Installing and configuring the Appsembler Virtual Labs Container Launcher XBlock - Appsembler

Installing and configuring the Appsembler Virtual Labs Container Launcher XBlock

If you’re using Appsembler’s Virtual Labs (AVL) product, you have the option to connect your Open edX instance to your AVL cluster (where your labs are hosted). This article explains the process for installing and configuring the XBlock that will connect these two services. 

Installing the XBlock

Appsembler’s XBlocks can be installed like any other XBlock, using the standardized process demonstrated in the
Open edX repository. Those instructions are copied here, with the Appsembler-specific details for convenience.

Find the latest version “tag” of the XBlock on the
AVL XBlock’s release page, and modify the string below to include that tag before adding it to your EDXAPP_EXTRA_REQUIREMENTS. In this case, I would install the release `v2.1.7`:

    - name: git+

To install `v2.1.8` instead of `v2.1.7`, update the `@v.X.X.X` portion of the string:

    - name: git+

Configuring the XBlock

The AVL XBlock can be configured by two different methods, though the first method listed below is preferred. Login to the administration panel of your studio instance by using the URL below: 


(Where `YOUR_DOMAIN` is replaced by the domain associated with your Open edX Studio instance.)

Option 1: Add a new Site Configuration 

If you don’t have an existing “Site Configuration” object, add one now by selecting
Add site configuration

Next, fill in the form fields to match the screenshot below: (1) Choose the site “”; (2) click the “Enabled” checkbox; and (3) add the URL of your AVL cluster in the “Values” field (the Appsembler team should give you this URL). The item must be valid JSON, and should be formatted as follows: 

    "LAUNCHCONTAINER_WHARF_URL": "https://YOUR_DOMAIN/isc/newdeploy/" 

Option 2: Configure via an environment variable

You can configure the XBlock using an environment variable, added via the 
EDXAPP_ENV_EXTRA variable. Instead of modifying the Site Configuration, enter the value of your AVL cluster’s URL into your server-vars.yml: 

      LAUNCHCONTAINER_WHARF_URL: 'https://YOUR_DOMAIN/isc/newdeploy/'

Confirming the URL is working

If you have installed and configured the XBlock properly, you will see the appropriate URL in the XBlock interface alongside the message “Should it prove useful for debugging purposes, the endpoint that this project will post to is…”, as pictured below.