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Install OpenACS with NaviServer from Scratch

This page describes how to install OpenACS with NaviServer on Unix-like systems (e.g. Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, OmniOS) 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:

  • : 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).
  • : 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

 These install scripts are frequently updated when now components are released or problems are detected (commit log ).

If you open the links above, use save-as in the browser to save the files. Alternatively, download the files as .zip file or clone the repository via GitHub .

   cd /usr/local/src
   git clone
   cd install-ns

The scripts work under a typical Linux installation (e.g. Ubuntu, Fedora Core) as well as on Mac OS X or on OmniOS. The scripts are tested with PostgreSQL 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4 and 9.5 on Ubuntu 12.04, 13.04, 14.04, Fedora Core 18 and CentOS 7.

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

   bash build

   bash build

After running both scripts in the default configuration you will see e.g. on Ubuntu 14.04

   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-5-9.tcl -u nsadmin -g nsadmin

One can start the server manually with the mentioned command.

Using upstart

Alternatively, one can manage the service with upstart (Ubuntu/Debian). For upstart, the the generated startup file is in /etc/init/oacs-5-9.conf. The service can be started/managed with the following commands

    sudo initctl status oacs-5-9
    sudo initctl start oacs-5-9
    sudo initctl stop oacs-5-9

Using systemd

On Fedora/CentOS or on Ubuntu installations starting with 15.04, systemd is used. The generated startup file for RedHat/Fedora is in /lib/systemd/system/oacs-5-9.service. The startup commands for systemd are

    sudo systemctl status oacs-5-9
    sudo systemctl start oacs-5-9
    sudo systemctl stop oacs-5-9

Remember, when a new systemd service is installed, systemd requires the following command to re-scan its service files:

    sudo systemctl daemon-reload

To start OpenACS automatically on every new start of the machine, issue the following command:

    sudo systemctl enable oacs-5-9


When the service is running, one can use use OpenACS by browsing to http://localhost:8000/ (when the browser and server is running on the same host). The configuration file is /usr/local/ns/config-oacs-5-9.tcl and might be tailored to your needs. The access.log and error.log of this instance are in /var/www/oacs-5-9/log/


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