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Install OpenACS - prereqs

Prerequisites to installing OpenACS

You will need a computer with at least these minimum specifications:

  • 256MB RAM (much more if you will be running Oracle)
  • 1GB free space on the computer's hard disk (much more if you will be running Oracle)
  • a compatible, Unix-like operating system en:os-nix installed.

All of the software mentioned is open-source and available without direct costs, except for Oracle. You can obtain a free copy of Oracle for development purposes (see: en:oracle-install).

Each version of OpenACS only works with certain versions of the component software. Determine which versions you will be using by reviewing the en:openacs-compatibility-matrix.

These components in-turn depend on other software and parts of the OS. Here is a list of minimum required versions. For production systems, use the lastest stable release:

  • GNU/Linux. The installation assumes a linux kernel of 2.2.22 or newer, or 2.4.14 or newer.
  • glibc 2.2 or newer. You need recent versions of these libraries for Oracle to build and work properly. For Unicode support, you need glibc 2.2 or newer. glibc should be included in your operating system distribution.
  • GNU Make 3.76.1 or newer and gcc. PostgreSQL and AOLserver require gmake/gcc to compile.

OpenACS has a variety of packages that may require other software to be installed. Review the individual package documentation for other requirements. Also, OpenACS is commonly deployed with other related applications. For your convenience, here is a short list of some of these:

  • tclwebtest - a tool for testing web interfaces via tcl scripts.
  • ns_pam - provides PAM capabilities for AOLserver. You need this if you want OpenACS users to authenticate through a PAM module (such as RADIUS).
  • pam_radius - provides RADIUS capabilities for PAM. You need this if you want to use RADIUS authentication via PAM in OpenACS.
  • ns_ldap - provides LDAP capabilities for AOLserver. You need this if you want to use LDAP authentication in OpenACS.
  • OpenFTS - Adds full-text-search to PostgreSQL and includes a driver for AOLserver. You need this if you want users to be able to search for any text on your site. For postgres 7.4.x and higher, full text search is also available via tsearch2.
  • Analog - examines web server request logs, looks up DNS values, and produces a report. You need this if you want to see how much traffic your site is getting.
  • Balance - "a simple but powerful generic tcp proxy with round robin load balancing and failover mechanisms." You need this support or something equivalent if you are running a high-availability production site and do not have an external load balancing system.
  • Daemontools -You need this if you want AOLserver and qmail to run "supervised," meaning that they are monitored and automatically restarted if they fail. An alternative would be to run the services from inittab.
  • en:mta
  • Netqmail - You need this (or a different Mail Transport Agent) if you want your webserver to send and receive email.
  • ucspi-tcp - listens for incoming TCP connections and hands them to a program. We use it instead of inetd, which is insecure. You need this if you are running qmail.
  • DocBook (docbook-xml, docbook-xsl, libxslt, xsltproc) - for writing or editing docbook style documentation.
  • en:source-control
  • search uses these utilities to index file contents: and based on xpdf.

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