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InvenioRDM Starter



InvenioRDM is the open source turn-key research data management platform, with detailed documentation available here. InvenioRDM Starter facilitates deployment and configuration of InvenioRDM, allowing you to run InvenioRDM on your local computer within 15 min. This is achieved by providing

  • a prebuilt Invenio-App-RDM Docker image.
  • a Docker Compose configuration file with sensible defaults.

InvenioRDM Starter open source software and is coordinated by the InvenioRDM partner Front Matter.


A local installation of Python or Invenio-CLI is not required. A git client is recommended but not required.


Download the docker-compose.yml file from the InvenioRDM Starter git repository. Alternatively, clone the repository with git.

git clone
cd invenio-rdm-starter

Run docker-compose up in the same directory as the docker-compose.yml file.

docker compose up

Open a web browser and navigate to https://localhost. One default admin user is created during setup: email, password changeme.


The docker-compose.yml configuration can be modified to suit your needs using environment variables in an .env file in the same folder:


  • INVENIO_APP_ALLOWED_HOSTS - The allowed hosts for InvenioRDM, defaults to ['', 'localhost', '']. Set to specific IP addresses or hostnames in publicly accessible deployments.


  • INVENIO_SQLALCHEMY_DATABASE_URI - The database URI used by InvenioRDM, defaults to postgresql+psycopg2://${POSTGRES_USER:-inveniordm}:${POSTGRES_PASSWORD:-inveniordm}@db/${POSTGRES_DB:-inveniordm}, using the Postgres service provided by Docker Compose, and its POSTGRES_USER, POSTGRES_PASSWORD, and POSTGRES_DB environment variables (see below).


  • INVENIO_BABEL_DEFAULT_LOCALE - The default locale used by InvenioRDM, defaults to en.
  • INVENIO_BABEL_DEFAULT_TIMEZONE - The default timezone used by InvenioRDM, defaults to UTC.


  • INVENIO_CACHE_TYPE - The cache type used by InvenioRDM, defaults to redis.
  • INVENIO_CACHE_REDIS_URL - The Redis cache used by InvenioRDM, defaults to redis://cache:6379/0.
  • INVENIO_ACCOUNTS_SESSION_REDIS_URL - The accounts session Redis cache used by InvenioRDM, defaults to redis://cache:6379/1.
  • INVENIO_CELERY_RESULT_BACKEND - The Celery result backend used by InvenioRDM, defaults to redis://cache:6379/2.
  • INVENIO_RATELIMIT_STORAGE_URL - The ratelimit Redis cache used by InvenioRDM, defaults to redis://cache:6379/3.
  • INVENIO_COMMUNITIES_IDENTITIES_CACHE_REDIS_URL - The communities Redis cache used by InvenioRDM, defaults to redis://cache:6379/4.
  • INVENIO_CELERY_BROKER_URL - The Celery Redis broker used by InvenioRDM, defaults to redis://cache:6379/5.

  • INVENIO_WSGI_PROXIES - The number of proxies used by InvenioRDM, defaults to 4.

  • INVENIO_SECRET_KEY - The secret key used by InvenioRDM, defaults to changeme.


  • INVENIO_THEME_HEADER_LOGO - The header logo used by InvenioRDM, defaults to images/starter-white.svg.
  • INVENIO_THEME_FRONTPAGE_TITLE - The frontpage title used by InvenioRDM, defaults to InvenioRDM Starter.
  • INVENIO_THEME_SHOW_FRONTPAGE_INTRO_SECTION - Set to True to show the frontpage intro section, defaults to False.


  • INVENIO_SITE_UI_URL - The site UI URL used by InvenioRDM, defaults to https://localhost.
  • INVENIO_SITE_API_URL - The site API URL used by InvenioRDM, defaults to https://localhost/api.


  • INVENIO_DATACITE_ENABLED - Set to True to enable DataCite, defaults to False.
  • INVENIO_DATACITE_USERNAME - The DataCite username used by InvenioRDM.
  • INVENIO_DATACITE_PASSWORD - The DataCite password used by InvenioRDM.
  • INVENIO_DATACITE_PREFIX - The DataCite DOI prefix used by InvenioRDM.
  • INVENIO_DATACITE_TEST_MODE - Set to True to enable DataCite test mode, defaults to True.
  • INVENIO_DATACITE_DATACENTER_SYMBOL - The DataCite datacenter symbol (e.g. CERN:ZENODO) used by InvenioRDM.

