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At the moment, customization to InvenioILS requires changes to configuration or code in a local environment. This step will be improved in the future.

This documentation will guide you on how to setup your local development environment.

The installation process is composed of two parts: install and run the Invenio backend, and install and run the JavaScript frontend (Single Page Application).


Make sure that you have installed the prerequisites above. You will now need to install:


Install Invenio backend

In the project folder, create a new Python virtualenv:

cd <my directory e.g. myprojects>/invenioils/invenioils
mkvirtualenv invenioils

Start all dependent services using docker-compose (this will start PostgreSQL, Elasticsearch, RabbitMQ and Redis):

docker-compose up -d

Bootstrap the instance (this will install all Python dependencies and build all static assets):

(invenioils)$ ./scripts/bootstrap

Next, create database tables, search indexes, message queues and demo data:

(invenioils)$ ./scripts/setup

The previous step created a set of demo data that allows to try the product. The demo users are mentioned above.

Since the InvenioILS web server is running on a different HTTP port (:5000) of the UI web server (:3000), we will have to tune Invenio configuration to allow HTTP requests from different domain (CORS). To do that, we override the default configuration via the invenio.cfg file:

  1. Navigate to your virtualenv, e.g. ~/.virtualenvs/invenioils/
  2. create the needed folders: mkdir -p var/instance
  3. create a new file invenio.cfg with the following content:

Install UI frontend

Clone the project repository from GitHub:

cd <my directory e.g. myprojects>/invenioils
git clone invenioilsui
cd invenioilsui

Then, install the JavaScript dependencies.

npm install


Every time you want to run InvenioILS, you will need to:

  1. have the Docker services up and running
  2. have the InvenioILS backend development web server and celery workers running
  3. have the InvenioILS UI development web server running

Run docker

In a new terminal run:

cd <my directory e.g. myprojects>/invenioils/invenioils
docker-compose up

Run backend web server

Start the Invenio backend web server (remember to activate the virtualenv with the command workon). In a new terminal run:

cd <my directory e.g. myprojects>/invenioils/invenioils
workon invenioils
(invenioils)$ ./scripts/server

Start the celery worker. In a new terminal run:

cd <my directory e.g. myprojects>/invenioils/invenioils
workon invenioils
(invenioils)$ celery -A invenio_app.celery worker -l INFO

Run frontend web server

The user interface is a single page React application created using create-react-app. In a new terminal run:

cd <my directory e.g. myprojects>/invenioils/invenioilsui
npm start

Now visit (accept the self-signed certificate warning if proposed). You should now see the InvenioILS website.

Develop React-invenio-app-ils as a npm linked library

  1. Setup react-invenio-app-ils ready for development
cd <react-invenio-app-ils dir>
npm install
npm run lib-build
  1. Link the distribution (the scripts are already provided in package.json) and refresh on changes - it will build your dist folder
cd <react-invenio-app-ils dir>
npm link
npm run watch
  1. Go to your app, where you specified react-invenio-app-ils as your dependency and link the locally developed react-invenio-app-il
cd <my-react-app>
npm install
npm link @inveniosoftware/react-invenio-app-ils

Recreate the demo data from scratch

You can recreate the demo data whenever you need. WARNING: this process will destroy any data or user that you have created or modified.

  1. Make sure all services are up and running
  2. Run again ./scripts/setup in your virtualenv:
cd <my directory e.g. myprojects>/invenioils/invenioils
workon invenioils
(invenioils)$ ./scripts/setup

Troubleshooting FAQ

UI network errors

If you are seeing in your application UI errors:

Something went wrong
Network Error

You can find out more about the error by checking the console in your browser's developer tools.

Verify if:

  1. The backend server is running correctly (the console showing no exceptions)
  2. You have followed the installation guide
  3. the CORS policy is disabled for your local instance (not for any production environments!), see documentation above
  4. your browser has the exception for the https temporary certificate of the local instance, see documentation below

Browser certificate warning

The development server does not provide a valid HTTPS certificate. When opening the webpage of InvenioILS the first time, the browser will show you a warning: this is normal and expected for a local development environment.

  1. In your browser go to
  2. You will see a warning about the invalid certificate: at this step, you will have to add the development certificate as trusted (Accept button or Proceed to (unsafe) link). This process varies depending on the browser.
  3. Reload the webpage if needed.