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Saturday, January 25, 2014

How to install Couch DB 1.5 on Ubuntu

A recent task I had to do on my home Ubuntu Linux box running 12.04. LTS was to install CouchDB. I needed it because I wanted to use ACRA as remote error reporting tool for Android Apps. Acra is completely open source (hosted on GitHub) and an incredible cool tool started by Kevin Gaudin.

I used to try it out using Iris Couch but it turns out for me that Iris Couch using the free of charge account is painful slow. Thus I decided to host my own CouchDB at home.

The Ubuntu repositories doesn't host an up to date version of Couch DB. I tried it using apt-get and got CouchDB version 1.0.1. This was not a viable choice, because I wanted to use the replicate function of CouchDB which only is available on version higher than 1.2.

I found a pretty good step by step guide in the Apache CouchDB wiki.
To sum it up:

I installed it by compiling it from source

using the following steps.

  1. Download CouchDB 1.5 sources
  2. Create a user and a group with name 'couchdb'. This is very important. Don't compile and install it with user 'root'. If you do it with root, CouchDB will not start nor write any error messages to any log file, because CouchDB will start under user 'couchdb' but all installed files and folders don't allow read or write access for any other user than 'root'. If you have compiled and installed it with user 'root' you have to adjust the permissions and owner rights of various files and folders by yourself. I have to admit that I did it with user 'root' the first time and it took me two hours to search for the causes and correct everything. So be warned ;-)
  3. Install at least the following packages.
  4.  sudo apt-get install -y g++  
     sudo apt-get install -y erlang-dev erlang-manpages erlang-base-hipe erlang-eunit erlang-nox erlang-xmerl erlang-inets  
     sudo apt-get install -y libmozjs185-dev libicu-dev libcurl4-gnutls-dev libtool  
    
  5. Extract and compile CouchDB using default installation directory /usr/local. You can change it by using a different --prefix when calling configure. Check manual.
  6.  cd /tmp && tar xvzf apache-couchdb-1.5.0.tar.gz  
     cd apache-couchdb-*  
     ./configure && make  
    
  7. Install CouchDB. CouchDB installs into /usr/local
  8.  sudo make install  
    
  9. Sometimes it's necessary to remove old stuff from ubuntu packages. This was not necessary in my case. But you can do the following:
  10.  sudo rm /etc/logrotate.d/couchdb /etc/init.d/couchdb  
    
  11. Install init scripts and logrotate
  12.  sudo ln -s /usr/local/etc/logrotate.d/couchdb /etc/logrotate.d/couchdb  
     sudo ln -s /usr/local/etc/init.d/couchdb /etc/init.d  
     sudo update-rc.d couchdb defaults  
    
  13. Verify that CouchDB is running
  14.  curl http://127.0.0.1:5984/  
    
    It should give you an output like this:
     {"couchdb":"Welcome","uuid":"5a23983ac768251e1c8d413bb52e67b5","version":"1.5.0","vendor":{"version":"1.5.0","name":"The Apache Software Foundation"}}  
    
  15. With this setup, CouchDB only listens on localhost (127.0.0.1). If you want CouchDB to listen on all interfaces and access it externally you have to configure it in /usr/local/etc/couchdb/local.ini
    Just look for the [httpd] section and uncomment the line starting with 'bind_address' and replace 127.0.0.1 with 0.0.0.0
  16.  [httpd]  
     ;port = 5984  
     bind_address = 0.0.0.0  
    
  17. Now restart CouchDB and you are done.
  18.  /etc/init.d/couchdb restart  
    
You are also able to install a CouchDB version built by source alongside the default Ubuntu package. Check out the step by step guide mentioned above to look how this is being achieved.