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Metacademy's Source

This source is licensed under GPLv3, see LICENSE.txt (note: metacademy's content is CC BY SA 3.0).


Metacademy is live at



For Windows installation/requirements, please see the readme located in /windows, these instructions presume a *nix or OSX OS

Preliminary requirements

  • python 2.7X: NB: install python-devel if you're using a package manager such as apt-get. The following command should print a path (if this command raises an exception, make sure that you have the python-devel version installed):

  •       python -c 'from distutils.sysconfig import get_makefile_filename as m; print m()'
  • gcc: Install gcc (OSX users: installing the OSX developer tools is probably the easiest way to do this). The following command should not throw an error:

      gcc -v
  • pip Install pip; here are pip's installation instructions. The following command should not throw an error:

      pip -V
  • node.js (needed to run tests): Install node The following command should not throw an error:

      node -v

Mac OSX and *nix

  1. create a top-level metacademy directory in a desired location, e.g. mkdir -p ~/MyProjects/metacademy

  2. go to the top-level metacademy directory cd ~/MyProjects/metacademy

  3. from your top-level metacademy directory, clone the application repo:

     git clone
  4. go to the metacademy-application directory

     cd metacademy-application
  5. install the metacademy application (note: this project uses a virtual environment for development):

  6. verify the installation

     make test

Optional: create a superuser

    python app_server/ createsuperuser

Very Optional: Scipy dependency

Some of metacademy's ancillary functions currently depend on scipy. Scipy can be tricky to install (pip install scipy won't work unless you have all of the systems-level dependencies) so we have made it an optional dependency. Once you have scipy installed on your machine (google will help here...), link it's site-packages folder to to your virtual environment's lib/python2.7/site-packages/ folder. On my machine, this command was:

    ln -s /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/scipy lib/python2.7/site-packages/


Mac OSX and *nix

  1. start the virtual environment (you must do this for each new session)

     source ../meta_venv/bin/activate
  2. start the test servers

  3. Open localhost:8080 with a modern javascript-enabled browser

Note: the initial search may take some time to load (the backend must load the graph into memory), but all subsequent pages should load much quicker.

If you have any problems with this installations, please submit an issue at