How to install CKAN 2.5.2 on CentOS 6.8

Lili Yin edited this page Jul 23, 2016 · 8 revisions
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This guide is supposed that you have installed Java and python on your computer. For example, I have installed Java 1.7 and python 2.7.

Step 1 Install basic package

Use the rpm -qa | grep selinux, rpm -q policycoreutils, and rpm -qa | grep setroubleshoot commands to confirm that you have installed SELinux packages. If not, install it.

Verify that you have installed the following packages: selinux-policy-targeted, selinux-policy, libselinux, libselinux-python, libselinux-utils, policycoreutils, setroubleshoot, setroubleshoot-server, setroubleshoot-plugins.

As the Linux root user, install the above packages you have not installed via the following command:

yum install package-name  

The following packages are optional: policycoreutils-gui, selinux-policy-devel, and mcstrans.

Step 2 Enable SELinux

Use the /usr/sbin/getenforce or /usr/sbin/sestatus commands to check the status of SELinux. The getenforce command returns Enforcing, Permissive, or Disabled. The getenforce command returns Enforcing when SELinux is enabled (SELinux policy rules are enforced):

# /usr/sbin/getenforce

If SELinux is disabled, you should enable it before install ckan.

Before SELinux is enabled, each file on the file system must be labeled with an SELinux context. Before this happens, confined domains may be denied access, preventing your system from booting correctly. To prevent this, configure ELINUX=permissive in /etc/selinux/config:

[root@localhost ~]# vi /etc/selinux/config
# This file controls the state of SELinux on the system.
# SELINUX= can take one of these three values:
#       enforcing - SELinux security policy is enforced.
#       permissive - SELinux prints warnings instead of enforcing.
#       disabled - No SELinux policy is loaded.
# SELINUXTYPE= can take one of these two values:
#       targeted - Targeted processes are protected,
#       mls - Multi Level Security protection.

As the Linux root user, run the reboot command to restart the system. During the next boot, file systems are labeled.

Step 3 Install python package

The WSGI file in the 9th step need the paste.deploy and paste.script package of python. You can verify via the following command:

# python
>>> from paste.deploy import loadapp
>>> from paste.script.util.logging_config import fileConfig

If it does not return error massage, you can do nothing. If it does and you have installed pip, you can install the two packages via the following command:

pip install PasteDeploy
pip install PasteScript

Hint: The paste.deploy and paste.script are different from paste package. You can exit the python environment with Ctrl+D or exit commond.

Now you can start to install CKAN!

1. Install the required packages

Install and activate the CentOS Release Repository

# yum install centos-release

Update and reboot your system

# yum update
# shutdown -r now

Install wget and policycoreutils-python, which we'll need later.

# yum install wget policycoreutils-python

Install and activate the Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) Repository (it may already be installed):

# rpm -Uvh

Install the required packages:

# yum install xml-commons git subversion mercurial postgresql-server postgresql-devel \
postgresql python-devel libxslt libxslt-devel libxml2 libxml2-devel python-virtualenv \
gcc gcc-c++ make java-1.7.0-openjdk-devel java-1.7.0-openjdk tomcat tomcat-webapps \
tomcat-admin-webapps xalan-j2 unzip policycoreutils-python mod_wsgi httpd 

2. Install CKAN

First, create a CKAN User. The ckan user is created with a shell of /sbin/nologin and a home directory of /usr/lib/ckan to mirror what is shown in the CKAN Deployment documentation.

# useradd -m -s /sbin/nologin -d /usr/lib/ckan -c "CKAN User" ckan

Open the newly created directory up for read access so that the content will eventually be able to be served out via httpd.

# chmod 755 /usr/lib/ckan

Modify the defaults and the current file context of the newly created directory such that it is able to be served out via httpd.

# semanage fcontext --add --ftype -- --type httpd_sys_content_t "/usr/lib/ckan(/.*)?"
# semanage fcontext --add --ftype -d --type httpd_sys_content_t "/usr/lib/ckan(/.*)?"
# restorecon -vR /usr/lib/ckan

Switch to the ckan user.

# su -s /bin/bash - ckan

Install an isolated Python environment, called default, to host CKAN from.

# virtualenv --no-site-packages default

Activate the newly installed Python environment.

# . default/bin/activate

Download and install version 2.5.2 of CKAN.

