Getting Started

To get your own instance of OpenHatch running, follow these steps and then get in touch with us.

The code is written in Python. It uses the Django toolkit and tries to stick to good software testing practices. If you have Python experience, you should be able to get hacking pretty quickly even if you don’t know Django or testing.

First steps

Getting the source code

OpenHatch source code can be seen through a web interface at

To make contributions, you will need to do acquire the source code of Complete these one-time tasks in the following order:

  1. Make a new Github account on if you don’t already have one.

  2. Fork the oh-mainline Github repository located here at Click on the fork button located on the upper right corner of the project page. Now you have your own personal copy of the oh-mainline repository.

  3. Install git the version control system. If you have already done so, skip to the next step.

  4. Clone your personal copy of the oh-mainline repository to your computer by typing this command into your terminal

    $ git clone<YOUR_GITHUB_USERNAME>/oh-mainline.git

It will take up to five minutes, depending on your Internet connection. it’s kind of a big repository. (90 megabytes, or so.)

Installing and running a local development site

Once you have the repository, read the Installation documentation or open up the oh-mainline/docs/getting_started/installation.rst file in any text editor and follow the instructions.

Read it, and follow the few short steps to getting your local site going. It should take about 5 minutes.

Next steps

Get in touch

We really recommend that you get in touch with us. (It’s not quite mandatory, but we’ll all be happier if you do)

OpenHatch holds development meetings on IRC; our goal is to hold these meetings weekly. The meetings are announced on Please join us on IRC and share your ideas or ask questions.

Read more documentation

Before you start hacking OpenHatch, we strongly advise you to watch Learning new codebase talk by Justin Lilly given during DjangoCon 2010.

You can find more tips about hacking OpenHatch in the Category:Hacking_OpenHatch!

You can find things to work on by browsing our issue tracker or asking us!

Start contributing!

We mark issues that are particularly good for new contributors with the “bitesize” keyword on our issue tracker. You can find the open easy issues here.

If you find an issue you like and it isn’t assigned to anyone, assign it to yourself and start hacking. If it is assigned to someone already, but it looks like they haven’t gotten around to working on it, leave a note on the ticket saying that you are interested in taking it (you can also try asking on IRC).

When you are ready to submit a contribution for an issue, follow the guidelines at How we handle contributions.

If you ever feel like you are getting stuck or could use some design feedback, don’t hesitate to ask for help on the IRC channel, on the devel mailing list, or on the issue ticket. Attending the weekly development meetings on IRC is a great time to ask for help or recommendations on issues to work on.

Getting unstuck

Doing searches:

When doing searches for particular keywords in the GitHub repository, the “vendor” directory will most likely return lots of hits, making your search more difficult.

GitHub provides a little known method for excluding specific directories from the search. In the Search textfield, enter:

YOUR_SEARCH_WORD -path:vendor

The -path:vendor parameter will exclude the vendor directory from your search and will maximize the probability of getting meaningful hits.

It is also possible to do a search locally from the command line, by going to the mysite/ directory and using:


That will limit the search to your local code.