Open Source

The OpenProject Foundation strives to make
OpenProject a place to participate and collaborate
with open source and open mind.

OpenProject packaged installation (DEB/RPM)

Thanks to packaged installation, the installation of OpenProject has never been easier. However, if you want to try OpenProject before, you can register for our hosted version for 30 days for free. And if you need support during installation, with maintenance or customization of your OpenPorject installation, our professional services team is there to help you.OpenProject packaged installation with many Linux distributionsThe packaged installation includes the OpenProject core collaboration features as well as the supported plugins:
  • Project overview
  • Activity
  • Roadmap
  • Work packages
  • Timetracking
  • Timelines
  • Repository
  • Wiki
  • Backlogs plugin
  • Costs plugin
  • Reporting plugin
  • and more…
Note: Please be aware that Web Server and Website Management Tools like Plesk and others do not work well together with our packaged installation solution. We strongly recommend to install OpenProject on a clean machine.

OpenProject installation via package manager

The installation of the OpenProject software can be done manually or via official software-packages built by the service.

Using these software packages is highly recommended to reduce the pain of installation and configuration errors: the software packages ship with a configuration wizard, which will help you get everything up and running quickly.

Stack used by the packages

  • Apache 2 (web server) – this component provides the external interface, handles SSL termination (if SSL is used) and distributes/forwards web requests to the Unicorn processes.
  • MySQL (database management system) – this component is used to store and retrieve data. We do support PostgreSQL as well, but it is not part of the automatic wizard. To configure this instead, see below.
  • Unicorn (application server) – this component hosts the actual application. By default, there is two unicorn processes running in parallel on the app server machine.
  • Ruby 2.1 (MRI) and necessary libraries to run the OpenProject source code.


The installation procedure assumes the following prerequisites:

  • A server running one of the Linux distributions listed in the [system requirements]:
  • A mail server that is accessible via SMTP that can be used for sending notification emails. OpenProject supports authentication, yet does not provide support for SMTP via SSL/TLS.
  • If you intend to use SSL for OpenProject: A valid SSL certifificate along with the private key file. The key MUST NOT be protected by a passphrase, otherwise the Apache server won't be able to read it when it starts.

The following steps have to be performed to initiate the actual installation of OpenProject via the package manager that comes with your Linux distribution. Note that all commands should either be run as root or should be prepended with sudo.

Debian 8 Jessie

# install https support
sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https

wget -qO - | sudo apt-key add -
echo "deb jessie stable/6" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/openproject.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openproject

Debian 7 Wheezy

# install https support
sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https

sudo wget -qO - | apt-key add -
echo "deb wheezy stable/6" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/openproject.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openproject

Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial

wget -qO - | sudo apt-key add -
echo "deb xenial stable/6" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/openproject.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openproject

Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty

wget -qO - | sudo apt-key add -
echo "deb trusty stable/6" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/openproject.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openproject

CentOS / RHEL 7.x

sudo rpm --import
echo "[openproject]
name=Repository for opf/openproject-ce application.
enabled=1" | sudo tee /etc/yum.repos.d/openproject.repo
sudo yum install openproject

Suse Linux Enterprise Server 12

sudo rpm --import
sudo zypper addrepo "" "openproject"
sudo zypper install openproject

Suse Linux Enterprise Server 11

wget -O packager.key && sudo rpm --import packager.key
sudo zypper addrepo "" "openproject"
sudo zypper install openproject


The OpenProject installation wizard currently supports setting up for MySQL databases only. However, OpenProject itself supports both MySQL and PostgreSQL. To configure the package to use an existing database, see the section below. To install or configure a MySQL database, skip to Configuration.

The OpenProject package is configured through ENV parameters that are passed to the openproject user. You can read the current ENV parameters with openproject run env. To write/read individual parameters, use openproject config:set PARAMETER=VALUE and openproject config:get PARAMETER.

For instance if you wanted to change the session store you would do:

sudo openproject config:set SESSION_STORE=active_record_store

This is handy to configure options that are not available in the installer (yet). In most cases though, you should always try to configure the application first.

Configuring for an existing a PostgreSQL database

The MySQL wizard of the OpenProject installer internally sets the DATABASE_URL (See DATABASE_URL in the Rails Guides for more information).

You can set this DATABASE_URL parameter yourself to either a MySQL or PostgreSQL database URL.

openproject config:set DATABASE_URL="postgresql://[user[:password]@][host][:port][/dbname][?param1=value1&...]

Then, when configuring the addon, select skip in the MySQL installation wizard. The database specified using the URL will be used by Rails automatically for preparing the database.

You can use these ENV parameters to customize OpenProject. See OpenProject Configuration.

Package Configuration

After the installation of the OpenProject package the system has to be configured to use this package and operate the OpenProject application. Therefore the package includes a configuration wizard which can be started using the following command:

openproject configure

Side note: The installer supports the configuration of necessary SSL connections too. If required the corresponding SSL certificates (incl. keys) have to be placed somewhere on the machine before running the installer (or reconfigure the application later to enable the SSL support).

After you have completed the configuration wizard, the OpenProject instance will be started automatically. You can log into the instance initially with the user/password combination admin/admin. You will be asked to change this password immediately after the first login.

Managing your OpenProject installation

The openproject package comes with a command line tool to help manage the application. To see all possible command options of this tool you can run:

admin@openproject-demo:~# sudo openproject
  openproject run COMMAND [options]
  openproject scale TYPE=NUM
  openproject logs [--tail|-n NUMBER]
  openproject config:get VAR
  openproject config:set VAR=VALUE
  openproject reconfigure

In the rest of this section we'll go over some of the most important commands.

