Set up a developer environment

Use the steps in the following sections to set up your developer environment using a DevVM. Plan the following time for completing these tasks:

  • Setup time for Community accounts, which may take at least 1-2 business days for the approval process. You need to complete this process to download your DevVM.
  • Download time for a DevVM depends on the speed of your internet connection.
  • Setup time for Hyper-V is 30 minutes.

This page contains the following information:

System requirements for a DevVM

To set up a DevVM, your local machine must meet the following system requirements.

  Minimum configuration Recommended configuration
Operating system
  • Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016 with Hyper-V Version 6.2 or above
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V Version 5.0
Storage space 140 GB  
Processing cores 3 4
RAM 12 GB 16 GB
Relativity version  
Visual Studio 2019  

Step 1 - Install the Relativity Visual Studio templates

Use these steps to install the Relativity templates through Visual Studio:

  1. Open Visual Studio 2017 or 2019.
  2. Click Extensions > Manage Extensions in the menu bar.

    (Click to expand)

    Extensions menu

  3. In the Manage Extensions dialog, complete these steps:
    1. Click Online in the left pane, if it isn't selected.
    2. Enter Relativity Templates in the search bar on the right pane.
    3. Click Download on the matching extension.

      (Click to expand)

      Manage Extensions dialog

  4. Close Visual Studio. The VSIX installer automatically opens.
  5. Complete the steps in the VSIX installer to install the templates.

Step 2 - Set up Relativity Community and DevHelp accounts

Begin your Relativity development experience by setting up the following accounts:

  • Relativity Developer Community - set up a Community account to interact with the Relativity Developer community.

    Note: You can also download a DevVM through the Relativity Developer Community.

  • Relativity DevHelp Community - set up an account to ask questions, obtain suggestions from other Relativity Developers, and stay updated about Relativity news.

Use the following steps to create your accounts:

  1. Create a Relativity Developer Community account by completing these steps:
    1. Fill out the Relativity Developer Community account form.
    2. Click the password change link and set your password.
    3. Log in to the Relativity Community portal.
    4. Click Groups in the navigation bar to join the Relativity Developer Group.
    5. Click Relativity Developer Group.
    6. Click + Join Group to be added to the group.

      Note: After your Relativity Developer Community account is approved, you can use the Relativity DevHelp Community and download a DevVM. Allow at least 1-2 business days for the approval process.

  2. Create a Relativity DevHelp Community account by completing these steps:
    1. Go to the Relativity DevHelp Community page.
    2. Click Sign Up to create a new account.
    3. Complete the create account form.

      Be sure to enter the same email address in form as you used when creating your Relativity Developer Community account.

Step 3 - Download a DevVM

After your Relativity Community account is approved, you can download a DevVM.

Note: A DevVM is approximately 40 GB. The amount of time to download a DevVM varies by the speed of your internet connection.

Use the following steps to download a DevVM:

  1. Log in to the Relativity Community.
  2. Search for a knowledge base article for a recent DevVM version using the format: DevVM - <version number>.

    For example, you enter DevVM -

  3. Locate the Download Files section at the bottom of page.
  4. Click the link to download DevVM.
  5. Set up the DevVM using the steps in Set up the DevVM in Hyper-V.

Step 4 - Set up the DevVM in Hyper-V

You need to set up your DevVM in Hyper-V because it uses this software to run the Relativity instance.

Use the following steps to set up your DevVM:

  1. Complete these steps to verify that Hyper-V is installed on your local machine:
    1. Navigate to Programs and Features.
    2. Click Turn Windows features on or off.

      (Click to expand)

      Turn Windows features on or off option

    3. Verify that the Hyper-V checkbox is selected as illustrated in the following screen shot.

      If necessary, add this feature.

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      Hyper-V Management Tools

    4. Click OK.
  2. Extract the contents of the zip file downloaded from the Relativity Community.
    See Download a DevVM.
  3. Copy the RelativityDevVm folder to the C: drive on your machine.
  4. Open the Hyper-V Manager application.

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    Hyper-V Manager application

  5. Select your local machine under Hyper-V Manager in the tree.
  6. In the Actions pane, click Virtual Switch Manager.

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    Actions pane

  7. Complete these steps if you don't have an external network switch:
    1. Click New Virtual Network Switch under Virtual Switches.
    2. Select External for the switch type.
    3. Click Create Virtual Switch.
    4. Enter an unfriendly name, such as RelativityDevVmSwitch.
    5. Click Apply.

