Get Ecommerce working on your Open edX native build. This post is a supplement to the official documentation, “How to Install and Start the E-Commerce Service in Native Installations“, covering installation and configuration, Django configuration, Nginx considerations, and PayPal integration.


The Open edX Ecommerce module is actually a 3rd party Django project named Oscar that the Open edX team fully integrated into the platform by fusing the user lists together with Oauth. While recently setting up the Ecommerce module on a Gingko.2 installation I found myself stumbling through some the steps in the official documentation while disagreeing entirely with others. What follows is a modified procedure that I followed to get Ecommerce running on a Ginkgo.2 installation. Hopefully this will save you some time.

Setup Procedure

1. Verify that the Ecommerce module is running

If you followed the documented instructions from “Native Open edX Ubuntu 16.04 64 bit Installation” for Gingko or later then the Ecommerce module is automatically installed and should be running on your instance. You can verify this by running the following command from a terminal window connected to your Ubuntu instance.

sudo /edx/bin/supervisorctl status

If you see the “Ecommerce” module in a running state then you can ignore the first two steps of the official documentation, or at least when running these you should notice that both steps are benign. If for any reason you decide to execute the first two steps of the official documentation then be forewarned that step #2 is tantamount to upgrading your entire platform and could thus bring unintended consequences beyond the scope of the Ecommerce module setup.

Moreover, if the Ecommerce module is not currently running then you should think carefully about your next steps. If your installation is not version Ginkgo or later then you should consider upgrading your entire platform before proceeding simply to ensure that your code base doesn’t venture too far into the unknown. You can read my blog post on Upgrading Open edX for more detail on what’s involved in upgrading and how to prepare.

2. Configure edX

There are a handful of things to configure in the LMS via the eponymous configuration file /edx/app/edxapp/lms.env.json. Refer to the screen shots below for guidance on the subject matter and approximate locations of each section. You’ll need to restart the LMS for these changes to take effect:

sudo /edx/bin/supervisorctl restart edxapp: