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Created by OpenACS community, last modified by Maurizio Martignano 10 Apr 2014, at 11:13 PM

OpenACS and .LRN can be installed as native Win64 applications for Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 using the Windows-OpenACS distribution.

The current release is Windows-OpenACS version 2.1 (released April 2014).

For more details, http://www.spazioit.com/pages_en/sol_inf_en/windows-openacs_en/ .

Install OpenACS with NaviServer from Scratch

Created by Gustaf Neumann, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 04 Apr 2014, at 07:53 PM

This page describes how to install OpenACS with NaviServer on Unix-like systems (e.g. Linux, Mac OS X) by compiling all but PostgreSQL from scratch, guided by script that collects the components from various sources, compiles it, etc.

The installation is done in two steps:

  • file:install-ns.sh : Install NaviServer and its components for a PostgreSQL installation from scratch by obtaining the relevant sources and compiling it. The script assumes PostgreSQL to be installed (or obtainable via package managers), but installs all other components by obtaining it from the source repositories and compiling it from scratch (e.g. Tcl, tcllib, tDOM, libthread, nsf/XOTcl 2).

  • file:install-oacs.sh : Install OpenACS from CVS/git. This script configures a (pre-installed) PostgreSQL installation for
    OpenACS, adds hstore, installs OpenACS core, basic OpenACS packages, xowiki, xowf and optionally dotlrn from CVS/git and generates a config file and startup files (for Ubuntu and Fedora Core). The script assumes a pre-existing NaviServer installation, installed e.g. via install-ns.sh

The scripts work under a typical Linux installation (e.g. Ubuntu, Fedora Core) as well as on Mac OS X. The scripts are tested with PostgreSQL 9.1 and 9.2 on Ubuntu 12.04, 13.04 and Fedora Core 18.

On a a fresh Ubuntu installation, you should be able to download the two scripts from this page and install OpenACS with NaviServer in the following steps:

   sudo bash
   apt-get install postgresql

   bash install-ns.sh
   bash install-ns.sh build

   bash install-oacs.sh
   bash install-oacs.sh build

After running both scripts in the default configuration you will see e.g. on Ubuntu 13.04

Congratulations, you have installed OpenACS with NaviServer on your machine.
You might start the server manually with

    sudo /usr/local/ns/bin/nsd -t /usr/local/ns/config-oacs-HEAD.tcl -u nsadmin -g nsadmin

or you can manage your installation with upstart (Ubuntu/Debian). In this case, 
you might use the following commands

    status oacs-HEAD
    start oacs-HEAD
    stop oacs-HEAD

To use OpenACS, point your browser to http://localhost:8000/
The configuration file is /usr/local/ns/config-oacs-HEAD.tcl 
and might be tailored to your needs. The access.log and error.log of 
this instance are in /var/www/oacs-HEAD/log

On Fedora, the startup commands for systemd are

    systemctl status oacs-HEAD
    systemctl start oacs-HEAD
    systemctl stop oacs-HEAD

A Model For the Navigation Bar

Created by Jim Lynch, last modified by Jim Lynch 20 Feb 2014, at 01:32 AM

Hey all,,, this whole thing was recently completed in the forums, click here to read up!


Created by Emmanuelle Raffenne, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 13 Feb 2014, at 08:40 AM

Package specification Summary for package news

Summary: Used for announcements and news items.
Description: News publication tool. Publication of plain text or html news items with support for scheduled publication and commentability.
Maturity: New Submission or Maturity Unknown
This package depends on: acs-content-repository acs-datetime acs-kernel general-comments notifications rss-support
Packages that depend on news: news-includelet news-portlet

Bug Tracker Summary for package news

Open Bugs: 5
Latest Bug Opened: 2007-03-03 Zen: news preview.adp localize blockmarkers
Latest Bug Fixed: 2013-11-04 HTML for Items is not Valid (Missing <p></p>)..
Top Bug Submitters: Michael Steigman (4) Eduardo Pérez (4) Gabriel Burca (3) Brad Duell (2) Bjorn Thor Jonsson (2)
Top Bug Fixers: Gustaf Neumann (8) Dave Bauer (5) Tilmann Singer (5) Lars Pind (4) Jeff Davis (3) Michael Steigman (2) Rocael Hernández Rizzardini (1)

Code Metrics Summary for package news

# Tcl Procs 28
# Tcl Lines 647
# Automated Tests 1
# Stored Procedures PG: 0 ORA: 0
# SQL Lines PG: 0 ORA: 0
# ADP pages 13
# ADP lines 330
# Include pages (news/lib/) 3
# Documentation pages 0
# Documentation lines 0
Source API-browser

GETable resources, that should be POSTable resources

Created by Michael Aram, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 04 Feb 2014, at 11:35 AM

TODO: These OpenACS-URLs are available via GET requests, but as the associated actions are either not safe or not idempotent (or both), they should be made available only via POST instead...

This is more of a problem nowadays as it was earlier, as current browsers (like Chrome or Safari) tend to fetch resources even before the user hits enter in the address bar (i.e. one cannot easily prevent that an unwanted action is taken while entering a similar URL).

In particular the actual (Jan 2014) versions of Safari on Mac OS X 10.9.1 automatically pre-fetches URLs for an url path, when sub-pages were visited in the past, and a user clicks in the url bar (as soon as it shows possible completions). One can e.g. shut down "automatically" the OpenACS server by on /acs-admin/, since Safari might "prefetch" /acs-admin/server-restart.

This page is only a TODO list, that should become a bug report later...

  • /acs-admin/users/become
  • /acs-admin/server-restart

General Rules

Created by Rocael Hernández Rizzardini, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 18 Jan 2014, at 04:40 PM

  • Use 4 space indentation 
  • Your lines must not exceed the 80 characters limit (never use a single line that has more than 80 chars)

This general rules are applicable to TCL & SQL. If you are using EMacs you usually are on the safe side with regards to TCL, as the tcl-mode indents just as we want it. ADP pages are formated correctly if you change into html-mode.

There is an OpenACS mode for emacs which has features to help meet formatting standards.

One can add the following stanza to the end of a .tcl file, when using emacs, to avoid, that spaces are changed again into tabs.

# Local variables:
#    mode: tcl
#    tcl-indent-level: 4
#    indent-tabs-mode: nil
# End:

Security Considerations

Allowing user input to include images, see patch in this discussion thread: http://openacs.org/forums/message-view?message_id=182057

Try Openacs

Created by OpenACS community, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 09 Jan 2014, at 12:59 PM

To try OpenACS, you might lease a hosted system with OpenACS installed on it: For many Linux platforms (e.g. Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora), one can use the generic installer that compiles all base components (using Naviserver) and creates users/groups as needed; which works with Postgres 9.2+

You might want to install OpenACS with one of these automated installers:

Generic installation scripts

The following script installs aolserver and the contained modules from sources. It assumes, that postgres is already installed:

  1. Install AOLserver: http://openacs.org/storage/view/aolserver/install.tgz 
  2. Install OpenACS: en:openacs-subsystem-install


Created by gustaf neumann, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 20 Dec 2013, at 10:49 PM

Welcome to the OpenACS Wiki!

This is the OpenACS Wiki system, built with the xowiki package. This wiki contains user documentation, how-tos, and tips and tricks related to OpenACS. It also serves as a collaboration area for OpenACS contributors.