      (Click to expand)

      Virtual Switch Manager

    6. If a warning message appears, click Yes.

      (Click to expand)

      Network warning message

    7. Click OK to create a new virtual switch.
  8. Import the VM by clicking Import Virtual Machine in the Hyper-V Manager.

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    Import Virtual Machine action

  9. Click Next.
  10. Click Locate Folder.
  11. Click Browse to locate the RelativityDevVm folder.
  12. Click Select Folder.
  13. Click Next.
  14. On the Select Virtual Machine window, verify that the Hyper-V VM is displayed, and click Next.

    If you don't see your machine listed, see Cannot import DevVM post on the DevHelp site.

    (Click to expand)

    Select Virtual Machine dialog

  15. On the Choose Import Type window, select Register the virtual machine in-place, and use the existing unique ID.

    Note: In Connect Network section, a warning may appear if the DevVM requires a different virtual switch. Choose a valid virtual switch from the Connection drop-down list.

  16. Click Next.
  17. Click Finish to import the new Hyper-V VM.
    You should now see the imported VM in the Virtual Machines section.

    (Click to expand)

    Virtual Machine list

  18. Right-click VM instance and then click Start.

Note: After you start your DevVM, it may take several minutes for all the services to begin running.

Step 5 - Obtain your credentials and Relativity license

Complete these tasks to obtain your credentials and Relativity license:

Credentials for a DevVM

Obtain the credentials for a DevVM on the Relativity Community site at Where can I access DevVM Credentials? You use these credentials to interact with various features of the DevVM.

Relativity license

When you initially log in to the Relativity instance on your DevVM, you are prompted enter your license key. See Connect to a Relativity instance on a DevVM.

Contact Relativity Support by sending an email with the following information obtain a license key:

  • Indicate that you are requesting a license for Relativity instance on a DevVM.
  • Copy the key displayed when you first attempt to log in to Relativity and add this key to your email message. The following screen shot illustrates how this key is displayed:

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    Request key

If you can't log in to your Relativity instance, make sure that the ServiceHost services running within the DevVM. See the following screen shot:

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Services running in Task Manager

Additional information about DevVMs

Review the following information to simplify working with your DevVM.

Saving versus stopping your DevVM

Save your DevVM instead of shutting it down. This action puts the DevVM in a hibernated state. When starting the DevVM after saving it, you won't have to start the services again, because the state of your DevVM is preserved. It also reduces the time necessary to set up the DevVM when you restart it. To save your DevVM, right-click on the DevVM in the Hyper-V Manager and click Save.

Connect to a Relativity instance on a DevVM

Note: Do not migrate workspaces on a DevVM to a production version of Relativity. The version of Relativity and applications installed on a DevVM may be more up to date than the production versions.

Use the following steps to connect to the Relativity instance on your DevVM:

  1. Locate the IP address for your DevVM in the Hyper-V Manager.

    IP address in Hyper-V Manager

  2. Replace in the following URL with the IP address from your machine.

    You can then use this URL to connect to your Relativity instance in the web browser.
  3. Obtain your credentials for logging in to your Relativity instance from the Relativity Community. For more information, see Credentials for a DevVM.

Updates resources for a DevVM

Note: Even though you can adjust the system resources, we don't recommend using these environments for performance testing, gathering metrics, or other similar purposes.

Use the following steps to update the resources for a DevVM:

  1. Shutdown the DevVM.
  2. In the Hyper-V Manager, right-click on the DevVM and click Settings.

    Settings option for DevVM

  3. Increase the number of processor cores by clicking the Processor link in the Hardware section, and enter a value in the Number of virtual processors field.

    Number of virutal processors field

  4. Increase the RAM by clicking the Memory link in the Hardware section and enter a value in the RAM field.

    RAM field

  5. Click Apply > OK after configuring the VM hardware.

Windows licensing

A DevVM has a Windows license for up to 180 days. If you continue using the DevVM beyond this timeframe, you must activate a Windows license on the machine. For information, see Evaluation Versions and Upgrade Options for Windows Server 2012 on the Microsoft web site.

Use these steps to activate a license:

  1. Start your DevVM and log in to it with your credentials. See Step 5 - Obtain your credentials and Relativity license.
  2. Click PowerShell icon on the taskbar in your DevVM to run PowerShell as an administrator.
  3. Run the following command:
    DISM /online /Set-Edition:ServerStandard /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEula

    Add your Windows Server 2012 R2 license key to the command by updating the placeholder value in the ProductKey field.

    Note: You must obtain your own Windows Server 2012 R2 license key.