Manual installation guide
IMPORTANT: We strongly recommend to use one of the officially supported installation methods. This guide is simply provided as a reference, and is most likely NOT up to date with relation to the latest OpenProject releases.
Please be aware that:
This guide requires that you have a clean Ubuntu 18.04 x64 installation with administrative rights (i.e. you must be able to
sudo). We have tested the installation guide on an Ubuntu Server image, but it should work on any derivative. You may need to alter some of the commands to match your derivative.
OpenProject will be installed with a PostgreSQL database.
OpenProject will be served in a production environment with the Apache server (this guide should work similarly with other servers, like nginx and others)
Note: We have highlighted commands to execute like this
[user@host] command to execute
user is the operating system user the command is executed with. In our case it will be
root for most of the time or
If you find any bugs or you have any recommendations for improving this tutorial, please, feel free to create a pull request against this guide.
Create a dedicated OpenProject user
sudo groupadd openproject sudo useradd --create-home --gid openproject openproject sudo passwd openproject #(enter desired password)
Install the required system dependencies
[root@host] apt-get update -y [root@host] apt-get install -y zlib1g-dev build-essential \ libssl-dev libreadline-dev \ libyaml-dev libgdbm-dev \ libncurses5-dev automake \ libtool bison libffi-dev git curl \ poppler-utils unrtf tesseract-ocr catdoc \ libxml2 libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev # nokogiri \ imagemagick
Install the caching server (memcached)
[root@host] apt-get install -y memcached
Install and setup the database server (PostgreSQL)
OpenProject requires PostgreSQL v9.5+. If you system package is too old, you can check https://www.postgresql.org/download/ to get a newer version installed. In our case, Ubuntu 18.04 comes with a recent-enough version so we can use the system packages:
[root@host] apt-get install postgresql postgresql-contrib libpq-dev
Once installed, switch to the PostgreSQL system user.
[root@host] su - postgres
Then, as the PostgreSQL user, create the database user for OpenProject. This will prompt you for a password. We are going to assume in the following guide that this password is ‘openproject’. Of course, please choose a strong password and replace the values in the following guide with it!
[postgres@host] createuser -W openproject
Next, create the database owned by the new user
[postgres@host] createdb -O openproject openproject
Lastly, revert to the previous system user:
[postgres@host] exit # You will be root again now.
Installation of Ruby
The are several possibilities to install Ruby on your machine. We will use rbenv. Please be aware that the actual installation of a specific Ruby version takes some time to finish.
[root@host] su openproject --login [openproject@host] git clone https://github.com/sstephenson/rbenv.git ~/.rbenv [openproject@host] echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.profile [openproject@host] echo 'eval "$(rbenv init -)"' >> ~/.profile [openproject@host] source ~/.profile [openproject@host] git clone https://github.com/sstephenson/ruby-build.git ~/.rbenv/plugins/ruby-build [openproject@host] rbenv install 2.7.3 [openproject@host] rbenv rehash [openproject@host] rbenv global 2.7.3
To check our Ruby installation we run
ruby --version. It should output something very similar to:
ruby 2.7.3p183 (2021-04-05 revision 6847ee089d) [x86_64-linux]
Installation of Node
The are several possibilities to install Node on your machine. We will use nodenv. Please run
su openproject --login if you are the
root user. If you are already the
openproject user you can skip this command. Please be aware that the actual installation of a specific node version takes some time to finish.
[openproject@host] git clone https://github.com/OiNutter/nodenv.git ~/.nodenv [openproject@host] echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.nodenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.profile [openproject@host] echo 'eval "$(nodenv init -)"' >> ~/.profile [openproject@host] source ~/.profile [openproject@host] git clone git://github.com/OiNutter/node-build.git ~/.nodenv/plugins/node-build [openproject@host] nodenv install 14.16.0 [openproject@host] nodenv rehash [openproject@host] nodenv global 14.16.0
To check our Node installation we run
node --version. It should output something very similar to:
Installation of OpenProject
We will install the OpenProject Community Edition. It contains the recommended set of plugins for use with OpenProject. For more information, see https://github.com/opf/openproject.