Quick Links:

OpenACS Handbook: openacs-handbook
OpenACS Packages
: packages

Recent Wiki Page Edits:

Subsystems Documentation

Tutorials for Programmers

Non-Core Packages

News (2 months ago)
Layout Manager (7 months ago)
SOAP db (7 months ago)
Ajax Photoalbum UI (7 months ago)

Testing Pages

Coding Standards

General Rules (3 months ago)


Try Openacs (3 months ago)


Wiki (4 months ago)

Core Documenation

Installing OpenACS (5 months ago)

OpenACS Projects

.LRN (6 months ago)


.LRN (6 months ago)

Package Documentation

Available OpenACS Packages (6 months ago)
Aliases at CVS (6 months ago)

Documentation Non-Core Packages

Deprecated / Unmaintained Packages

ACS Mail (7 months ago)


Messages Applet (7 months ago)
Theme Zen (7 months ago)

OpenACS/dotLRN Windows Installer Instructions

Created by Byron Linares, last modified by Gustaf Neumann 12 Nov 2013, at 11:22 AM

NOTE: Currently (05/2009), the best option to get OpenACS 5.5.* running on Windows is to use the native windows installation Win32-OpenACS by Spazio IT (Maurizio Martignano).

This page describes the installation of:

  • OpenACS 5.2.3
  • DotLRN 2.2.0
Included Software
  • AOLServer 4.0.beta10_2003
  • PostgresSQL 7.4.3
  • OpenACS 5.2.3
  • DotLrn 2.2.0
  • Cygwin
Installer Download :

The installer is available in openacs community page.
Available versions:

  • OpenACS/dotLRN installer
  • OpenACS 5.2.0 installer

Installation Instructions:

Run the "OpenACS/DotLRN Installer" called setup.exe, read the license document before continuing, the installer will ask for some information, this will be used to make the automatic installation.

There are to ways to install the components; manually or automatic


  • dotLRN Manual and openACS Manual:
  • In this modality the entered personal data in the installer will be omitted and will be necessary to retake the installation from a browser window and enter the necessary data to continue the creation of the data modeling.
  • dotLRN Automatic and openACS Automatic
  • In this modality the installer its in charge of all the work, when finishing creating the data model the following step would be to reinitiate the service and continue with the use of the platform.
  • Source Code:
  • The installer will put in the installation folder the source code of the same one.

Select what you want to install and click next. After the installer places all the files, a browser window will be opened and the installation have to be continued from here, if the automatic mode has been selected wait to the installation finishes. When the installation finishes restart the server and type in a web browser "http://localhost"

 Access Icons:

  • OpenACS on the web: access to http://localhost/
  • Start Server: Bach file to initiate the server (aolserver, postgresql, cygwim)
  • Stop Server: Bach file to stop the server (aolserver, postgresql, cygwin)
  • Unistall OpenACS: Uninstall all

  • Check if CygWin: Please execute the file server/cygwin/cygwin.bat.  You should get a black screen with some green text saying: "yourusername@yourcomputer" and the "$".
  • Check PostgreSQL: in the cygwin window typy psql -l , You should get the names of all data base.
  • Check AOLServer: ps -alW | grep nsd , You should get some thing like this
  • 2312 0 0 2312 ? 0 07:52:20 C:\OpenACS\nsd4\bin\nsd.exe

Full guide

developed at the Galileo University (www.galileo.edu) by Byron Haroldo Linares Roman bhlr@galileo.edu as part of the E-LANE project (www.e-lane.org)

related forum threads

OpenACS/dotLRN installer for MSWindows

Installing OpenACS

Created by OpenACS community, last modified by Maurizio Martignano 10 Nov 2013, at 08:53 AM

Installing OpenACS 

There are many ways to get OpenACS working for you quickly and/or easily. See Try OpenACS for demonstrations, automated installations and hosting solutions.

Manually installing OpenACS:

These are the steps involved in setting up OpenACS. Before beginning, read about ways of getting help (en:docs-admin-help) during installation. Also, read the documentation completely before beginning, to minimize the chance of any surprises during installation.

  1. Prerequisites to installing OpenACS
  2. OpenACS reference platform
  3. Install a *nix based operating system
  4. Get the code
  5. Install Oracle
  6. Install PostgreSQL
  7. Install Tcl
  8. Install AOLserver
  9. Install OpenACS distribution

These pages contain notes where installing OpenACS on a specific OS different from the *nix standard installation instructions (above).  These notes also refer to helper scripts and automated installers that can really simplify installation:

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