You can install magpie on a server for online use or locally on your machine.

The latest version of magpie-base (v3.x) requires magpie-backend v2.x to run on the server to function properly. Previous iterations of magpie, require magpie-backend v1.x but will usually also run with magpie-backend v2.x.

Installation on Heroku

The magpie server app can be hosted on any hosting service or your own server. The process for installation on Heroku is described in the README of the backend project.

Installation using docker

If you are already familiar with docker and docker-compose, the magpie backend is also available as a ready-to-install docker container. You can find more details about this on the GitHub repository:

Installation locally

The first-time installation requires an internet connection. After it is finished, the server can be launched offline.

(Note that for local deployment, the default username is default and the default password is password. You can change them in config/dev.exs.)

First time installation

  1. Install Docker from You may have to launch the application once in order to let it install its command line tools. Ensure that it's running by typing docker version in a terminal (e.g., the Terminal app on MacOS or cmd.exe on Windows).


  • Although the Docker app on Windows and Mac asks for login credentials to Docker Hub, they are not needed for local deployment . You can proceed without creating any Docker account/logging in.
  • Linux users would need to install docker-compose separately. See relevant instructions at

  • Ensure you have Git installed. Clone the server repo with git clone or git clone

  • Open a terminal (e.g., the Terminal app on MacOS or cmd.exe on Windows), cd into the project directory just cloned via git.

  • Run docker-compose up to launch the application every time you want to run the server. Wait until the line web_1 | [info] Running MAGPIE.Endpoint with Cowboy using appears in the terminal.

  • Visit localhost:4000 in your browser. You should see the server up and running.

Note: Windows 7 users who installed Docker Machine might need to find out the IP address used by docker-machine instead of localhost. See Docker documentation for details.