Manage Open edX projects

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Derex simplifies running Open edX: it takes care of starting the needed services (mysql, mongodb, rabbitmq etc) and introduces the concept of Open edX projects.

A project is a directory that defines what an Open edX instance should look like. It can specify additional requirements, custom themes and plugins.

derex.runner uses docker compose (it’s bundled, you don’t have to install it separately) to orchestrate the many necessary pieces.

It provides two commands, ddc-services to manage services (mysql, mongodb, elasticsearch etc) and ddc-project to manage project-specific services (lms, cms, workers and maybe others if plugins are installed).

They are wrappers to docker-compose: ddc stands for derex docker compose. As such familiarity with docker compose is required to use derex.


Make sure you have python 3.6 or later and docker 19.03.5 or later installed.

A virtualenv is also recommended. For derex we use direnv. Its main purpose is to define directory-specific environment variables, but it can also automatically activate a virtualenv when you cd into a directory. We include a .envrc file that will instruct direnv to create and activate a local python3 virtualenv.

We recommend to install it to try out the following instructions. Alternatively you can replace direnv allow with your virtualenv activation command.


Run the following commands:

git clone
cd derex.runner
direnv allow
pip install -r requirements.txt -e .
cd examples/juniper/minimal/
ddc-services up -d  # Start mysql, mongodb, rabbitmq and admin tools
derex reset-mailslurper  # Prime the mailslurper mysql database
derex reset-rabbitmq  # Create rabbitmq user and queue
derex mysql reset  # Prime the mysql database
derex create-bucket  # Create the S3-like buckets on Minio
ddc-project up -d  # Start LMS/CMS daemons and workers

Run derex to see running services:

http://mailslurper.localhost  # (debug emails sent by the platform)
http://adminer.localhost  # (mysql administration tool)
http://flower.minimal.localhost  # (monitor celery workers)
http://portainer.localhost  # (mysql administration tool)

You can login to the CMS and LMS using one of these users (the password is always secret):

  • Username: user, email Represents a student user.

  • Username: staff, email Represents a member of the teaching staff.

  • Username: superuser, email Represents an administrator of Open edX. This user has full permissions inside the platform.


This work uses extensively parts of the tutor project. Many thanks to Régis Behmo!

This package was created with Cookiecutter and the cookiecutter-namespace-template project template.