(default)# pip install --ignore-installed -e git+

Download and install the necessary Python modules to run CKAN into the isolated Python environment

(default)# pip install --ignore-installed -r default/src/ckan/pip-requirements-docs.txt

Return back to root user by

(default)# exit()

or pressing Ctrl+D.

3. Configure PostgreSQL

Enable PostgreSQL to start on system boot

# chkconfig postgresql on

Initialize the PostgreSQL database

# service postgresql initdb

Edit /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_hba.conf so it will accept passwords for login while still allowing the local postgres user to manage via ident login. The relevant changes to pg_hba.conf are as follows:

local   all         postgres                          ident
local   all         all                                md5
# IPv4 local connections:
host    all         all           md5
# IPv6 local connections:
host    all         all         ::1/128                md5

Start PostgreSQL

# service postgresql start

Switch to postgres user

# su - postgres

List existing databases:

# psql -l

Check that the encoding of databases is UTF8, if not internationalisation may be a problem. Since changing the encoding of PostgreSQL may mean deleting existing databases, it is suggested that this is fixed before continuing with the CKAN install. Next you’ll need to create a database user if one doesn’t already exist. Create a new PostgreSQL database user called ckan_default, and enter a password for the user when prompted. You’ll need this password later

# createuser -S -D -R -P ckan_default

Create a new PostgreSQL database, called ckan_default, owned by the database user you just created.

# createdb -O ckan_default ckan_default -E utf-8

Exit the postgres user environment with Ctrl + D or

# exit

4. Create a CKAN Configuration

Switch back to root user and create a directory to contain the site’s config files:

# mkdir -p /etc/ckan/default
# chown -R ckan /etc/ckan/

Switch to ckan user and create a CKAN config file:

# su -s /bin/bash - ckan
# . default/bin/activate
(default)# cd /usr/lib/ckan/default/src/ckan
(default)# paster make-config ckan /etc/ckan/default/development.ini

Edit the development.ini file in a text editor, changing the following options:

sqlalchemy.url = postgresql://ckan_default:pass@localhost/ckan_default
ckan.site_url =
ckan.site_id = default
solr_url =

Replace pass with the password that you created in 3. Setup a PostgreSQL database above.
Replace with the ckan.site_url that you want to use when update file or other functions.

Exit from running as the ckan user with Ctrl+D or exit.

5. Setup Apache SOLR

CKAN can not use the latest version of Apache SOLR and requires version 1.4.1.

Download and extract Apache SOLR

# curl | tar xzf -

Create directories to hold multiple SOLR cores.

# mkdir -p /usr/share/solr/core0 /usr/share/solr/core1 /var/lib/solr/data/core0 \
/var/lib/solr/data/core1 /etc/solr/core0 /etc/solr/core1

Copy the Apache SOLR war to the desired location.

# cp apache-solr-1.4.1/dist/apache-solr-1.4.1.war /usr/share/solr

Copy the example Apache SOLR configuration to the core0 directory.

# cp -r apache-solr-1.4.1/example/solr/conf /etc/solr/core0

Edit the configuration file, /etc/solr/core0/conf/solrconfig.xml, as follows:


Copy the core0 configuration to core1.

# cp -r /etc/solr/core0/conf /etc/solr/core1

Create a symbolic link between the configurations in /etc and /usr.

# ln -s /etc/solr/core0/conf /usr/share/solr/core0/conf
# ln -s /etc/solr/core1/conf /usr/share/solr/core1/conf

Remove the provided schema from the two configured cores and link the schema files in the CKAN source.

# rm -f /etc/solr/core0/conf/schema.xml
# ln -s /usr/lib/ckan/default/src/ckan/ckan/config/solr/schema.xml /etc/solr/core0/conf/schema.xml
# rm -f /etc/solr/core1/conf/schema.xml
# ln -s /usr/lib/ckan/default/src/ckan/ckan/config/solr/schema-1.4.xml /etc/solr/core1/conf/schema.xml

Create a new file, called /etc/tomcat6/Catalina/localhost/solr.xml, with the following contents:

<Context docBase="/usr/share/solr/apache-solr-1.4.1.war" debug="0" privileged="true" allowLinking="true" crossContext="true">
<Environment name="solr/home" type="java.lang.String" value="/usr/share/solr" override="true" />

Create a new file, called /usr/share/solr/solr.xml, with the following contents:

<solr persistent="true" sharedLib="lib">
    <cores adminPath="/admin/cores">
        <core name="ckan-schema" instanceDir="core0">
            <property name="dataDir" value="/var/lib/solr/data/core0" />
        <core name="ckan-schema-1.4" instanceDir="core1">
            <property name="dataDir" value="/var/lib/solr/data/core1" />

Set Permissions

Make tomcat the owner of the Solr directories.

