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Batteries-included CouchDB build system
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Build CouchDB

Build CouchDB is a wrapper or master project which pulls in, from official sources, CouchDB plus all of its dependencies. It is the most straightforward and reliable procedure to build official CouchDB releases from source.

Build CouchDB builds an isolated, independent server. You do not need administrator access to run it. You can run several couches (for example, 0.10, 0.11, 1.0 releases) side-by-side.

Supported Platforms

Build CouchDB is developed and tested on the following operating systems:

  • Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 (Lenny)
  • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx)
  • Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala)
  • Fedora 13
  • Apple OSX
  • OpenSUSE 11.3

The following systems are planned for support in the near future:

  • MS Windows Vista, Windows 7


You need only a few packages provided by the operating system. Copy and paste the commands below.

On Fedora:

sudo yum install gcc gcc-c++ libtool libcurl-devel \
                 zlib-devel openssl-devel rubygem-rake

On Debian, first install sudo and add yourself to /etc/sudoers.

su -
apt-get install sudo
vi /etc/sudoers # Or your preferred editor

On Ubuntu and Debian:

sudo apt-get install make gcc zlib1g-dev libssl-dev libreadline5-dev rake

On OSX, install XCode.

On OpenSUSE:

sudo zypper install flex lksctp-tools-devel zip \
            rubygem-rake gcc-c++ make m4 zlib-devel \
            libopenssl-devel libtool automake libcurl-devel

Getting the Code

You will need the Git tool. Check out the code and pull in the third-party submodules.

git clone git://
cd build-couchdb
git submodule init
git submodule update

How to Build CouchDB

Just run Rake.


CouchDB and all its dependencies will install in the build/. To uninstall, simply delete that directory.


It's CouchDB! Just type couchdb. (But remember the path)

$ build/bin/couchdb
Apache CouchDB 0.12.0aa63efb6-git (LogLevel=info) is starting.
Apache CouchDB has started. Time to relax.
[info] [<0.33.0>] Apache CouchDB has started on

You can of course call it by absolute path. If your username is amit and you checked out the code in your home directory, you would run:


Conveniently Add CouchDB to the PATH

The env task will output a script which will add this CouchDB build to your path. Then you can simply type couchdb. To load these settings into your current shell, run:

eval `rake env --silent`

vim: tw=80

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