OpenACS 4.6.3. The OpenACS tarball comprises the core packages and many useful additional packages. This includes a full set of documentation. The tarball works with both PostGreSQL and Oracle.
Operating System. OpenACS is designed for a Unix-like system. It is developed primarily in Linux. It can be run on Mac OS X, and in Windows within VMWare.
Linux. the section called “Install Linux and supporting software”. The installation assumes a linux kernel of 2.2.22 or newer, or 2.4.14 or newer.
FreeBSD. FreeBSD guide. The Reference Platform uses bash, which is the standard Linux shell. If you are using a different shell, you will need to substitute your shell's conventions for setting environment variables when appropriate.
Windows/VMWare. OpenACS Installation Guide for Windows 2000 The only way to run OpenACS on Windows is through the VMWare emulator. (Please let me know if you have OpenACS running directly in Windows.)
Build Environment. The Reference Platform installation compiles most programs from source code.
glibc 2.1 or newer, REQUIRED. You need recent versions of these libraries for Oracle to work properly. If you want Unicode support, you'll need glibc 2.2. This should be included in your operating system distribution.
GNU Make 3.76.1 or newer, REQUIRED. PostgreSQL and AOLserver require gmake to compile. Note that on most linux distributions, GNU Make is simply named make and there is no gmake, whereas on BSD distributions, make and gmake are different.
TCL 8.3 development headers and libraries, OPTIONAL. The site-wide-search service, OpenFTS, requires these to compile. (Debian users: apt-get install tcl8.3-dev). You need this to install OpenFTS.
libxml2 and libxml2-devel, REQUIRED. OpenACS 4.6.3 stores queries in XML files, so we use an AOLserver module called nsxml to parse these files. libxml2-devel is required to compile nsxml. Libxml2 is available from http://xmlsoft.org). On Debian, this can be installed by doing apt-get install libxml2-dev. Users of other distributions can download rpms from rpmfind.net.
Web Server. The web server handles incoming HTTP requests, provides a runtime environment for OpenACS's tcl code, connects to the database, sends out HTTP responses, and logs requests and errors. OpenACS uses AOLserver; some people have had success running Apache with mod_nsd - see this post.
AOLserver 3.3oacs1, REQUIRED. Mat Kovach's source distribution of AOLserver, including all of the patches listed below.
Mat Kovach is graciously maintaining an AOLserver distribution that includes all the patches and modules needed to run OpenACS 4.6.3. These instructions will describe how to install using his source distribution. He also has binaries for SuSE 7.3 and OpenBSD 2.8 (and perhaps more to come), currently located at uptime.openacs.org.
It's also possible to download all the pieces and patches yourself:
AOLserver is available at aolserver.com
ArsDigita's AOLserver distribution (including internationalization patches, nscache, nsrewrite, nssha1 and the oracle driver) is available at arsdigita.com
The OpenACS PostgreSQL driver (nspostgres.so) is available from SourceForge. If you do decide to use nspostgres.so, you have to remember to change the AOLserver config file to point to nspostgres.so instead of postgres.so. This guide uses Mat Kovach's distro (i.e. postgres.so)
nsxml is available at http://acs-misc.sourceforge.net.
The patch that makes exec work on BSD is available at sourceforge.net
The patch that makes ns_uuencode work for binary files is available at sourceforge.net
The patch that makes AOLserver respect the -g flag is available at sourceforge.net
AolServer startup wrapper Version 1, REQUIRED. This file automates the startup of AOLserver. You need it to run AOLserver.
nsopenssl 2.1, OPTIONAL. Provides SSL capabilities for AOLserver. It requires OpenSSL. You need this if you want users to make secure (https) connections to your webserver.
OpenFTS TCL 0.3.2, OPTIONAL. Adds full-text-search to PostGreSQL and includes a driver for AOLserver. You need this if you want users to be able to search for any text on your site.
Analog 5.31, OPTIONAL. This program examines web server request logs, looks up DNS values, and produces a report. You need this if you want to see how much traffic your site is getting.
Database. The data on your site (for example, user names and passwords, calender entries, and notes) is stored in the database. OpenACS seperates the database with an abstraction layer, which means that several different databases all function identically. Currently OpenACS supports PostGreSQL 7.2 and Oracle 8.1.7. While you can run the core OpenACS on any supported database, not all contributed packages support all databases.
Oracle 8.1.7 (Either this or PostGreSQL is REQUIRED). You can register and download Oracle from Oracle TechNet. You need this if you want to use an Oracle database.
PostGreSQL 7.2.3 (Either this or Oracle is REQUIRED). You need this if you want to use a PostGreSQL database. PostGreSQL 7.3 is not backwards-compatible, and OpenACS does not yet support it. If you are not in the United States, select a closer mirror
PostgreSQL Init script Version 1, OPTIONAL. A script for automating the starting and stopping of postgresql, for Unix-like environments that support System V-style scripts. (Most Linux flavors, including debian and Red Hat, support System V scripts.) You need this if you are running Linux and PostGreSQL and want it to run automatically.
Process Controller. This is software that initiates other software, and restarts that software if it fails. On Linux, we recommend using Daemontools to control AOLserver and qmail.
Daemontools 0.76, OPTIONAL. You need this if you want AOLserver and qmail to run "supervised," meaning that they are monitored and automatically restarted if they fail.
Mail Transport Agent. A Mail Transport Agent is a program that handles all incoming and outgoing mail. The Reference Platform uses Qmail; any MTA that provides a sendmail wrapper (that is, that can be invoked by calling the sendmail program with the same variables that sendmail expects) can be used.
Qmail 1.03, OPTIONAL. You need this (or a different Mail Transport Agent) if you want your webserver to send and receive email.
ucspi-tcp 0.88, OPTIONAL. This program listens for incoming TCP connections and hands them to a program. We use it instead of inetd, which is insecure. You need this if you are running qmail.
DocBook, OPTIONAL. (docbook-xml v4.2, docbook-xsl v1.56, libxslt 1.0.21, xsltproc 1.0.21). You need this to write or edit documentation.
Source Control. A Source Control system keeps track of all of the old versions of your files. It lets you recover old files, compare versions of file, and identify specific versions of files. You can use any source control system; the Reference Platform and the OpenACS.org repository (where you can get patched and development code in between releases) use cvs.
cvs 1.11.2, OPTIONAL. cvs is included in most unix distributions. You need this if you want to track old versions of your files, do controlled deployment of code from development to production, or get or contribute development code from openacs.org.