Installing OpenACS 5



This is a cut-down version of the standard OpenACS installation document. It covers installing OpenACS on White Box Enterprise Linux and PostgreSQL. Please read the official doc if you are installing OpenACS as there is extra information in it. However, if you're a newbie who just wants to get something working, you should be able to install White Box and follow my notes word for word.

White Box Enterprise Linux is an open source version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and is freely available from

The scripts below are the real ones I used, so you'll want to replace the user name and service name with your own ones.

UNIX user michaelnet
OACS service name michaelnet
Linux hostname whitebox


You should have already installed PostgreSQL and AOLserver, and downloaded the OpenACS tarball to /tmp.

Add a user to run the service

As root:

useradd -g michaelnet -G web michaelnet

Install the source

As root:

mkdir /var/lib/aolserver chgrp web /var/lib/aolserver chmod 770 /var/lib/aolserver su - michaelnet

As michaelnet:

cd /var/lib/aolserver tar xzf /tmp/openacs-5.1.0.tgz mv openacs-5.1.0 michaelnet chmod -R 755 michaelnet chgrp -R michaelnet.michaelnet michaelnet

Configure PostgreSQL

As postgres:

createuser -a -d michaelnet

As michaelnet:

~postgres/bin/createdb -E UNICODE michaelnet

(Please see official doc for optimisation and Full Text Search)

Configure AOLserver

As michaelnet, edit /var/lib/aolserver/michaelnet/etc/config.tcl and change the following lines:

set address set server michaelnet set homedir /usr/local/aolserver406


The default configuration has AOLserver running on port 8000, so for the above configuration I went to and got the OpenACS welcome page. That's where the real fun begins....