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Version: 2.12.0

Connecting Richie and OpenEdX over TLS for development


By default in the docker-compose environment for development, Richie is hosted on localhost:8070 and uses a fake LMS backend (base.BaseLMSBackend) as you can see if you check the RICHIE_LMS_BACKENDS setting in env.d/development.

This base backend uses session storage to fake enrollments to course runs.

If you want to test real enrollments to an OpenEdX instance hosted on an external domain, OpenEdX will need to generate a CORS CSRF Cookie. This cookie is flagged as secure, which implies that we are not able to use it without SSL connections.

So if you need to use the OpenEdx API to Create, Update or Delete data from Richie, you have to enable SSL on Richie and OpenEdx on your development environment, which requires a little bit more configuration. Below, we explain how to serve OpenEdx and Richie over SSL.

Run OpenEdx and Richie on sibling domains

Richie and OpenEdx must be on sibling domains ie domains that both are subdomains of the same parent domain, because sharing secure Cookies on localhost or unrelated domains is blocked. To do that, you have to edit your hosts file (.e.g /etc/hosts on a *NIX system) to alias a domain with two subdomains richie and edx pointing to localhost:

# /etc/hosts

Once this has been done, the OpenEdx app should respond on and Richie should respond on The Richie application should now be able to make CORS XHR requests to the OpenEdX application.

Enable TLS

If you want to develop with OpenEdx as LMS backend of the Richie application (see the RICHIE_LMS_BACKENDS setting), you need to enable TLS for your development servers. Both Richie and OpenEdx use Nginx as reverse proxy which eases the SSL setup.

1. Install mkcert and its Certificate Authority

First you will need to install mkcert and its Certificate Authority. mkcert is a little util to ease local certificate generation.

a. Install mkcert on your local machine

b. Install Mkcert Certificate Authority

mkcert -install

If you do not want to use mkcert, you can generate CA and certificate with openssl. You will have to put your certificate and its key in the docker/files/etc/nginx/ssl directory and respectively name them and

2. On Richie

Then, to setup the SSL configuration with mkcert, run our helper script:

$ bin/setup-ssl

If you do not want to use mkcert, read the instructions above to generate a Richie certificate, and run the helper script with the --no-cert option:

bin/setup-ssl --no-cert

3. On OpenEdx

In the same way, you also have to enable SSL in OpenEdx, by updating the Nginx configuration. Read how to enable SSL on OpenEdx.

Once this has been done, the OpenEdx app should respond on and Richie should respond on The richie application should be able to share cookies with the OpenEdx application to allow CORS CSRF Protected XHR requests.

4. Start Richie and OpenEdx over SSL

Now, the OpenEdx application should respond on, and Richie on without browser warning about the certificate validity.

You need to follow these steps once. The next time you want to use SSL, you can run the following command on both the Richie and OpenEdX projects:

$ make run-ssl

Of course, you can still run apps without ssl by using:

$ make run