# chown -R tomcat:tomcat /usr/share/solr /var/lib/solr

Enable Tomcat

Configure Tomcat to start on system boot.

# chkconfig tomcat6 on

Start Tomcat

# service tomcat6 start

If Tomcat installation was successful, you may find its web interface at:


If Apache Solr installation was successful, you may find its web interface at:


6. Create the Database Tables

Switch back to running as the ckan user, activate the isolated Python environment, and change to the CKAN source directory.

# su -s /bin/bash - ckan
# . default/bin/activate
(default)# cd default/src/ckan

Initialize the CKAN database.

(default)# paster db init -c /etc/ckan/default/development.ini

You may see the output:

Initialising DB: SUCCESS.

This line should be the only output. If there is other output before it, you must find the error line and find out the reason to fix it.

7. Setup the Datastore (Optional)

Follow the instructions in Setting up the DataStore to create the required databases and users, set the right permissions and set the appropriate values in your CKAN config file.
Note: You'll need to run the paster --plugin=ckan datastore set-permissions -c /etc/ckan/default/development.ini command as root user, since we've not set a sudo password for the ckan user.
Note: Setting up the DataStore is optional.

8. Link to who.ini

You should still be in the python virtualenv for this step, if not, do the following:

# su -s /bin/bash - ckan
# . default/bin/activate
(default)# cd default/src/ckan

who.ini (the Repoze.who configuration file) needs to be accessible in the same directory as your CKAN config file, so create a symlink to it:

(default)# ln -s /usr/lib/ckan/default/src/ckan/who.ini /etc/ckan/default/who.ini

9. Create a WSGI file

Create your site’s WSGI script file /etc/ckan/default/apache.wsgi with the following contents:

import os
activate_this = os.path.join('/usr/lib/ckan/default/bin/')
execfile(activate_this, dict(__file__=activate_this))

from paste.deploy import loadapp
config_filepath = os.path.join(os.path.dirname(os.path.abspath(__file__)), 'development.ini')
from paste.script.util.logging_config import fileConfig
application = loadapp('config:%s' % config_filepath)

The modwsgi Apache module will redirect requests to your web server to this WSGI script file. The script file then handles those requests by directing them on to your CKAN instance (after first configuring the Python environment for CKAN to run in).
Exit the ckan user with Ctrl+D or exit.

10. Create the Apache config file

Create your site’s Apache config file at /etc/httpd/conf.d/ckan_default.conf, with the following contents:

WSGISocketPrefix /var/run/wsgi
    WSGIScriptAlias / /etc/ckan/default/apache.wsgi

    # Pass authorization info on (needed for rest api).
    WSGIPassAuthorization On

    # Deploy as a daemon (avoids conflicts between CKAN instances).
    WSGIDaemonProcess ckan_default display-name=ckan_default processes=2 threads=15

    WSGIProcessGroup ckan_default

    # Add this to avoid Apache show error: 
    # "AH01630: client denied by server configuration: /etc/ckan/default/apache.wsgi" 
    <Directory /etc/ckan/default>
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride All
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all

    ErrorLog /var/log/httpd/ckan_default.error.log
    CustomLog /var/log/httpd/ckan_default.custom.log combined

Replace and with the domain name for your site.

This tells the Apache modwsgi module to redirect any requests to the web server to the WSGI script that you created above. Your WSGI script in turn directs the requests to your CKAN instance.

And then edit /etc/hosts with command:

# vi /etc/hosts

Add a line to this file at last:

Replace the with the domain name of your site you have just set in the /etc/httpd/conf.d/ckan_default.conf.

11. Configure Apache

Enable httpd to make network connections

# setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect 1

Enable httpd to start on system boot

# chkconfig httpd on

Start httpd

# service httpd start 

12. Configure iptables

Edit the file /etc/sysconfig/iptables by inserting the following line near the middle of the file:

-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT

Restart iptables

# service iptables restart

13. Connect to CKAN

Open your browser and head to your domain, you should see CKAN running. For example, my domain is