A really-real time collaborative word processor for the web
Etherpad is a really-real time collaborative editor maintained by the Etherpad Community.
Etherpad is designed to be easily embeddable and provides a HTTP API that allows your web application to manage pads, users and groups. It is recommended to use the available client implementations in order to interact with this API.
There is also a jQuery plugin that helps you to embed Pads into your website.
There's also a full-featured plugin framework, allowing you to easily add your own features. By default your Etherpad is rather sparse and because Etherpad takes a lot of it's inspiration from Wordpress plugins are really easy to install and update. Once you have Etherpad installed you should visit the plugin page and take control.
Finally, Etherpad comes with translations into most languages! Users are automatically delivered the correct language for their local settings.
Visit beta.etherpad.org to test it live.
Also, check out the FAQ, really!
Etherpad works with node v0.10+ (except 6.0 and 6.1).
Prebuilt windows package
This package works out of the box on any windows machine, but it's not very useful for developing purposes...
- Download the latest windows package
- Extract the folder
You'll need node.js and (optionally, though recommended) git.
- Grab the source, either
- download https://github.com/ether/etherpad-lite/zipball/master
git clone https://github.com/ether/etherpad-lite.git(for this you need git, obviously)
start.bat and open http://localhost:9001 in your browser.
Update to the latest version with
git pull origin, then run
If cloning to a subdirectory within another project, you may need to do the following:
- Start the server manually (e.g.
- Edit the db
settings.jsonto the relative directory with the file (e.g.
- Add auto-generated files to the main project
GNU/Linux and other UNIX-like systems
You'll need gzip, git, curl, libssl develop libraries, python and gcc.
- For Debian/Ubuntu:
apt-get install gzip git curl python libssl-dev pkg-config build-essential
- For Fedora/CentOS:
yum install gzip git curl python openssl-devel && yum groupinstall "Development Tools"
- For FreeBSD:
portinstall node, npm, curl, git (optional)
Additionally, you'll need node.js installed, Ideally the latest stable version, we recommend installing/compiling nodejs from source (avoiding apt).
As any user (we recommend creating a separate user called etherpad):
- Move to a folder where you want to install Etherpad. Clone the git repository
git clone git://github.com/ether/etherpad-lite.git
- Change into the new directory containing the cloned source code
bin/run.sh and open http://127.0.0.1:9001 in your browser.
Update to the latest version with
git pull origin. The next start with bin/run.sh will update the dependencies.
You like it? Next steps.
Tweak the settings
You can initially modify the settings in
settings.json. (If you need to handle multiple settings files, you can pass the path to a settings file to
bin/run.sh using the
-s|--settings option. This allows you to run multiple Etherpad instances from the same installation.) Once you have access to your /admin section settings can be modified through the web browser.
You should use a dedicated database such as "mysql", if you are planning on using etherpad-in a production environment, since the "dirtyDB" database driver is only for testing and/or development purposes.
Plugins and themes
Etherpad is very customizable through plugins. Instructions for installing themes and plugins can be found in the plugin wiki article.
The wiki is your one-stop resource for Tutorials and How-to's, really check it out! Also, feel free to improve these wiki pages.
Documentation can be found in
Things you should know
Understand git and watch this video on getting started with Etherpad Development.
If you're new to node.js, start with Ryan Dahl's Introduction to Node.js.
You can debug Etherpad using
If you want to find out how Etherpad's
Easysync works (the library that makes it really realtime), start with this PDF (complex, but worth reading).
You know all this and just want to know how you can help?
Also, and most importantly, read our Developer Guidelines, really!
Get in touch
Modules created for this project
- ueberDB "transforms every database into a object key value store" - manages all database access
- channels "Event channels in node.js" - ensures that ueberDB operations are atomic and in series for each key
- async-stacktrace "Improves node.js stacktraces and makes it easier to handle errors"