins by doing a GET request to a special endpoint either in your browser or with an app like Postman. This endpoint only initiates an audit for the wporg Tide user and for hosted themes and plugins.

If we want to run an audit against the twentyseventeen theme version 2.1 for example, we would use this endpoint:


Or for the akismet plugin version 4.1.1:


When you request an audit you will receive a JSON object back that indicates the audit is pending. If the audit has previously been requested and is complete then you will receive a JSON object with information about the theme/plugin and summary reports with links to the full report.

If the audit is pending, your shell should have some output to indicate that the audit is running. Once this output stops and all your services go back to the polling status, you can refresh the API request in the browser and you should see the updated JSON object with completed Tide reports.

For a full list of API Endpoints that can be used with Tide, see the API Endpoints section.