Forum OpenACS Q&A: Quick Guide Documentation Complete

Posted by Joel Aufrecht on
I've finished the first full draft of my Installation Guide, written to consolidate and simplify documentation for new users.  From the Introduction:

This is a complete set of instructions for setting up OpenACS 4.5, an "advanced toolkit for building scalable, community-oriented web applications." It is essentially the quick and dirty version of The Right Way. You will set up a complete OpenACS 4.5 development server on a RedHat 8.0 box with PostgreSQL 7.3, Qmail 1.03, ssl, full text search, source control, and automated backup. After setting up a development server, you will create a new "tutorial" package, use DocBook to document the requirements and design, and create an automatic test suite. You will then create a production server, deploy your work to production, back up the production server, erase the production server, restore  everything, use an automated test to verify that the tutorial package works, add a "Hello World" note, and then find it with full text search.

The document is available at  If people find it useful, I would be happy for it to be added to the basic documentation and/or this site.

Posted by Bart Teeuwisse on

did you patch your copy of OpenACS 4.5 for PostgreSQL 7.3?

Did you know that only the unreleased HEAD of the OpenACS CVS is compatible with PG 7.3.1?

There is a bug in PG 7.3 that cripples complex queries like the query in the OpenACS site-map index. This is fixed in PG 7.3.1. Hence PG 7.3.1 is mandatory for the OpenACS CVS HEAD.


Posted by John Sequeira on

Your guide is terrific.  Nice work.

Posted by Jorge Garcia on
Great work, Joel!.
Posted by Gilbert Price on
Joel, GREAT Job! I wish I had this guide before I did my recent 2 installations. I will be trying it out on a spare machine tomorrow at work.

Just a few questions before I go:

Your intro mentions PostgreSQL 7.3, but the guide's instructions use 7.2.3 - will 7.3 work in place of 7.2.3?

Also I noticed the use of Search-OpenFTS-tcl-0.2 with Intarray instead of Search-OpenFTS-tcl-0.3.2 with Tsearch - do you think there will be any fundamental problems substituting Search-OpenFTS-tcl-0.3.2 over the older versions?

What about using OpenACS 4.6 vs 4.5?

But I must admit, I am very impressed with your guide. While I am not new to Linux, I do work in a Windows environment, your instructions for setting up OpenACS with CVS integration, the backup strategy and SSH implementation are all new to me and greatly appreciated.


Posted by Joel Aufrecht on
A correction: the guide uses PostgreSQL 7.2.3.  I tried to go with stability over bleeding edge.  Search 0.2 seems to work adequately and there were a bunch of issues with 0.3.x.
Once I've nailed down all of the remaining details (automated testing, best way to deploy code and content separately), I'll produce a new version for 4.6.  And then I'll get to add a section on upgrading :).
Posted by xx xx on
I just installed a new server using VMware and your documentation in just a few hours. Exciting!

Using VMware gave minor complications (RedHat installation, XML validation). For example, VMware needs to boot with 'Linux Text'. I'll send you my notes, shortly, just in case you are willing to include VMware (or Bochs? in your 4.6 update.

Thanks again.