OpenHatch is currently designed to run on Python versions 2.6.0 to 2.7.8. OpenHatch site does not currently support Python 3 or above. We hope to do so in the future.


These installation instructions are tested nightly on Ubuntu 12.04 and Debian stable. Last verified on Windows XP 11/7/2013, Mac OS X 10.9.5 October 29, 2014, and Mac OS X 10.10 December 15, 2014.


This repository contains (primarily) Python code written on top of Django and other Python modules. We bundle a copy of all of the essential dependencies for oh-mainline to run so that you can get started immediately (there is no need to download and configure additional software from other sources).

It should take you about 15 minutes to get the OpenHatch site running locally on your computer.

Here are the basic steps you’ll follow for installation:

After running your own instance of the OpenHatch website, you can play with the code from an interactive shell on your computer.

If you want to work on core backend features, like the bug importer, or let your local site rescale images, please see Advanced Installation documentation to learn about optional dependencies and automated testing.


Open up a command prompt


Understanding how to open a command prompt for your operating system is an important prerequisite to master before continuing with the remaining installation instructions.

For the rest of these instructions, you have to open a command prompt:

  • On a Linux or similar system, find a program with “terminal” or “konsole” in the name. Run it.
  • On a Mac, click the search icon in the top-right of the screen and search for Terminal. This should find the Terminal program, stored in /Applications/Utilities. Run it.
  • On a Windows computer, you’ll need to use Git Bash. To do so, download and install the .exe at this link. (It will ask you a bunch of questions. You can accept the defaults.) Once that is installed, launch Git Bash by going to: Start -> All Programs -> Git -> Git Bash

Get the code from the GitHub repository

If you already have an oh-mainline directory on your computer, then you already have the source code. You may skip to the next step, Set up the database.

If you’re reading this installation instruction file on the web, then you will need to clone the repository from GitHub to your local computer.

Step 1: Open a command prompt on your computer

Step 2: Create a new directory on your computer:

mkdir localhatch

Step 3: Change to the new directory:

cd localhatch

Step 4: On your personal Github account, fork the OpenHatch repository at by clicking on the “Fork” button on the right-hand side. Github now takes you to your forked repository of the OpenHatch upstream repository.

Step 5: On the command prompt, clone the repository from your fork of the GitHub OpenHatch code to your local computer:

git clone<YOUR_GITHUB_USERNAME>/oh-mainline.git

If your commands are executed successfully, you may continue to the next step.


For most Django projects, you would need to install the dependencies at this point (using pip install -r requirements.txt), but for the OpenHatch project, these packages have been bundled for your convenience in the vendor directory, so they don’t need to be installed separately.

Set up the database

Before you run the commands in the this section, make sure you have changed your present working directory to the oh-mainline directory.:

cd oh-mainline

Your local OpenHatch site will store data in a SQLite database.

Run this command to create the database and add tables for our dependencies:

python syncdb --migrate --noinput


We have to pass –noinput to request that Django not ask you questions. This is due to a bad interaction between Django’s superuser creation system and our custom profiles. –migrate creates an empty database, with zero users and zero projects, ready for you to fill with data as you use your local version of the site. If you want your site to have a database filled with data like what is on the main site, you can import a data snapshot. See Importing data snapshots for more info about that.)

This will print out lots of text. Once all of the text is printed, you should see something like the output listed in Output Samples below. Afterwards, your database tables should be ready. You’re ready to run the site.

If you are using Windows and do not have Python installed, you may get the error “Python: command not found.” Follow these instructions to install Python.

Run the site

Before you run the commands in the this section, make sure you have changed your present working directory to the oh-mainline directory.

Run this command which will start a web server locally on your computer:

python runserver

As long as the “runserver” is running, you can visit your local version of the OpenHatch site in a web browser. So, try surfing to:



Your local version of OpenHatch does not contain any user data in its SQLite database. You may add users manually through the user interface. If your development needs require a large amount of prepopulated data, you can find information about Importing data snapshots in the Advanced Installation documentation.

You’re done

Hooray! That’s it for the essentials. You have everything you need to get the site going, and to start making changes.

Now is a good time to find us on IRC or the email list and say hello! We can help you make the changes you want to. Contact Us!

If you want to read about some optional dependencies, open up Advanced Installation documentation. You can also read about how to maintain your local site in the Maintenance documentation.

Output Samples

Here is a sample output from python syncdb --migrate --noinput:

  > ghettoq
  > django.contrib.auth
  > django.contrib.contenttypes
  > django.contrib.sessions
  > django.contrib.sites
  > django.contrib.webdesign
  > django.contrib.admin
  > registration
  > django_authopenid
  > django_extensions
  > south
  > django_assets
  > invitation
  > voting
  > reversion
  > debug_toolbar
  > sessionprofile
  > model_utils
  > djkombu
  - mysite.profile
  - mysite.customs
  - mysite.account
  - mysite.base
  - mysite.project
  - mysite.missions