Is it possible to install and run ODK Central server on a local machine?

Hie ODK team
I want to upgrade the current ODK central version (V1.1.1) to the latest version. I want to perform the upgrade on a test environment first to ensure that there will be no data loss or changes in system performance. Because this is my first upgrade, I believe that starting on a test environment is a good strategy because I will have time to monitor all required commands.

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Hey @ChamisaShaps,

Hope you are well and safe with your family. Yes, you can do it. ODK Central is a Docker-based technology. In this, there are a few steps which you need to follow and those are below:

  1. Install Ubuntu on your machine, it's a Linux flavor you can also use any Debian-based Linux to test this.
  2. Install Docker Engine from here
  3. Install Docker Compose from here:

Or you can follow these steps as well:

In all of these cases try to save the location where(directory) you installed your ODK Central and port. These are important.



Thank you very much @iamnarendrasingh for quick updates and directions. I will try this ...

@iamnarendrasingh's directions will not help you test an upgrade of your existing install. They will only help you test a new install.

To test the upgrade on your data, make a backup/clone of the entire machine that houses your install. Perform the upgrade on that backup/clone.

Note that if you are going from v1.1 to v1.4 you'll have to make the version specific changes described at

@yanokwa for more important information

I was able to install ODK central server on my local machine (vie Virtual Box). By default, I installed the latest version V1.5.0, but I need to install V1.1.1 and import the entire forms and data set from the production running server so that I can try my upgrade until I reach the latest version. So, my question now is how to downgrade from V1.5.0 to V1.1.1. Is there a document and commands for that?
Furthermore, when I installed the odk server, I used localhost ( as a domain, and as a result, I am unable to send data via the mobile odk collector and even vie public link. It says that it was unable to connect to the server. What should I do?

Hi @ChamisaShaps

I don't think it is possible to downgrade from a higher version. To install your target version, download the version sources and run the installation commands from the root of the extracted files. You can get the required version release files here:

Loca access might be possible if you set a static server IP on a local network and connect your mobile device to the same network as your server. I have never tried this but I am afraid you might get an SS error when trying to connect to the server. If you get an SS error you might want to look at

Hi @ChamisaShaps I was precise in my previous post on purpose.

To test the upgrade on your data, make a backup/clone of the entire machine that houses your install. Perform the upgrade on that backup/clone.

The approach you've taken is unnecessarily difficult. Is there a reason you can't do the above?

@yanokwa Oh i think something went wrong during the process. I just end up having latest version. So is there any way forward to downgrade to V1.2 or i just to delete again and restart

Hi @ChamisaShaps

@yanokwa is referring to his previous message when he pointed out that the only sure way to test is to clone the existing machine and run the upgrade dry run the on the cloned machine

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