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Installation Notes

Some knowledge about package installation, web server and database configuration will be needed.

This software was developed and tested on Linux/Debian 10 (codename "Buster") and the easiest way to install would be on a Debian 10 system following these instructions.

It may work on other Linux distributions or even on non Linux systems but would need substantially more knowledge about server administration.


Python 3.7 and Flask 1.0

# apt install python3 python3-bcrypt python3-dateutil python3-psycopg2
# apt install python3-fuzzywuzzy python3-flask python3-flask-babel
# apt install python3-flask-login python3-markdown
# apt install python3-numpy python3-pandas python3-jinja2 python3-flask-cors
# apt install python3-flask-restful p7zip-full python3-wand
# apt install python3-rdflib python3-rdflib-jsonld

Apache 2.4

# apt install apache2 libapache2-mod-wsgi-py3

PostgreSQL 11 and PostGIS 2.5

# apt install postgresql
# apt install postgresql-11-postgis-2.5 postgresql-11-postgis-2.5-scripts

gettext, pip, npm

# apt install gettext npm python3-pip



Copy the files to /var/www/your_site_name or clone OpenAtlas from GitHub and adapt accordingly e.g.

$ git clone

Frontend libraries

$ pip3 install calmjs
$ cd openatlas/static
$ pip3 install -e ./
$ ~/.local/bin/calmjs npm --install openatlas


The commands below have to be executed as postgres.

Create an openatlas database user

$ createuser openatlas -P

Create an openatlas database, make openatlas the owner of it

$ createdb openatlas -O openatlas

Add postgis and unaccent extension to the database

$ psql openatlas -c "CREATE EXTENSION postgis; CREATE EXTENSION unaccent;"

Import the scripts: 1_structure.sql, 2_data_web.sql, 3_data_model.sql, 4_data_node.sql

$ cd install
$ cat 1_structure.sql 2_data_model.sql 3_data_web.sql 4_data_node.sql | psql -d openatlas -f -

A user with user name "OpenAtlas" is created with the password: change_me_PLEASE!

Important: change this account immediately. A warning will be displayed for admins until this account is changed.


Copy instance/ to instance/

$ cp instance/ instance/

Add/change values as appropriate. See which settings are available.


As root copy and adapt install/example_apache.conf for a new vhost, activate the site:

# a2ensite your_sitename

Test Apache configuration and restart

# apache2ctl configtest
# service apache2 restart

File Upload and Export

Make these directories writeable for the Apache user:



# chown www-data openatlas/uploads
# chown www-data openatlas/export/*
# chown www-data openatlas/processed_images/resized


Login with username "OpenAtlas" and password "change_me_PLEASE!" and change the password in profile. You may want to check the admin area to set up default site settings, email and similar.


If you later like to upgrade the application be sure to read and follow the upgrade instructions.

Additional security (optional)

You don't need this to run the application, but it will improve server side security if running an online productive instance.

Use certbot to create a https vhost.

After Apache is configured to use HTTPS only, add this line to instance/


Tests (optional)

Install required packages:

# apt install python3-coverage python3-nose

As postgres:

$ createdb openatlas_test -O openatlas
$ psql openatlas_test -c "CREATE EXTENSION postgis; CREATE EXTENSION unaccent;"

Copy instance/ to instance/ and adapt as needed:

$ cp instance/ instance/