Installation FAQ

Please also consult the Installation Overview page for additional information about installing ]project-open[


OS Specific

For step-by-step installation guides directed towards specific platforms, choose your OS (or the most similar if yours is not listed)









What is the best way to run ]project-open[?  Should I use VMware, a "native" install, hosted, or using "software as a service"?

Choosing the right option depends heavily on the specific needs and technical capabilities of the implementing company, there is no one "best way".


Running ]project-open[ on your private VMware cloud is a good option. Please see the virtual machine installation instructions for details.

Advantages of VMware 

  • Easy installation
  • Easy backup

Disadvantages of VMware

  • Requires more system resources 

SaaS (Software as a Service)

We commercially offer the service detailed above for companies that wish to use ]project-open[ and not concern themselves with the technical details.  Unlimited 24-hour access (with full admin privileges) to your personalized ]project-open[ system, hosted hassle free from our dedicated servers is available on a monthly fee basis.  For more details see our commercial website .  

Advantages of SaaS:

  • No hassle with installation
  • System maintained and updated by us
Please note that it's quite easy to to move a ]po[ installation from one server to another (just perform a backup - restore), so it may be a good option to start with a "SaaS" installation and then move it to a local server server at a later point in time. 

How do I install OpenACS packages so that they work on ]project-open[?

Here is how the relationship between OpenACS and ]project-open[ works:

    * Both ]project-open[ and OpenACS (application) modules work side by side on the same OpenACS "kernel". So in general it's no problem to install new OpenACS modules in a ]po[ system. ]po[ is currently (2007-02-16) based on OpenACS 5.1.3, so please use the OpenACS modules from this version.
    * The ]po[ GUI system is different from OpenACS, and we've developed our own "master template". So in order to access a newly installed OpenACS modules you'll need to add an entry in the Admin -> Menus section to make the newly installed OpenACS module accessible from ]po[.
    * Integration with ]po[: New OpenACS modules are usually completely separate from the "]po[ world". So you have to think about ways to move information back and forth. That's usually done using database triggers or via explicit "coding".
    * ]po[ is based on a single "OpenACS Subsite". Or in other words: You can install ]po[ modules only once per server, while you can usually install multiple instances of OpenACS modules per server.

Let's take the "Calendar" as a practical example: We've just added the standard OpenACS 5.1.3 "calendar" module to our default ]po[ distribution. The module worked fine as a standalone personal calendar, but we wanted to map ]po[ events such project deadlines and tasks into the calendar. So we've created an "intranet-calendar" module that defines a menu item for "Calendar", a pluggable "calendar overview component" for the homepage, and a few database triggers so that ]po[ objects are "duplicated" as calendar-items. So the "intranet-calendar" module doesn't really add new functionality, but it provides the "glue code" to link the new module with the system and to provide end users with a pleaseant and integrated user experience.

A brief look into the source code of "intranet-calendar" will reveal to you all necessary steps for such an integration. It's just some ~500 lines of (mostly SQL) code.

How can I install ]project-open[ on my hosted webserver?

If you plan to run ]po[ on a shared server with your prefered ISP please consider the following:

  • The machine should run a OS that is supported by us, such as SuSE, Debian, RedHat, Ubuntu, etc.
  • Depending on configuration options offered you might need to install additional software such as AOL webserver and Postgres Database.
    Going with a package that provides root access is less troublesome and highly recommended
  • For minimum requirements please refer to 'What are the minimum requirements for running project-open on a dedicated server'?

Please note that ]project-open[ requires AOLServer or NaviServer and PostgreSQL. It therefore requires at least a Virtual Dedicated Server. ]po[ can't be installed on Web Hosting Plans providing exclusively Apache & MySQL.

In case you do not have IT expertise to install and configure all components necessary, you might want to make use of our professional services. We can help you finding the right hosting provider / package for you and install your system on a server of you choice. 

What are the minimum requirements for running ]project-open[ on a dedicated server?

The minimum requirement for a dedicated servers are:
  • 1GByte RAM (for 3-5 users accessing the system). Some of our development servers are even running on 512MB, but that's too low for production use.
  • Latest processor technology
  • 20GByte disk space should be OK as a minimum, assuming that you won't use the file storage a lot. The VMware is limited to 20GByt, and many customers use that system for production
  • Bandwidth shouldn't be a problem because ]po[ pages are quite small in general. For example, it's no problem to access a ]po[ system behind a normal aDSL-Line (50kByte/s upstream speed).
  • Backup: We always perform backups at night via a cron script. Then we download these backups to a local server via RSYNC. Make sure you install a similar mechanism.
  • Find benchmark information here.

I successfully installed ]po[. What's next?

Installing ]po[ successfully in a company has to do a lot with change management. Please contact us for more material and our change management methodology (PowerPoint slides with best practices).

I frequently need to look at the list of "Delivered Projects" in order to create invoices. Is there a way to get there quicker then going to "Projects" and then selecting the corresponding Filters?

You can bookmark most pages in ]po[, so you may just create a shortcut in your Web Browser. This works particularly well for ListPages and reports. However, it doesn't work for pages designed to create new objects.

How do I get rid of the demo accounts on my LOGIN screen?

As for now please edit /web/projop/www/index.adp and delete the lines responsible for listing the Demo accounts.

