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Contributing To The Main Code Base

Getting the source

Core, Web, Docker, and Documentation

This repository holds the main Frigate application and all of its dependencies.

Fork blakeblackshear/frigate to your own GitHub profile, then clone the forked repo to your local machine.

From here, follow the guides for:

Frigate Home Assistant Addon

This repository holds the Home Assistant Addon, for use with Home Assistant OS and compatible installations. It is the piece that allows you to run Frigate from your Home Assistant Supervisor tab.

Fork blakeblackshear/frigate-hass-addons to your own Github profile, then clone the forked repo to your local machine.

Frigate Home Assistant Integration

This repository holds the custom integration that allows your Home Assistant installation to automatically create entities for your Frigate instance, whether you run that with the addon or in a separate Docker instance.

Fork blakeblackshear/frigate-hass-integration to your own GitHub profile, then clone the forked repo to your local machine.



  • Frigate source code
  • GNU make
  • Docker
  • An extra detector (Coral, OpenVINO, etc.) is optional but recommended to simulate real world performance.

A Coral device can only be used by a single process at a time, so an extra Coral device is recommended if using a coral for development purposes.


1. Open the repo with Visual Studio Code

Upon opening, you should be prompted to open the project in a remote container. This will build a container on top of the base Frigate container with all the development dependencies installed. This ensures everyone uses a consistent development environment without the need to install any dependencies on your host machine.

2. Modify your local config file for testing

Place the file at config/config.yml in the root of the repo.

Here is an example, but modify for your needs:

host: mqtt

- path: /media/frigate/car-stopping.mp4
input_args: -re -stream_loop -1 -fflags +genpts
- detect

These input args tell ffmpeg to read the mp4 file in an infinite loop. You can use any valid ffmpeg input here.

3. Gather some mp4 files for testing

Create and place these files in a debug folder in the root of the repo. This is also where recordings will be created if you enable them in your test config. Update your config from step 2 above to point at the right file. You can check the docker-compose.yml file in the repo to see how the volumes are mapped.

4. Run Frigate from the command line

VSCode will start the docker compose file for you and open a terminal window connected to frigate-dev.

  • Run python3 -m frigate to start the backend.
  • In a separate terminal window inside VS Code, change into the web directory and run npm install && npm run dev to start the frontend.

5. Teardown

After closing VSCode, you may still have containers running. To close everything down, just run docker-compose down -v to cleanup all containers.


FFMPEG Hardware Acceleration

The following commands are used inside the container to ensure hardware acceleration is working properly.

Raspberry Pi (64bit)

This should show less than 50% CPU in top, and ~80% CPU without -c:v h264_v4l2m2m.

ffmpeg -c:v h264_v4l2m2m -re -stream_loop -1 -i -f rawvideo -pix_fmt yuv420p pipe: > /dev/null


ffmpeg -c:v h264_cuvid -re -stream_loop -1 -i -f rawvideo -pix_fmt yuv420p pipe: > /dev/null


ffmpeg -c:v h264_nvmpi -re -stream_loop -1 -i -f rawvideo -pix_fmt yuv420p pipe: > /dev/null


ffmpeg -hwaccel vaapi -hwaccel_device /dev/dri/renderD128 -hwaccel_output_format yuv420p -re -stream_loop -1 -i -f rawvideo -pix_fmt yuv420p pipe: > /dev/null


ffmpeg -c:v h264_qsv -re -stream_loop -1 -i -f rawvideo -pix_fmt yuv420p pipe: > /dev/null

Web Interface


Making changes

1. Set up a Frigate instance

The Web UI requires an instance of Frigate to interact with for all of its data. You can either run an instance locally (recommended) or attach to a separate instance accessible on your network.

To run the local instance, follow the core development instructions.

If you won't be making any changes to the Frigate HTTP API, you can attach the web development server to any Frigate instance on your network. Skip this step and go to 3a.

2. Install dependencies

cd web && npm install

3. Run the development server

cd web && npm run dev

4. Making changes

The Web UI is built using Vite, Preact, and Tailwind CSS.

Light guidelines and advice:

  • Avoid adding more dependencies. The web UI intends to be lightweight and fast to load.
  • Do not make large sweeping changes. Open a discussion on GitHub for any large or architectural ideas.
  • Ensure lint passes. This command will ensure basic conformance to styles, applying as many automatic fixes as possible, including Prettier formatting.
npm run lint
  • Add to unit tests and ensure they pass. As much as possible, you should strive to increase test coverage whenever making changes. This will help ensure features do not accidentally become broken in the future.
  • If you run into error messages like "TypeError: Cannot read properties of undefined (reading 'context')" when running tests, this may be due to these issues (, in vitest, but I haven't been able to resolve them.
npm run test
  • Test in different browsers. Firefox, Chrome, and Safari all have different quirks that make them unique targets to interact with.



Making changes

1. Installation

npm install

2. Local Development

npm run start

This command starts a local development server and open up a browser window. Most changes are reflected live without having to restart the server.

The docs are built using Docusaurus v3. Please refer to the Docusaurus docs for more information on how to modify Frigate's documentation.

3. Build (optional)

npm run build

This command generates static content into the build directory and can be served using any static contents hosting service.

Official builds

Setup buildx for multiarch

docker buildx stop builder && docker buildx rm builder # <---- if existing
docker run --privileged --rm tonistiigi/binfmt --install all
docker buildx create --name builder --driver docker-container --driver-opt network=host --use
docker buildx inspect builder --bootstrap
make push