The installation process is composed of two parts: install and run Invenio backend, and install and run JS frontend (Single Page Application). At the moment, InvenioILS is still under development. The following quickstart guide is to run InvenioILS in a development environment.

Invenio backend

Clone the project repository from GitHub: https://github.com/inveniosoftware/invenio-app-ils.

First, create a virtualenv using virtualenvwrapper in order to sandbox our Python environment for development:

mkvirtualenv my-site

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

docker-compose up -d


Make sure you have enough virtual memory for Elasticsearch in Docker.

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


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


The previous step created a set of demo data that allows to try the product. You can find the list of demo users in the homepage of InvenioILS when you run it. Otherwise, here the list:

user email psw notes
admin admin@test.ch 123456 super admin user, can access also to /admin
librarian librarian@test.ch 123456 user with "librarian" rights, can access to backoffice
patron1 patron1@test.ch 123456 a patron user, cannot access to backoffice
patron2 patron2@test.ch 123456 a patron user, cannot access to backoffice
patron3 patron3@test.ch 123456 a patron user, cannot access to backoffice
patron4 patron4@test.ch 123456 a patron user, cannot access to backoffice

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:

Navigate to your virtualenv, e.g. ~/.virtualenvs/invappils/var/instance, and create a new file invenio.cfg:


If you re-run the setup script and re-generate the demo data, you will have to update this value.


Do not forget to restart the InvenioILS backend webserver if already running.


Enable CSRF for development

If you have enabled the csrf check during development, you need to follow one of the below steps in order to be able to make it work:

  1. Start the UI application react-invenio-app-ils app with the command npm run start:secure. This will run the react application over https and the csrf cookie will be set corectly.

  2. In case you run the UI application over http then you will need to add in the config.py file of invenio-app-ils the following:


UI frontend

Clone the project repository from GitHub: https://github.com/inveniosoftware/react-invenio-app-ils. Then, install the npm dependencies.

npm install


The easiest way to run and develop is to run separately Invenio, for REST APIs, and the UI app using the npm web development server.

Invenio backend

Start the Invenio backend web server (remember to have the virtualenv activated):

cd invenio-app-ils

Start the celery worker:

celery worker -A invenio_app.celery -l INFO


The user interface is a single page React application created using create-react-app.

cd react-invenio-app-ils
npm start


Run the backend tests, run:


For the frontend tests:

cd ui
npm test

Developers documentation

You can build the documentation with:

python setup.py build_sphinx


Vocabularies are indexed using Elasticsearch and can be indexed from a JSON source file. To manage vocabularies use the ils vocabulary CLI.

Some pre-defined vocabulary generators are available. To generate a JSON file with a list of languages or countries use:

ils vocabulary generate languages -o languages.json
ils vocabulary generate countries -o countries.json

To add vocabularies from a JSON file use the index command:

ils vocabulary index json [file1.json, file2.json, ...]

To add custom vocabularies or modify the text or data of an existing vocabulary use the same index command as above.

If you change the key attribute of a vocabulary or if you remove a vocabulary you also need to remove it from Elasticsearch. Use the delete command to remove a vocabulary:

ils vocabulary delete country  # remove all countries
ils vocabulary delete country --key CH  # remove only Switzerland

Example vocabularies are available in invenio_app_ils/vocabularies/data.

Vocabulary-specific configuration is available in config.py and invenioConfig.js.

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 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

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!): check backend installation tutorial
  4. your browser has the exception for the https temporary certificate of the local instance.

Adding the certificate to the browser exceptions:

  1. In your browser go to: localhost:5000/
  2. You will see a warning about the certificate. You need to proceed to the website and agree for adding the certificate to the exceptions
  3. Reload your UI.

Demo data