Open edX Installation Options

Open edX is a large complex system.  Ideally, you won't install it and run it yourself.  There are Open edX providers and Open edX Platform Services: Freelancers that can do these things for you, and even self-service deployment options that are really great if you just want to try out Open edX.

BUT: if you do want to install it yourself, read on:

We've tried to simplify the installation by providing a small number of options, prepackaged to varying degrees. Before installing Open edX, you have two decisions to make:

  1. Version: What version of the code do you want?  
  2. Method: How do you want to install it?

1. Choose a version

There are two possibilities for the version to install:

  • Master is the latest version of the code, newer even than what is running on edx.org.
  • A Release is a version of the code marked and tested for wide use.  These are named alphabetically for trees: Ficus, Ginkgo, Hawthorn, etc.

You should choose master only if you will be modifying the code and contributing it back, or if you need a feature or fix that is newer than the latest Open edX release.  If you aren't planning to contribute changes, and you don't need the absolute latest code, use the latest official Open edX release.  Details of the releases are at Open edX Releases.

2. Choose an installation method

The different methods all install the same collection of software.  Which method you choose depends on what you'll be doing with your installation:

  • If you will be modifying code, use Devstack for running and testing your code. The code will be in directories shared between the host and the guest operating systems.  You'll run the code in the guest, but can edit in the host, where you can use your own tools.
  • If you will be running a production installation, use Native or Manual
  • If you want a production-like installation for testing, use Native.
  • If you just want to experiment with a running instance of Open edX, use Bitnami.

Except for Bitnami, all of them require some foundational skills:

  • Comfort with your chosen operating system.
  • Using the command line to perform tasks.
  • Some ability to diagnose and solve problems with system software.

The installation methods are:

  • Devstack: useful if you want to modify the Open edX code.
    • For Hawthorn and above, devstack is based on Docker. An unsupported pre-release is available. See the Docker Devstack repo for instructions.
  • Native: Automated installation on an Ubuntu machine of your own. Details are on the Native Open edX platform Ubuntu 20.04 64 bit Installation page.
  • Manual: you are on your own, using our scripts as a guide. Read the Native instructions to find the scripts to study.
  • Bitnami: installable pre-packaged images for popular cloud platforms. Details are at the Bitnami Open edX page.
  • Tutor: A community-built Docker-based environment.  Details in the Tutor docs.

Other information