[openproject@host] cd ~ [openproject@host] git clone https://github.com/opf/openproject.git --branch stable/9 --depth 1 [openproject@host] cd openproject # Ensure rubygems is up-to-date for bundler 2 [openproject@host] gem update --system [openproject@host] gem install bundler # Replace mysql with postgresql if you had to install MySQL [openproject@host] bundle install --deployment --without mysql2 sqlite development test therubyracer docker [openproject@host] npm install
Create and configure the database configuration file in config/database.yml (relative to the openproject directory).
[openproject@host] cp config/database.yml.example config/database.yml
Now we edit the
config/database.yml file and insert our database credentials for PostgreSQL. It should look like this (please keep in mind that you have to use the values you used above: user, database and password):
production: adapter: postgresql encoding: unicode database: openproject pool: 5 username: openproject password: openproject
Next we configure email notifications (this example uses a gmail account) by creating the
configuration.yml in config directory.
[openproject@host] cp config/configuration.yml.example config/configuration.yml
Now we edit the
configuration.yml file to suit our needs.
production: #main level email_delivery_method: :smtp #settings for the production environment smtp_address: smtp.gmail.com smtp_port: 587 smtp_domain: smtp.gmail.com smtp_user_name: ***@gmail.com smtp_password: **** smtp_enable_starttls_auto: true smtp_authentication: plain
Add this line into
configuration.yml file at the end of the file for a better performance of OpenProject:
NOTE: You should validate your
yml files, for example with http://www.yamllint.com/. Both, the
configuration.yml file are sensitive to whitespace. It is pretty easy to write invalid
yml files without seeing the error. Validating those files prevents you from such errors.
Finish the installation of OpenProject
[openproject@host] cd ~/openproject [openproject@host] RAILS_ENV="production" ./bin/rake db:create [openproject@host] RAILS_ENV="production" ./bin/rake db:migrate [openproject@host] RAILS_ENV="production" ./bin/rake db:seed [openproject@host] RAILS_ENV="production" ./bin/rake assets:precompile
NOTE: When not specified differently, the default data loaded via db:seed will have an english localization. You can choose to seed in a different language by specifying the language via the
LOCALE environment variable on the call to
[openproject@all] RAILS_ENV="production" LOCALE=fr ./bin/rake db:seed
will seed the database in the french language.
You need to generate a secret key base for the production environment with
./bin/rake secret and make that available through the environment variable
SECRET_KEY_BASE. In this installation guide, we will use the local
.profile of the OpenProject user. You may alternatively set the environment variable in
/etc/environment or pass it to the server upon start manually in
[openproject@host] echo "export SECRET_KEY_BASE=$(./bin/rake secret)" >> ~/.profile [openproject@host] source ~/.profile
Serve OpenProject with Apache and Passenger
First, we exit the current bash session with the openproject user, so that we are again in a root shell.
Then, we prepare apache and passenger:
[root@host] apt-get install -y apache2 libcurl4-gnutls-dev \ apache2-dev libapr1-dev \ libaprutil1-dev [root@ubuntu] chmod o+x "/home/openproject"
Now, the Passenger gem is installed and integrated into apache.
[root@ubuntu] su openproject --login [openproject@ubuntu] cd ~/openproject [openproject@ubuntu] gem install passenger [openproject@ubuntu] passenger-install-apache2-module
If you are running on a Virtual Private Server, you need to make sure you have at least 1024mb of RAM before running the
Follow the instructions passenger provides. The passenger installer will ask you the question in “Which languages are you interested in?”. We are interested only in ruby.
The passenger installer tells us to edit the apache config files. To do this, continue as the root user:
As told by the installer, create the file /etc/apache2/mods-available/passenger.load and add the following line. But before copy&pasting the following lines, check if the content (especially the version numbers!) is the same as the passenger-install-apache2-module installer said. When you’re in doubt, do what passenger tells you.