I registered a new profile and have not yet received confirmation of its creation

Each ]po[ installers shows a couple of Sample Login's on the left side of the Login Page. Please use those to login to ]po[. Registering a new account by using the "Register" link as provided on the page works in some cases but the newly created account will never grant you the necessary permissions to further administrate the system. Only the sysAdmin account "" with default password "system" does.

OS Specific  


Is ]project-open[ available for Linux?

Yes, all major Linux distributions are supported. Please checkout the Installers page 

Also, there are users running ]project-open[ on Mac OS-X, *BSD, Sun Solaris, AIX. We have even heard about a port to OpenVMS...



Is ]project-open[ available for VMware?

Yes it is.  This is the quickest way to install ]project-open[ onto a system, and most often, the easiest way. Please see the VMware installation instructions for details.


VMware does not boot / can not configure source image

Check your vmware settings and under the adapter settings, make sure that the "lsi logic adapter" is selected.  After making this change the system should boot fine.


Is ]project-open[ available for Windows?

Yes, all recent Window versions are supported. ]project-open[ doesn't run on Win-95 and Win 98 though. Checkout the WINDOWS download pages 

Can I use native PostgreSQL with Windows?

Yes you can. Our Windows installer includes a particular version of PostgreSQL for "CygWin" (7.5.X). This version has proofed to work very well in our tests and this is the version that we are using for our internal test & development servers.

Since the version 8.0 in March 2005 there is a "native" version of PostgreSQL for Windows. This version is know to be some 30% faster then CygWin Postgres, and is supposed to be more stable in future. However, there are some issues when moving a backup dump from 7.5.x to 8.0.x, so that we won't deliver this option as part of our free Windows Installer yet. However, you can try it yourself or you can contract us to upgrade your system.

We recommend an upgrade to 8.0 on Windows for companies with more then 10 "concurrent users" (=> users that access the system _at_the_same_moment_). Apart from that we would recommend you to stay with the CygWin version that comes with the installer.

How can I migrate from Linux to WIN / from WIN to LINUX?

If possible ensure that on both machines the same version of AOL Server and PostgreSQL is installed. For detailled installation instructions pls. see

Steps involved: 

  • Make a db backup from your current ]po[ server
  • Copy the packages folder from you productive server to the new server
  • Stop AOLserver and dump exiting database 'projop'
  • Create new db on new server and restore the backup made earlier 
  • Start AOLserver 

I get the following error: ERROR: column/function "xxx" does not exist

Some update scripts had not been executed during an update. Search for the script that creates the column or function:

find /web/projop/packages -type f -name 'upgr*.sql' -exec grep -il 'COLUMN_NAME/FUNCTION_NAME' {} \;

and execute it. 

I get the following error: ERROR: invalid command name "xyz" while executing ...

Check the error.log (/web/projop/log/error.log) if all tcl libs have been compiled during startup. The error indicates that a tcl function is not accessible/available.
Go to  and search for the function using "OpenACS Tcl API Search". Verify the tcl lib that contains this function for completeness / correct version.
Check also if the file has the right permission. It needs to be executable for the user that starts AOLServer (usually 'projop')


I get the following error: OpenACS could not allocate a handle from database pool "pool1".

OpenACS Installation: Error

Thank you for installing the Open Architecture Community System (OpenACS), a suite of fully-integrated enterprise-class solutions for collaborative commerce.
This is the OpenACS Installer which performs all the steps necessary to get the OpenACS Community System running on your server.

Please read the Release Notes before proceeding to better understand what is contained in this release.

The following database pools generated errors:

    * OpenACS could not allocate a handle from database pool "pool1".

Possible causes might include:

    * The database is not running.
    * The database driver has not been correctly installed.
    * The datasource or database user/password are incorrect.
    * You didn't define any database pools.

The first step involved in setting up your OpenACS installation is to configure your RDBMS, correctly install a database driver,
and configure AOLserver to use it. You can download and install the latest version of the AOLserver Oracle and PostgreSQL drivers
from the Software Page.

Once you're sure everything is installed and configured correctly, restart AOLserver.

This error indicates that the DB can't be accessed by the OpenACS framework. First you want to make sure that the PostgreSQL DB is running and listening on port 5432.   


Please use CTR-ALT-DEL to start the WIN Task Manager and check under the tab "Processes" if there's at least one process "postgres.exe" listed. If so, restart ]po[ (START -> project-open -> Stop project-open / START -> project-open -> Start project-open). If you continue getting this error message check next if firewall settings prevent ]po[ from getting access to the database. By default ]po[ is connecting to the DB through port 5432. 

Open a console (START -> RUN -> cmd) and execute
netstat -an

The output should contain one line reading:


If there's no such connection please check your WIN error logs.

Using Linux:

ps -waux | grep postmaster

should show the postmaster process. If not please see log files what PostgreSQL might have prevented from starting up.

Other reasons

On linux there's also the chance that PostgreSQL is actually listening on the socket /tmp/.s.PGSQL.5432 rather than the /var/run/postgresql/.s.PGSQL.5432
For additional information on how to address this issue please refer to this site 

I get the following error: Please contact your SysAdmin and tell him to change the parameter 'intranet-subsite.DefaultMaster' to '/packages/intranet-core/www/master'.

This error might occur after a CVS update. In case you don't know how to change this parameter you can try the following.
Go straight to

     http://[SERVER]/acs-admin/apm/packages-install and update package "intranet-core"

and restart your server


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