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Superdesk is an open source end-to-end news creation, production, curation, distribution and publishing platform developed and maintained by Sourcefabric with the sole purpose of making the best possible software for journalism. It is scaleable to suit news organizations of any size. See the Superdesk website for more information.

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The Superdesk server provides the API to process all client requests. The client provides the user interface. Server and client are separate applications using different technologies.

Find more information about the client configuration in the README file of the repo:

Run Superdesk locally using Docker

You can start superdesk using the docker-compose.yml file:

$ docker-compose up -d

This will start superdesk on http://localhost:8080. On the first run you also have to initialize elastic/mongo and create a user:

# Initialize data
$ docker-compose run superdesk-server run python app:initialize_data
# Create first admin user
$ docker-compose run superdesk-server run python users:create -u admin -p admin -e admin@localhost --admin

Then you can login with admin:admin credentials.

The Docker images are hosted on Dockerhub for the client and server.

Manual installation


These services must be installed, configured and running:

  • MongoDB
  • ElasticSearch (7.x)
  • Redis
  • Python (>= 3.6)
  • Node.js (with npm)

On macOS, if you have homebrew installed, simply run: brew install mongodb elasticsearch redis python3 node.

Installation steps:

git clone $path

# server
cd $path/server
pip3 install -r requirements.txt
python3 app:initialize_data
python3 users:create -u admin -p admin -e '' --admin
honcho start
# if you need some data
python app:prepopulate

# client
cd $path/client
npm install
npm run build
npx grunt server

# open http://localhost:9000 in browser

⚠️ macOS users

All the above commands need to run inside the Python Virtual Environment, which you can create using the pyvenv command:

  • Run pyvenv ~/pyvenv to create the files needed to start an environment in the directory ~/pyvenv.
  • Run . ~/pyvenv/bin/activate to start the virtual environment in the current terminal session.

Now you may run the installation steps from above.

Questions and issues

  • Our issue tracker is only for bug reports and feature requests.
  • Anything else, such as questions or general feedback, should be posted in the forum.

A special thanks to...

Users, developers and development partners that have contributed to the Superdesk project. Also, to all the other amazing open-source projects that make Superdesk possible!


Superdesk is available under the AGPL version 3 open source license.