LoadModule passenger_module /home/openproject/.rbenv/versions/2.1.6/lib/ruby/gems/2.1.0/gems/passenger-5.0.14/buildout/apache2/mod_passenger.so
Then create the file /etc/apache2/mods-available/passenger.conf with the following contents (again, take care of the version numbers!):
<IfModule mod_passenger.c> PassengerRoot /home/openproject/.rbenv/versions/2.1.6/lib/ruby/gems/2.1.0/gems/passenger-5.0.14 PassengerDefaultRuby /home/openproject/.rbenv/versions/2.1.6/bin/ruby </IfModule>
[root@openproject] a2enmod passenger
As the root user, create the file /etc/apache2/sites-available/openproject.conf with the following contents:
SetEnv EXECJS_RUNTIME Disabled <VirtualHost *:80> ServerName yourdomain.com # !!! Be sure to point DocumentRoot to 'public'! DocumentRoot /home/openproject/openproject/public <Directory /home/openproject/openproject/public> # This relaxes Apache security settings. AllowOverride all # MultiViews must be turned off. Options -MultiViews # Uncomment this if you're on Apache >= 2.4: Require all granted </Directory> # Request browser to cache assets <Location /assets/> ExpiresActive On ExpiresDefault "access plus 1 year" </Location> </VirtualHost>
Let’s enable our new openproject site (and disable the default site, if necessary)
[root@host] a2dissite 000-default [root@host] a2ensite openproject
Now, we (re-)start Apache:
[root@host] service apache2 restart
Your OpenProject installation should be accessible on port 80 (http). A default admin-account is created for you having the following credentials:
Please, change the password on the first login. Also, we highly recommend to configure the SSL module in Apache for https communication.
Activate background jobs
OpenProject sends (some) mails asynchronously by using background jobs. All such jobs are collected in a queue, so that a separate process can work on them. This means that we have to start the background worker. To automate this, we put the background worker into a cronjob.
[root@all] su - openproject -c "bash -l" [openproject@all] crontab -e
Now, the crontab file opens in the standard editor. Add the following entry to the file:
*/1 * * * * cd /home/openproject/openproject; /home/openproject/.rvm/gems/ruby-2.1.5/wrappers/rake jobs:workoff
This will start the worker job every minute.
Plug-In installation (Optional)
This step is optional.
OpenProject can be extended by various plug-ins, which extend OpenProject’s capabilities. For general information and a list of all plug-ins known to us, refer to to the plug-in page.
OpenProject plug-ins are separated in ruby gems. You can install them by listing them in a file called
Gemfile.plugins. An example
Gemfile.plugins file looks like this:
# Required by backlogs gem "openproject-meeting", git: "https://github.com/finnlabs/openproject-meeting.git", :tag => "v4.2.2"
If you have modified the
Gemfile.plugin file, always repeat the following steps of the OpenProject installation:
[openproject@all] cd ~/openproject [openproject@all] bundle install [openproject@all] npm install [openproject@all] RAILS_ENV="production" ./bin/rake db:migrate [openproject@all] RAILS_ENV="production" ./bin/rake db:seed [openproject@all] RAILS_ENV="production" ./bin/rake assets:precompile
Restart the OpenProject server afterwards:
[openproject@all] touch ~/openproject/tmp/restart.txt
The next web-request to the server will take longer (as the application is restarted). All subsequent request should be as fast as always.
We encourage you to extend OpenProject yourself by writing a plug-in. Please, read the plugin-contributions guide for more information.
You can find the error logs for apache here:
The OpenProject logfile can be found here:
If an error occurs, it should be logged there.
If you need to restart the server (for example after a configuration change), do
[openproject@all] touch ~/openproject/tmp/restart.txt
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
I followed the installation guide faithfully and OpenProject is running. Now, how do I log in?
db:seedcommand listed above creates a default admin-user. The username is
adminand the default password is
admin. You are forced to change the admin password on the first login. If you cannot login as the admin user, make sure that you have executed the
[openproject@all] RAILS_ENV="production" ./bin/rake db:seed
When accessing OpenProject, I get an error page. How do I find out what went wrong?
Things can go wrong on different levels. You can find the apache error logs here:
The OpenProject log can be found here:
I cannot solve an error, not even with the log files. How do I get help?
You can find help in the OpenProject forums. Please tell us, if possible, what you have done (e.g. which guide you have used to install OpenProject), how to reproduce the error, and provide the appropriate error logs. It often helps to have a look at the already answered questions, or to search the Internet for the error. Most likely someone else has already solved the same problem.
I get errors, since I have installed an OpenProject plug-in
With each new OpenProject core version, the plug-ins might need to be updated. Please make sure that the plug-in versions of all you plug-ins works with the OpenProject version you use. Many plug-ins follow the OpenProject version with their version number (So, if you have installed OpenProject version 4.1.0, the plug-in should also have the version 4.1.0).
Questions, comments, and feedback
If you have any further questions, comments, feedback, or an idea to enhance this guide, please tell us at the appropriate community forum. Follow OpenProject on twitter, and follow the news on openproject.org to stay up to date.