Run commands like rake tasks or rails console

The openproject command line tool supports running rake tasks and known scripts like the rails console:

sudo openproject run console
# or a rake task
sudo openproject run rake db:migrate
# or check the version of ruby used by openproject
sudo openproject run ruby -v

Show logs

The command line tool can also be used to see the log information. The most typically use case is to show/follow all current log entries. This can be accomplished using the the –tail flag. See example below:

sudo openproject logs --tail

You can also find all the logs in /var/log/openproject/.

Reconfigure the application

At any point in time, you can reconfigure the whole application by re-running the installer with the following command:

sudo openproject reconfigure

The command above will bring up the installation wizard again. Please be aware that it will start the configuration/installation process from scratch. You can choose to modify existing entries, or just leave them as they are if you want to reuse them (note that passwords will appear as "blank" entries in their respective input fields, but you don't need to enter them again if don't want to modify them).

Note that if you've just updated your OpenProject version, you should run openproject configure (see section below), which would automatically reuse your previous configuration, and only asks for your input if new configuration options are available.

Inspect the existing configuration

You can list all of the environment variables accessible to the application by running:

sudo openproject config
# this will return something like:

Upgrade to a newer version

Upgrading the OpenProject is as easy as installing a newer OpenProject package and running the openproject configure command.

Debian / Ubuntu

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --only-upgrade openproject
sudo openproject configure


sudo yum update
sudo yum install openproject
sudo openproject configure


sudo zypper update openproject
sudo openproject configure


Easy SSL setup via Let's Encrypt

You can get an SSL certificate for free via Let's Encrypt. Here is how you do it using certbot:

curl > /usr/local/bin
chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/certbot-auto

certbot-auto certonly --webroot --webroot-path /opt/openproject/public -d

This requires your OpenProject server to be available from the Internet on port 443 or 80. If this works the certificate (cert.pem) and private key (privkey.pem) will be created under /etc/letsencrypt/live/ Configure these for OpenProject to use by running openproject reconfigure and choosing yes when the wizard asks for SSL.

Now this Let's Encryt certificate is only valid for 90 days. To renew it automatically all you have to do is to add the following entry to your crontab (run crontab -e):

0 1 * * * certbot-auto renew --quiet --post-hook "service apache2 restart"

This will execute certbot renew every day at 1am. The command checks if the certificate is expired and renews it if that is the case. The web server is restarted in a post hook in order for it to pick up the new certificate.

The last thing you have to do is have OpenProject actually use the SSL certificate. For that you will have to reconfigure OpenProject using openproject reconfigure. Keep everything the same except for the SSL option where you then provide the path to the certificate and private key given by certbot-auto which is /etc/letsencrypt/live/ and /etc/letsencrypt/live/ respectively.

Sendmail setup

If you want to use sendmail to send emails you may have to install postfix. If it is not yet installed do so using your package manager, for instance:

sudo apt-get install postfix

Pick the "No Configuration" option during the installation.

Next backup the configuration in /etc/postfix and override /etc/postfix/ with the following:

allow_percent_hack = no
biff = no
bounce_queue_lifetime = 2h
default_destination_concurrency_limit = 2
disable_vrfy_command = yes
initial_destination_concurrency = 2
maximal_queue_lifetime = 4h
message_size_limit = 4096
mydomain = [your domain]
myhostname = [this host fqdn]
mynetworks = [ip list, or hash file]
smtpd_banner = $myhostname - private smtp
smtpd_client_restrictions = 
smtpd_helo_required = yes
smtpd_helo_restrictions = 
smtpd_recipient_restrictions = permit_mynetworks, reject
smtpd_sender_restrictions = 
strict_mime_encoding_domain = yes
strict_rfc821_envelopes = yes

Then restart postfix, e.g. using service postfix restart and configure OpenProject to use it through openproject reconfigure if it is not already done.

Now you should be able to send emails form your OpenProject installation. To test that it works login into OpenProject and send a test email via Administration -> Settings -> Email notifications.

Adding custom plugins to the installation

A number of plugins exist for use with OpenProject. Most plugins that are maintained by us are shipping with OpenProject, however there are several plugins contributed by the community.

Previously, using them in a packaged installation was not possible without losing your changes on every upgrade. With the following steps, you can now use third party plugins.

Note: We cannot guarantee upgrade compatibility for third party plugins nor do we provide support for them. Please carefully check whether the plugins you use are available in newer versions before upgrading your installation.

1. Add a custom Gemfile

If you have a plugin you wish to add to your packaged OpenProject installation, create a separate Gemfile with the Gem dependencies, such as the following:

gem 'openproject-emoji', git: '', :branch => 'op-5-stable'

We suggest to store the Gemfile under /etc/openproject/Gemfile.custom, but the choice is up to you, just make sure the openproject user is able to read it.

2. Propagate the Gemfile to the package

You have to tell your installation to use the custom gemfile via a config setting:

openproject config:set CUSTOM_PLUGIN_GEMFILE=/etc/openproject/Gemfile.custom

3. Re-run the installer

To re-bundle the application including the new plugins, as well as running migrations and precompiling their assets, simply re-run the installer while using the same configuration as before.

openproject configure

Using configure will take your previous decisions in the installer and simply re-apply them, which is an idempotent operation. It will detect the Gemfile config option being set and re-bundle the application.


You can find the packaged installation master document in GitHub. You can propose a change to this packaged installation guide by creating a pull request on GitHub.