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System requirements


InvenioRDM depends on the following requirements to be installed on your local system:

  • MacOS or Linux-based systems (Windows systems is not supported).
  • Python 3.9 and pip

    • Python development headers:
      • On Ubuntu: sudo apt install python3-dev.
      • On RHEL/Fedora: yum install -y python3-devel.x86_64.
    • MacOS 11 Big Sur introduces some changes that might break the installation of some packages (for example PostgreSQL binaries). If this happens, make sure that you prepend the installation command with SYSTEM_VERSION_COMPAT=1 (more information):

      SYSTEM_VERSION_COMPAT=1 invenio-cli install
    • In case that invenio-cli (and other commands installed via pip) cannot be found after installing, you may have to update your $PATH to include the install directory (e.g. PATH="$PATH:$HOME/.local/bin" on Linux).

  • Docker 20.10.10+

  • Docker-Compose 1.17.0+

For running and building the application locally you will also need:

  • Git.
  • Node.js 14.0.0+ (needed for local installation). We recommend that you install node through nvm (e.g. nvm install --lts --default 14).
  • npm < 7.
  • Cairo needed for badges to be properly displayed.
  • DejaVu Fonts needed for badges rendering.
  • ImageMagick needed for IIIF file rendering.

Supported Python distributions

InvenioRDM targets CPython 3.9. Anaconda Python in particular is not currently supported and other Python distributions are not tested.

ARM-based CPUs

If you are developing locally with an ARM-based CPU, notably a recent Apple M1/M2 Mac, the minimum support version of InvenioRDM is v10. Previous versions cannot be installed because of a node-sass incompatibility.


InvenioRDM depends on the following services. During the installation we start these services in containers, but you could as well use externally hosted services for them:

  • Databases: PostgreSQL 10+
  • Search: OpenSearch (2.0+) or Elasticsearch (v7.0 - v7.10 due to the license change introduced in v7.11)
  • Cache: Redis, memcached
  • Message broker: RabbitMQ, Redis
  • Storage systems: Network storage, S3, XRootD, and more

Elasticsearch vs OpenSearch

InvenioRDM transitioned from Elasticsearch to OpenSearch due to license changes in Elasticsearch which means it is no longer an open source product. We are currently assessing if it is feasible from a technical and resource perspective to support both products.


We usually run InvenioRDM on machines that have at least 8GB of RAM and at least 4 cores.

Python virtual environments

Because we want to avoid cluttering the Python packages of the system or user with InvenioRDM dependencies, invenio-cli uses virtual environments. This is done by interacting with pipenv behind the scenes, which is listed as a requirement and can simply be installed via pip. To enable the use of a different Python version in the virtual environment than the one installed globally, a Python version manager such as pyenv (or asdf with asdf-python) is required.

For simplicity, we recommend to go with pyenv here. In some cases, it can be installed via the system's package manager (e.g. pacman -S pyenv). Otherwise, you can find the installation instructions on the project's GitHub page or use their automatic installer (note the required dependencies for locally building Python).


Permissions to run Docker (Linux)

Your user that will be executing the CLI tool MUST be able to execute the docker command (i.e. it is not only available for the root user):

sudo usermod --append --groups docker $USER

After logging out and back in (to refresh the user's group information), the docker ps command should work without errors. If it still displays a permission error on docker.sock, we strongly recommend against making it world-writable as it is sometimes suggested! Instead, you could change the group of the socket to docker and allow users in that group to read and write to it.

sudo chgrp docker /var/run/docker.sock

# if the group doesn't have RW access yet
sudo chmod g+rw /var/run/docker.sock

Available memory for Docker (macOS)

On the same topic, make sure that Docker itself has enough memory to run.

In Linux based systems Docker can use all available memory. In macOS, by default, it gets 2GB of RAM which most likely won't be enough. Allocating 6-8GB to it is optimal. You can do that in Docker --> preferences --> resources and adjust the Memory to the corresponding value. If you have a few cores more to spare, it might be a good idea to give more than 2. Take into account that you will run between 4 and 8 containers.

OpenSearch and Docker (macOS and Linux)

Among the containers you will run is an OpenSearch container which is quite demanding. Per OpenSearch's Docker documentation, you will want to apply the following kernel setting:

On Linux, add the following to /etc/sysctl.conf on your local machine (host machine):

# Maximum number of memory map areas a process (Elasticsearch) may have

On MacOS, do the following (paths might be outdated, please refer to the official documentation):

screen ~/Library/Containers/com.docker.docker/Data/vms/0/tty
# and in the shell
sysctl -w vm.max_map_count=262144

Use same contexts (macOS and Linux)

Make sure to always use the same context when using both Docker from the terminal and Docker Desktop. For more information see Docker Contexts.