A really-real time collaborative word processor for the web
Etherpad is a really-real time collaborative editor scalable to thousands of simultanious real time users. Unlike all other collaborative tools Etherpad provides full fidelity data export and portability making it fully GDPR compliant.
nodejs>= 6.9.0 (preferred:
curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_9.x | sudo -E bash - sudo apt-get install -y nodejs git clone https://github.com/ether/etherpad-lite.git && cd etherpad-lite && bin/run.sh
GNU/Linux and other UNIX-like systems
You'll need gzip, git, libssl develop libraries, python and gcc.
- For Debian/Ubuntu:
apt install gzip git python libssl-dev pkg-config build-essential
- For Fedora/CentOS:
yum install gzip git python openssl-devel && yum groupinstall "Development Tools"
- For FreeBSD:
portinstall node, npm, git (optional)
Additionally, you'll need node.js installed (minimum required Node version: 6.9.0). Ideally, the latest stable version is preferred. Please note that the packages offered on some operating systems are outdated. In those cases, we recommend installing nodejs from official archives or compiling it from source (avoiding yum/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.
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
Tweak the settings
You can modify the settings in
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.
--credentials can be used to give a settings override file,
--apikey to give a different APIKEY.txt file and
--sessionkey to give a non-default SESSIONKEY.txt.
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.
Secure your installation
If you have enabled authentication in
users section in
settings.json, it is a good security practice to store hashes instead of plain text passwords in that file. This is especially advised if you are running a production installation.
Please install ep_hash_auth plugin and configure it.
If you prefer,
ep_hash_auth also gives you the option of storing the users in a custom directory in the file system, without having to edit
settings.json and restart Etherpad each time.
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.
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).
Read our Developer Guidelines
Get in touch
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 a jQuery plugin that helps you to embed Pads into your website.
Etherpad offers a plugin framework, allowing you to easily add your own features. By default your Etherpad is extremely light-weight and it's up to you to customize your experience. Once you have Etherpad installed you should visit the plugin page and take control.
Translations / Localizations (i18n / l10n)
Etherpad comes with translations into all languages thanks to the team at TranslateWiki.
Visit the FAQ.
All donations go to the Etherpad foundation which is part of Software Freedom Conservency