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Instance development

This guide will show you how to install the latest development version of InvenioRDM and how to install modules in InvenioRDM.

Development install

The installation of the latest development version of InvenioRDM is very similar to the normal installation guide. The primary difference is that you should use another instance template (by adding -c master to the scaffolding command):

cd ~/src
invenio-cli init rdm -c master

Then install the instance as usual:

cd my-site
invenio-cli install
invenio-cli services setup
invenio-cli run


For development we highly recommend you use the local installation method rather the containerized installation. See the installation guide for full details.

In the future we aim to move to a fully containerized development environment.

The commands above will install the latest development releases from PyPI and NPM. In addition, each module may have further changes on their latest master branch that has not yet been released (see below).

Integrating Python development modules

First, checkout the package development guide to learn how to develop on a single Python package. To integrate your Python package into a development install of an InvenioRDM instance see below:

Install a module in an instance

Once you have a source code checkout, you can install the module in the development instance:

cd ~/src/my-site
invenio-cli packages install ~/src/invenio-app-rdm
invenio-cli run


Note, your development package must fit your InvenioRDM instance. If you, for instance, install the latest master branch of a module on a non-development instance of InvenioRDM it's not likely to work.


A development package may have database, index and schema changes that needs to be added to the database. In this case, it's often the easiest to wipe and recreate the database/indexes:

invenio-cli services destroy
invenio-cli services setup

Edit CSS and JavaScript included in Python modules

Some Python modules includes CSS/JavaScript which is usually located in assets/ folders in the project.

By default, assets are not rebuilt when you edit the files, however you can watch the files for changes and automatically rebuild the assets using the following watch command.

cd ~/src/my-site
invenio-cli assets watch


Above only works for JS/CSS files distributed in the Python modules. In particular it doesn't work for React modules like React-Invenio-Deposit (see below).

No hot reloading

There is no hot reloading available. This means that even if the assets are watched and rebuilt, you need to refresh your browser to see the changes. In addition, be aware of the cache, it might be a good idea to disable your cache or use an incognito window when developing web UI.

Integrating React development modules

InvenioRDM depends on a number of React modules published on NPM, namely React-SearchKit, React-Invenio-Deposit and React-Invenio-Forms. If you need to develop on these modules, there's a couple of extra steps.

  • First, install the React module:
invenio-cli assets install ~/src/react-invenio-deposit
  • Next, watch the modules for changes:
invenio-cli assets watch-module --link ~/src/react-invenio-deposit
  • Last, in another terminal start the instance's assets watch (thus running two watch commands):
invenio-cli assets watch


UnfinishedManifest error

Rebuilding the webpack bundles is not a speed-of-light operation. It might take a few seconds. If you see an UnfinishedManifest error in your browser when you refresh, check the terminal to see whether the assets are simply still building or if an actual build error (e.g. syntax error) occurred.