Sample Oscar projects

Oscar ships with three sample projects: a ‘sandbox’ site, which is a vanilla install of Oscar using the default templates and styles, a sample US site which customises Oscar to use US style taxes, and a fully featured ‘demo’ site which demonstrates how Oscar can be re-skinned and customised to model a domain.

The sandbox site

The sandbox site is a minimal implementation of Oscar where everything is left in its default state. It is useful for exploring Oscar’s functionality and developing new features.

It only has one notable customisation on top of Oscar’s core:

  • A profile class is specified which defines a few simple fields. This is to demonstrate the account section of Oscar, which introspects the profile class to build a combined User and Profile form.

Note that some things are deliberately not implemented within core Oscar as they are domain-specific. For instance:

  • All tax is set to zero.
  • No shipping methods are specified. The default is free shipping which will be automatically selected during checkout (as it’s the only option).
  • No payment is required to submit an order as part of the checkout process.

The sandbox is, in effect, the blank canvas upon which you can build your site.

Browse the external sandbox site

An instance of the sandbox site is build hourly from master branch and made available at


It is possible for users to access the dashboard and edit the site content. Hence, the data can get quite messy. It is periodically cleaned up.

Run the sandbox locally

It’s pretty straightforward to get the sandbox site running locally so you can play around with Oscar.


While installing Oscar is straightforward, some of Oscar’s dependencies don’t support Windows and are tricky to be properly installed, and therefore you might encounter some errors that prevent a successful installation.

Install Oscar and its dependencies within a virtualenv:

$ git clone
$ cd django-oscar
$ mkvirtualenv oscar  # needs virtualenvwrapper
(oscar) $ make sandbox
(oscar) $ sites/sandbox/ runserver


Note, these instructions will install the head of Oscar’s ‘master’ branch, not an official release. Occasionally the sandbox installation process breaks while support for a new version of Django is being added (often due dependency conflicts with 3rd party libraries). Please ask on the mailing list if you have problems.

If you do not have mkvirtualenv, then replace that line with:

$ virtualenv oscar
$ source ./oscar/bin/activate
(oscar) $

The sandbox site (initialised with a sample set of products) will be available at: http://localhost:8000. A sample superuser is installed with credentials:

username: superuser
password: testing

The US site

The US site is a relatively simple Oscar that makes a few key customisations in order to mimic how sites in the US work. Specifically, it:

  • Overrides the partner app to supply a new strategy selector which ensures all prices are return without taxes.
  • Overrides the checkout app in order to apply taxes to submissions once the shipping address is known.

To browse the US site locally run:

(oscar) $ make us_site
(oscar) $ sites/us/ runserver

and the US site will be browsable at http://localhost:8000

The demo site

The demo site is the reference Oscar project as it illustrates how Oscar can be redesigned and customised to build an realistic e-commerce store. The demo site is a sailing store selling a range of different product types.

The customisations on top of core Oscar include:

  • A new skin
  • A variety of product types including books, clothing and downloads
  • Payment with PayPal Express using django-oscar-paypal.
  • Payment with bankcards using Datacash using django-oscar-datacash.


Both the sandbox and demo site have the Django admin interface wired up. This is done as a convenience for developers to browse the model instances.

Having said that, the Django admin interface is unsupported and will fail or be of little use for some models. At the time of writing, editing products in the admin is clunky and slow, and editing categories is not supported at all.

Browse the external demo site

An instance of the demo site is built periodically (but not automatically) and available at It is typically updated when new versions of Oscar are released.

Run the demo site locally

Assuming you’ve already set-up the sandbox site, there are two further services required to run the demo site:

  • A spatially aware database such as PostGIS. The demo site uses django-oscar-stores which requires a spatial capabilities for store searching.
  • A search backend that supports faceting such as Solr. You should use the sample schema file from sites/demo/deploy/solr/schema.xml.

Once you have set up these services, create a local settings file from a template to house your credentials:

(oscar) $ cp sites/demo/settings_local{.sample,}.py
(oscar) $ vim sites/demo/  # Add DB creds

Now build the demo site:

(oscar) $ make demo
(oscar) $ sites/demo/ runserver

The demo (initialised with a sample set of products) will be available at: http://localhost:8000.