Forum OpenACS Q&A: Current AOLserver, nspostgres, etc. versions


I just bought myself a spiffy new computer and I'm installing OACS again for the first time in a long time.

I've been scouring the OpenACS web site looking for current versions of everythig.  The stuff that's been authorized by the OACS core developers.

Which version of AOLserver should I download?  From where?  What patches, if any?  What's the difference between nspostgres and pgdriver?  What's the most current nsxml?  nssha?  nscache?

If someone can point me to the right files, I'll document everything I do for the purposes of a current install document and I'll happily share that with the community.

Thanks for your help!


Posted by Jamie Rasmussen on
Welcome back!  I think the safest way to do the installation is still to follow the directions at with the 3.3+AD13+OACS1 distribution at

The AOLserver Core Team and the community have been merging the Arsdigita and OpenACS enhancements into AOLserver 4.0, and we're almost done.  It is possible to install OpenACS on 4.0b2 with the modules on SourceForge.  (There are a few i18n features that are missing in b2 but that will be in AOLserver b3.)

Comparing the OpenACS and SourceForge modules, I think:
- nssha1 is the same
- nspostgres on SF is newer and has minor improvements
- nsoracle on SF is newer and has minor improvements
- nscache on SF is newer and has minor improvements
- nsxml on SF is newer and has major improvements

Posted by Mat Kovach on
There server distribution never had modules upgraded because quite frankly until now I didn't know those modules had been updated (I knew about nspostgres but demand to upgrade wasn't there).

I can upgade the modules today.

With AOLserver 4.0b3 coming out I think it would be best move towards OpenACS using a standard AOLserver distribution and then we'll package AOLserver/OpenACS binary distributions.

Posted by Lamar Owen on
The sample OACS config refers to nsrewrite.  The source I used for it was Matt's 3.4.2 distribution, but I built it against 3.5.5.

Is there a better source for this module, which is not part of the stock AOLserver distribution (at least at 3.5.x)?

Posted by Jamie Rasmussen on
It doesn't appear to be used anywhere in OpenACS, so it should probably be removed from the sample OpenACS config.  It might still be added to SourceForge for completeness.  The last I knew, Tom J. had written some documentation for it and was preparing to check it into SF along with nsreturnz.  Neither appears to be on his site anymore.
Posted by Mat Kovach on

I have created Aolserver 3.3 (OACS1). I have upgraded all the packages (nscache,nspostgres,nssha1,nsxml) to the latest version available from cvs at

This requires a few changes in the server's config .tcl as the database drivers are now name nspostgre and nsoracle instead of the old names of postgres and oracle-drv.

Currently only a source distribution is available.

Posted by Tom Jackson on


Thanks for pointing out that my website was screwed up. My site runs OpenACS, but before that happens, my VAT module runs. For some reason directory listings stopped working. But why? It turns out that now the private tcl directory is sourced first in AOLserver 3.5.1, and then the modules/tcl public directory, which contains the file fastpath.tcl. My module redefines ns_info so that 'ns_info server' will return the correct virtual server. ns_info server is used in nsfastpath.tcl to hard code the directorylisting parameter type to either 'fancy', 'simple' or default 'none'. The good news is that I use my own version of _ns_dirlist in VAT, so a small change has allowed me to set directory listings on a per virtual server basis.

But why is the public tcl directory now sourced after the private directory?

The two modules are available at . I never added them to sf. The main reason was due to Jeff Davis providing an i18n aware version of nsreturnz. I guess I should add this one anyway and worry about i18n for the 4.0 AOLserver.