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This repository is an open-source project for, a CKAN data portal run by Code for DC.

This repository includes the CKAN theme used by as well any custom pages used by the site.

Setup instructions


  • Git
  • Docker for your operating system

Cloning the repository

First, you'll need to fork this repository and clone it onto your computer. To fork it, click "Fork" in the upper-right corner of this page. You can then clone your fork using one of these two methods:

  • in the terminal, navigate to whatever directory you want the repository to be cloned into and run git clone<username>/opendatadc (replace <username> with your GitHub username)
  • inside of GitHub Desktop, go to File > Clone Repository and then choose where to clone the repo to

This is the only time you will need to do this step. In future development sessions, you can just run the steps in the "Getting started" section.

Getting started

Quick Started

This project uses docker to speed up on boarding and make it easier to maintain.

To start the application navigate to the directory you cloned the project to (most likely opendatadc) and run: docker-compose up and you should see starting After a few minutes you should see started

Navigate to localhost and you'll find CKAN running with the code for dc theme. It should look something like: started-site To stop the app run ctrl-c

Up and Down

Sometimes its convenient to start the application without taking up a terminal window. To do so, run docker-compose up -d; the application will now start in the background and will be avaible at localhost (might take a few minutes to start up). Now run: docker-compose ps and you should see the running containers docker-compose ps


docker-compose stop


docker-compose start

Setting up Admin account

Run: docker-compose exec ckan ckan-paster --plugin=ckan sysadmin add admin email=admin@admin -c /etc/ckan/default/ckan.ini

And fill in the prompts: admin-prompt

Setting up test-data

Very basic test data can be setup; alternatively sets can be exported from the real site and uploaded to your local one.

To set up test data run: docker-compose exec ckan ckan-paster --plugin=ckan create-test-data -c /etc/ckan/default/ckan.ini

Local development

Changes to the source HTML, JavaScript, and CSS/SCSS files will automatically show up when the browser is reloaded.

Changes to Python files will require the CKAN container to be restarted. To do so run docker-compose restart ckan.


SASS is used to create and maintain styles for the theme in order to compile the styles run

sass ckanext/open_data_dc/fanstatic/open_data_dc.scss ckanext/open_data_dc/fanstatic/open_data_dc.css 

Changing templates, files, JavaScript

Is a very large subject and the best way to get started is to read the CKAN documents

Feel free to contribute here or join us on

Deploying a new version

  1. Login to the remote production machine through ssh
  2. Run docker-compose rm ckan
  3. Run docker-compose pull
  4. Run docker-compose up -d

Re-indexing solr

This needs to get run when solr is updated docker-compose exec ckan ckan-paster --plugin=ckan search-index rebuild -c /etc/ckan/default/ckan.ini

Note: running this might require a restart via docker-compose restart ckan