3. Installing and Starting the Open edX Platform#

This section provides information about options for installing and starting the Open edX platform.

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:

  • Version: What version of the code do you want?

  • Method: How do you want to install it?

3.1. 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: Juniper, Koa, Lilac, 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 on the Open edX Named Releases page.

3.2. 2. Choose an installation method#

The currently supported installation methods are:

  • Tutor: (New for Lilac) A community-supported Docker-based environment suited for both production and development.

  • Native: (Deprecated in Lilac, to be removed in Maple) Provides a production-ready installation on an Ubuntu machine of your own, using an Ansible playbook.

  • Devstack: A development environment based on Docker; useful if you want to modify Open edX code locally.

Broadly speaking, 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 running a production installation on a Release, use Tutor or Native.

  • If you want a production-like installation for testing a Release, you should also use either Tutor or Native.

  • If you want a production-like installation for testing Master, you should use Native.

  • If you will be modifying code on Master, use Devstack.

Note that 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.

You can find more details on each of the methods below: