Setting up Sitecore Lighthouse Demo like a pro

If you are looking to explore SXA (Sitecore Experience Accelerator) and don’t know where to start then Lighthouse demo is the place for you.

Lighthouse Demo is built using Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) on Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) following the Helix principles.

Important to note here is Lighthouse Demo can only be deployed inside Docker Containers (so basic docker knowledge is required).

The idea behind this post is to share my experiences setting up Lighthouse Demo in my local environment issues encountered and resolutions based on the setup guide shared here- https://github.com/Sitecore/Sitecore.Demo.Platform/blob/main/docs/Usage.md

So, let’s get started and check the prerequisites first:

Prerequisites

  • Windows 1809 or higher. Version 1909 is preferred.
  • At least 16 Gb of memory. 32 Gb or more is preferred.
  • A valid Sitecore 10 license file located at C:\license\license.xml
  • The latest Docker Desktop.

Docker Readiness:

  • Make sure you are running Windows containers.
  • Ensure the Windows Docker engine experimental features are enabled (to allow the Linux smtp container to run at the same time as the Windows containers)
  • Go to Docker Desktop taskbar icon, right click on it and click on Settings.
  • Go to Docker Engine and add “experiemental” : true, this is how it will look after you add the key.
  • Click on “Apply & Restart” button to restart your Docker Engine.
  • Also- ensure the value of the “dns” key is set to at least [“8.8.8.8”].
  • Click on “Apply & Restart” button to restart your Docker Engine.

Ok, at this point we are ready to proceed with the installation, so let’s do it.

  1. Clone the Sitecore.Demo.Platform repository locally
    1. https: git clone https://github.com/Sitecore/Sitecore.Demo.Platform.git
    2. ssh: git clone git@github.com:Sitecore/Sitecore.Demo.Platform.git
  2. Open Powershell as administrator and navigate to the folder where you cloned the repo, in my case it was D:\Projects\Sitecore.Demo.Platform
  3. Create certificates and initialize the environment file
    1. .\init.ps1 -InitEnv -LicenseXmlPath C:\license\license.xml -AdminPassword b
    2. You can change the admin password and the license.xml file path as per your local configuration.

4. Next step is to pull the latest Docker images- docker-compose pull

5. Next step is to start the demo containers, but before that make sure to stop IIS- iisreset /stop, This is required each time you want to use the demo as the Traefik container is using the same port (443) as IIS.

6. Now-start the demo containers- docker-compose up -d

It was going fine for initial few mins- but soon I got the below error “Failed to open node.zip

The fix was quite easy and it’s mentioned already here- https://github.com/Sitecore/Sitecore.Demo.Platform/blob/main/docs/Usage.md , just make sure to add the dns key exists with value “8.8.8.8” in docker engine json file.

After updating the dns key and value it resolved the error and continued with docker compose up once again.

At step #26 “RUN .\packaging\generate-update-package.ps1” there was one another error, to me everything was fine.

After some time I was able to figure out this and was able to fix it by installing latest version of Docker Desktop (I had version 2.3 so I installed the latest one i.e 2.5) and the error got resolved and the docker compose up completed successfully.

During compose up there was an error related to solr “cannot start service solr” and one of my solr instance was running on 8984 port, when i stopped the service everything was fine

So it’s important to make sure that following ports are not being used by any process- 443, 8079, 8081, 8984, and 14330 as the default Sitecore container configuration uses these specific ports.

You can now check the progress of the initialization by viewing the init container’s logs- docker-compose logs -f init

and after few mins -here you go:

Browse to https://cd.lighthouse.localhost and you should see the Lighthouse landing page with a full-width carousel.

Browse to Browse to https://cm.lighthouse.localhost/ and you see the same carousel

Once you are done you can just stop the container – docker-compose stop

It’s great to start exploring Lighthouse Demo to understand SXA and docker (given the work and effort which Sitecore is putting in docker, it’s high time to start exploring docker ASAP)

I would like to thank Sitecore demo team for their efforts and containerizing Lighthouse demo.

Hope it helps.

Happy Learning 🙂

References:

https://github.com/Sitecore/Sitecore.Demo.Platform

https://github.com/Sitecore/Sitecore.Demo.Platform/blob/main/docs/Usage.md

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