  • INVENIO_RDM_ALLOW_METADATA_ONLY_RECORDS - Set to True to allow metadata-only records, defaults to True.

  • INVENIO_RDM_ALLOW_RESTRICTED_RECORDS - Set to True to allow restricted records, defaults to True.
  • INVENIO_RDM_CITATION_STYLES_DEFAULT - The default citation style used by InvenioRDM, defaults to apa.


  • INVENIO_ACCOUNTS_LOCAL_LOGIN_ENABLED - Set to True to enable local login, defaults to True.


  • INVENIO_OAISERVER_ID_PREFIX - The OAI-PMH ID prefix used by InvenioRDM, defaults to invenio-rdm.
  • INVENIO_SEARCH_HOSTS - The search host and port (as used in this Docker Compose), defaults to ['search:9200'].
  • INVENIO_SEARCH_INDEX_PREFIX - The search index prefix used by InvenioRDM, defaults to invenio-rdm-.


  • INVENIO_LOGGING_CONSOLE_LEVEL - The logging console level used by InvenioRDM, defaults to WARNING.


  • INVENIO_MAIL_SUPPRESS_SEND - Set to True to suppress sending emails, defaults to True. Useful for development and testing.


InvenioRDM Starter differs from the Dockerfile and docker-compose.yml generated by the invenio-cli command-line tool in the following ways:

  • invenio-cli, a local Python installation, and a Python virtual environment are not used on the host computer.
  • The invenio-app-rdm prebuilt Docker image provided by InvenioRDM Starter is used instead of building the image locally.
  • Debian Bookworm is used as the Docker image Linux distribution instead of Almalinux.
  • The Docker image uses Python 3.12 (not 3.9) and Node 20 (not 18).
  • The Docker image uses gunicorn as the WSGI server instead of uwsgi.
  • Docker Compose uses Caddy as the reverse proxy server instead of Nginx. InvenioRDM Starter will run locally at https://localhost, and uses a self-signed ssl certificate issued by Caddy.
  • Docker Compose uses Redis as the message broker instead of RabbitMQ
  • Initial setup happens via a script running at container startup instead of via invenio-cli.


How do I get a secure SSL certificate on localhost?

The Caddy reverse proxy auto-generates a self-signed SSL certificate on localhost. This is an intermediary certificate, the corresponding root certificate isn't automatically used in a Docker Compose setup. You can copy the root certificate (Caddy Local Authority - 2024 ECC Root) from your running Caddy container (data/caddy/pki/local/root.crt) into your operating system certificate store. The root certificate only works on localhost and is valid for 10 years.

How do I delete the InvenioRDM Postgres database?

docker exec -it invenio-rdm-starter-web-1 invenio db drop --yes-i-know

How do I remove the InvenioRDM OpenSearch indexes?

docker exec -it invenio-rdm-starter-web-1 invenio index destroy --force --yes-i-know

Isn't InvenioRDM depending on Python 3.9?

InvenioRDM Starter uses Python 3.12 (the current version), but doesn't use any features of Python 3.10-3.12. Please report any Python 3.12-related issues you encounter. Python 3.9 reaches end-of-life in October 2025.

Don't I need RabbitMQ for the InvenioRDM message broker?

The Python Celery framework can use either Redis or RabbitMQ as the message broker (and Redis as the backend). I will be doing a detailed comparison of the two brokers for InvenioRDM.

Why use Debian instead of Almalinux as Linux distribution for the Docker image?

The official Python Docker images use either Debian or Alpine, making them a good starting point (e.g. security fixes) for the InvenioRDM Docker image. Almalinux has a complicated relationship with RedHat Linux. Alpine generates smaller images compared to Debian but most developers are less familar with Alpine and some people report issues with building Python packages on Alpine. InvenioRDM Starter uses Debian 12 (Bookworm), released in June 2023.

Why use gunicorn instead of uwsgi as the Python application server?

Both are popular Python application servers. More importantly InvenioRDM Starter uses one configuration and Docker container for both the web UI and API, simplifying deployment.