Bitnami creates and maintains a library of popular server applications and development environments, set up for easy installation. These applications and environments are ready to work out of the box, as the Bitnami images compile and configure the applications and all necessary dependencies for you.
Every month, Bitnami holds a contest where users vote on software to be added to the Bitnami Application Library that provides installers, virtual machines, and cloud images of these projects. A few months ago, the Open edX project was nominated – and won! Now, we’re pleased to announce that Bitnami has released their Open edX Stack, providing an easy to use, simplified version of the Open edX platform.
Why We’re Excited!
Installing and setting up the Open edX platform on your own is not an easy process. While over a hundred organizations have set up their own Open edX instances, there has been a longstanding need to make the Open edX technology stack accessible by individuals and institutions with less technical expertise. The ability to get up and running quickly will help smaller groups utilize the Open edX technology, and give larger institutions an easy way to evaluate the technology.
At edX, we want to see how far the platform can be pushed with new and creative applications and extensions. It is now significantly easier for an expanded group of people to create and run courses. We are excited to see what happens when more people and organizations get the Open edX platform up and running on their own.
Details and Caveats
Open edX powered by Bitnami is based on a simplified version of the Open edX Birch release, the most recent named release for the platform. While this is a great starting point for users getting their first introduction to Open edX’s technology stack, Birch lacks features added after it was released in January 2015. Additionally, for people interested in running user-submitted code within their Open edX courses, the Bitnami image does not come with CodeJail installed by default. Additional work will be needed to get CodeJail up and running on your Bitnami instance. We recommend that you do not allow custom Python-evaluated problems to be created in your Bitnami instance until you have configured CodeJail to run.
However, for those users interested in trying out their first Open edX deployment, for evaluation or small scale usage, Open edX by Bitnami is wonderful news. Although it may not be as fully featured as might be needed for those interested in running a complex customized deployment, the significantly lowered barrier to entry will allow users of all backgrounds to get started with the Open edX platform.
We hope to work closely with Bitnami in the future to produce Bitnami images of future named releases, starting with Open edX Cypress, which will be released later this month.
We are really excited about Open edX by Bitnami in the edX office. We love hearing about innovations within the Open edX community: new sites powered by Open edX, stories about the extensions and experiments you are working on, and the unexpected new ways that you are using the platform for. We hope Open edX by Bitnami will lead to a lot of new users, and look forward to hearing about what you have done. We welcome you to share your stories with the community by posting to the edx-code mailing list, or reach out directly to the Open Source team.
For more detail on the Bitnami release, please see the official press release, published June 25th.