3.3. Installing and Updating Devstack

This section provides information about how to install and update the Open edX developer stack (Devstack).

3.3.1. Installation Prerequisites for Devstack

Before you install Devstack, make sure that you have met the installation prerequisites.

3.3.2. Install Devstack

To install Devstack, follow these steps.

  1. Decide which branch you will be working with. “master” is the latest code in the repositories, changed daily. Open edX releases are more stable, for example, Hawthorn.

  2. Check out a local copy of the edx/devstack repository from https://github.com/edx/devstack.

    git clone https://github.com/edx/devstack
  3. Navigate to the devstack directory

    cd devstack
  4. If you are not using the master branch, check out the branch you want.

    git checkout open-release/hawthorn.master
  5. If you are not using the master branch, define an environment variable for the Open edX version you are using, such as hawthorn.master or zebrawood.rc1. Note that unlike a server install, the value of the OPENEDX_RELEASE variable should not use the open-release/ prefix.

    export OPENEDX_RELEASE=hawthorn.master
  6. Run make dev.checkout to check out the correct branch in the local checkout of each service repository.

    make dev.checkout
  7. Clone the Open edX service repositories. The Docker Compose file mounts a host volume for each service’s executing code. The host directory defaults to be a sibling of the /devstack directory. For example, if you clone the edx/devstack repository to ~/workspace/devstack, host volumes will be expected in ~/workspace/course-discovery, ~/workspace/ecommerce, etc. You can clone these repositories with the following command.

    make dev.clone

    To customize where the local repositories are found, set the DEVSTACK_WORKSPACE environment variable.

  8. (macOS only) Share the cloned service directories in Docker, using Docker -> Preferences -> File Sharing in the Docker menu.

  9. Run the provision command to configure the various services with superusers (for development without the auth service) and tenants (for multi-tenancy).


    When you run the provision command, databases for ecommerce and edxapp will be dropped and recreated.

    Use the following default provision command.

    make dev.provision

The default username and password for the superusers are both edx. You can access the services directly using Django admin at the /admin/ path, or log in using single sign-on at /login/.

When you have completed these steps, see Starting the Open edX Developer Stack to begin using Devstack.

For help with running Devstack, see Troubleshooting Devstack.

3.3.3. Updating Devstack

EdX publishes new images for Open edX services frequently. After you have installed and started Devstack, you can update your Devstack installation to use the most up-to-date versions of the Devstack images by running the following sequence of commands.

make down
make pull
make dev.up

This stops any running Devstack containers, pulls the latest images, and then starts all of the Devstack containers.