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OpenSpending is a project to make government finances easier to explore and understand. It started out as "Where does my money go", a platform to visualize the United Kingdom's state finance, but has been renamed and restructured to allow arbitrary financial data to be loaded and displayed.

The main use for the software is the site which aims to track government finance around the world.

OpenSpending's code is licensed under the GNU Affero Licence except where otherwise indicated. A copy of this licence is available in the file LICENSE.txt.

OpenSpending is a microservices platform made up of a number of separate apps, each maintained in their own git repository. This repository contains docker-compose files that can be used run an instance of Openspending for development, or as the basis for a production deployment. This repository also acts as a central hub for managing issues for the entire platform.

What are these files?

Most applications that make up the OpenSpending platform are maintained in their own repositories, with their own Dockerfiles, built and pushed to the OpenSpending organisation on Docker Hub:

This repository maintains docker-compose files used to help get you started with the platform.

docker-compose.base.yml: This is the main docker-compose file for OpenSpending specific services. All installations will use this as the basis for running the platform. This defines backing services used by the platform, such as Redis, ElasticSearch, and PostgreSQL. This file also includes fake-s3 in place of AWS S3, so you don't have to set up an S3 bucket for development. It is not recommended to use this for production. This defines the services used for the separate os-data-importers application. They depend on services defined in Unless you are working on the data-importers or its associated source-spec files, it's not necessary to run this file.

docker-compose.local.yml: Create this file to add additional services, or overrides for the base configuration. It is ignored by git.

Dockerfiles/*: Most services are maintained in their own repositories, but a few small custom services used by the platform are maintained here. os-nginx-frontend is a basic frontend nginx server and configuration files to define resource locations for the platform. This will be build and run directly by docker-compose.base.yml.

I'm a developer, how can I start working on OpenSpending?

  1. Define the environmental variables that applications in the platform need. The easiest way to do this is to create a .env file (use .env.example as a template).

  2. Use docker-compose up to start the platform from the base, dev-services, and optionally local compose files:

$ docker-compose -f docker-compose.base.yml -f [-f docker-compose.local.yml] up

  1. Open localhost:8080 in your browser.

I'm a developer, how can I work on a specific OpenSpending application? Show me an example!

You can use volumes to map local files from the host to application files in the docker containers. For example, say you're working on OS-Conductor, you'll add an override service to docker-compose.local.yml (create this file if necessary).

  1. Checkout the os-conductor code from into ~/src/dockerfiles/os-conductor on your local machine.
  2. Add the following to docker-compose.local.yml:
version: "3.4"

      # Force python not to use cached bytecode
    # Override CMD and send `--reload` flag for os-conductor's gunicorn server
    command: / --reload
    # Map local os-conductor app files to /app in container
      - ~/src/dockerfiles/os-conductor:/app
  1. Start up the platform with base, dev-services, and your local compose file:

$ docker-compose -f docker-compose.base.yml -f -f docker-compose.local.yml up

Now you can start working on os-conductor application files in ~/src/dockerfiles/os-conductor and changes will reload the server in the Docker container.

I want to work on the data-importers application. Show me how!

In Openspending, the os-data-importers application provides a way to import data and create fiscal datapackages from source-spec files. You can either work on the app independently, by following the README in the os-data-importers repository, or within the context of an Openspending instance, by using the included file, and starting Openspending with:

$ docker-compose -f docker-compose.base.yml -f -f up

This will start Openspending locally as usual on port :8080, and the pipelines dashboard will be available on port :5000: http://localhost:5000.

I have my own backing service I want to use for development

That's fine, just add the relevant resource locator to the .env file. E.g., you're using a third-party ElasticSearch server:


I want to run my own instance of OpenSpending in production

Great! There are many ways to orchestrate Docker containers in a network. E.g. for we use Kubernetes. Use the docker-compose.base.yml file as a guide for networking the applications together, with their appropriate environment variables, and add resource locators pointing to your backing services for Postgres, ElasticSearch, Redis, memcached, AWS S3 etc. See the .env.example file for the required env vars you'll need to set up.

You'll also need to set up OAuth credentials for OS-Conductor (see, and AWS S3 bucket details.

What happened to the old version of OpenSpending?

You can find the old OpenSpending v2, and the complete history for the codebase to that point, in the openspending-monolith branch.


The project aims to build and use open source tools and datasets to gather and analyse the financial transactions of governments around the world.







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