One webpage for every book ever published!
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Adding blacklist of urls not to redirect back to, e.g. forgot password
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provisioning tweaks to bootstrap script. Jun 20, 2014
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Makefile Make Edition can_borrow() check whether IA item is in private collection Dec 13, 2016 fixing olsystem link Nov 15, 2016 Updating READMEs Nov 15, 2016
Vagrantfile mount OL code at /openlibray on vm. Nov 25, 2014
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requirements.txt Working OL b/e flow Jan 24, 2017 Removed obsolete code. Jan 6, 2015 fix typo in documentation Feb 6, 2013
test_requirements.txt Working OL b/e flow Jan 24, 2017

Open Library

Open Library ( is an open, editable library catalog, building towards a web page for every book ever published.

Build Status

Table of Contents


Open Library is an effort started in 2006 to create "one web page for every book ever published". It provides access to many public domain and out-of-print books, which can be read online.


First you need to have installed Virtualbox and Vagrant.

Next, fork the OpenLibrary repo to your own Github account and clone your forked repo to your local machine:

    git clone

Enter the project directory and provision + launch the dev virtual machine instance using vagrant:

  cd openlibrary
  vagrant up

You can now view your running instance by loading http://localhost:8080 in a web browser.

You can turn off the virtual machine from the host machine using:

    vagrant halt

To administrate and ssh into the vagrant dev virtual machine, type:

    vagrant ssh

Note: Remember that, thanks to vagrant and virtual box, your local folder openlibrary (where you ran vagrant up) contains exactly the same files as /openlibrary in the dev virtual machine (the one that you login to via vagrant ssh).


If running in Vagrant, but services don't seem to have been properly started -- e.g. the site works but you can't login with the default credentials -- try running vagrant up --provision.

Developer's Guide

For instructions on administrating your Open Library instance and build instructions for developers, refer the Developer's document.

You can find more info digging into this old (and in part outdated) document here:

Code Organization

  • openlibrary/core - core openlibrary functionality, imported and used by www
  • openlibrary/plugins - other models, controllers, and view helpers
  • openlibrary/views - views for rendering web pages
  • openlibrary/templates - all the templates used in the website
  • openlibrary/macros - macros are like templates, but can be called from wikitext


The Frontend

The Backend

OpenLibrary is developed on top of the Infogami wiki system, which is itself built on top of the Python web framework and the Infobase database framework.

Once you've read the overview of OpenLibrary Backend technologies, it's highly encouraged you read the developer primer which explains how to use Infogami (and its database, Infobase):

The Service Architecture

Running tests

Open Library tests can be run using pytest (py.test).

Inside vagrant, go to the application base directory:

    cd /openlibrary
    make test

Integration Tests

Integration tests use the Splinter webdriver with Google Chrome. For instructions on installation requirements and running integration tests, see Integration Tests README


We'd love your help! Choose a bug from our project board:


All source code published here is available under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License, version 3. Please see for more information.