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Publisher is the primary content design app for GOV.UK. It provides the user interface for entering all the key editorial formats and an API so other apps (primarily frontend) can access that data for display. It is sometimes referred to as "mainstream publisher".


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Live examples

Retired formats

  • Business Support
  • Campaign
  • Programme
  • Video


  • Artefact: a document on GOV.UK.

Technical documentation

This is a Ruby on Rails application that publishes the content for mainstream document formats to the shared mongo database. The frontend app reads this content from the Content Store.


  • imminence - provides geographical search tools
  • rummager - search index for publisher. All changes are also sent to rummager to be indexed
  • content-store - new central storage of published content on GOV.UK
  • publishing-api - will provide workflow for all content published to GOV.UK - creating a new document, publishing it, etc. Content published here will end up in the content-store
  • govuk-content-schemas - defines the schemas for new-style document formats. Required to run the tests.
bundle exec rake local_transactions:import SOURCE=/path/to/local_authority_service_details.CSV
  • statsd - this application uses statsd-ruby to send metrics to statsd. If a statsd process isn't present on the server it won't matter as statsd-ruby sends metrics over UDP. If a statsd process is present then it'll send strings with the respective increment/decrement/gauge function to use.
  • asset-manager - manages uploaded assets (images, PDFs, videos etc.). Publisher needs an OAuth bearer token in order to authenticate with Asset Manager. By default, this is loaded from the PUBLISHER_ASSET_MANAGER_BEARER_TOKEN environment variable in config/initializers/gds_api.rb, which is automatically provided if using the development VM. Otherwise, to obtain this bearer token you should create an API user in the signonotron2 application. In the signonotron2 directory, to generate the bearer token you need, run:
rake api_clients:create[publisher,,asset-manager,signin]

Running the application

If you're just interested in running the Publisher locally, with a minimum of interaction with other apps, here's how. This assumes you're using this development setup.

cd /var/govuk/development
bowl publisher

Running the test suite

bundle exec rake

The test suite relies on the presence of the govuk-content-schemas repository. If should be at the same directory level as the government-frontend repository.

Or to specify the location explicitly:

GOVUK_CONTENT_SCHEMAS_PATH=/some/dir/govuk-content-schemas bundle exec rake


MIT License