Install from Source

Michael edited this page Apr 23, 2018 · 20 revisions

Source Install

This document is designed to help you get FOSSology configured and ready to use. Its intended audience is the system administrator who wants to quickly get a local FOSSology instance up and running from source, or a distribution developer looking to create packages.

For other system administrator documentation, including where to download the source, see our Sysadmin Documentation.

(In examples, # is as root, $ is mortal)

Short Installation Instructions

If you have any old FOSSology installs you want to remove from the system you can run the fo-cleanold script

# utils/fo-cleanold

If you have an existing install that you want to transition, be sure to back up your repository, database, and config files before proceeding.

1. Install dependencies
# utils/fo-installdeps

NOTE (OPTIONAL):This program requires the lsb_release command. On Debian based systems this is probably in the lsb-release package, on Fedora/RedHat systems it is probably the redhat-lsb package. For example for centos7:

# yum install redhat-lsb
2. Build FOSSology
$ make

If you want to do a non-standard build, see the file fossology/HACKING

On centos7 the fo-installdeps script does not (yet) install the development tools, including the c++ compiler which is needed for the copyright agent for example (most of the original agents are written in c and php, but the copyright agent for example is written in c++). Thus you might want to install the gnu c++ compiler tools

# yum groupinstall 'Development Tools'
2.5 Install Composer (optional, some versions prior 3.1-RC3)

Composer is a PHP package management tool which is not installable as package on some Linux distros, therefore we need to install it at some versions of the fossology master (the composer installation needed some adjustments over some time):

# make composer_download

The reason for separating download and and install is to easily avoid downloading in some scripted cases, so then:

# make composer_install
3. Install FOSSology

To install (finally) FOSSology

# make install
4. Configure and tune the system
5. Run the postinstall script
# /usr/local/lib/fossology/fo-postinstall
6. Login to FOSSology with the default fossy/fossy user and password and:
  1. create yourself a user with administrative privileges
  2. change the default password for user fossy
7. Test that things are installed correctly
# /usr/local/etc/fossology/mods-enabled/scheduler/agent/fo_scheduler -t
8. Start the fossology scheduler daemon
# /etc/init.d/fossology start

You're done, point your web browser at the new install (http://yourhostname/repo/) and start using FOSSology! If the browser returns a not found, pls check if the fossology apache httpd configuration is actually loaded by the apache httpd. The installation places the original file at /usr/local/etc/fossology/conf/src-install-apache-example.conf from which a soft link is created during # make install.


We provide a script, fo-installdeps (see above), to install needed dependencies. FOSSology uses lots of different existing tools and software and expects to find them installed on the system.

  • For Debian nearly all packages can be found in main, unless you want the non-free version of unrar
  • For Ubuntu you will need a universe apt source setup
  • For RHEL you can find needed packages from EPEL ( or

If fo-installdeps doesn't support the distro you are running (or fails to install everything that's needed) please report a bug.

The fo-installdeps command provides output that can be helpful in figuring out what dependent packages you will have to install either from your distro or some other location.

The script, fo-installdeps itself will install the fossology core dependencies. Then every module, like scheduler, www, nomos, pkgagent, etc., will install any specific dependencies that they require with a script called mod_deps. For example, fossology/src/scheduler/mod_deps.


It is highly recommended that you run the fo-postinstall script. However, you may want to know the details of what the script is doing. This may be out of academic curiosity, or more likely because you may have to troubleshoot something gone wrong.

Setting up Users and Groups

You are expected to already have a "postgres" user as part of the system postgresql install, and a "www-data" user as part of the apache2 install. Note that some versions of Apache (like the one shipped with RHEL) use the user apache, not www-data. Whichever user your Apache uses, make sure that the user (www-data or apache) gets added to the "fossy" group.

FOSSology requires a system user and a system group both named "fossy".

The /etc/passwd entries for these user should look something like (Note: your uid & gid values may be different):


and the /etc/group entry


On a system with the useradd and groupadd commands (all LSB systems including Debian, Fedora, etc) you can create the above system user and group with the following commands as root:

groupadd fossy
useradd -c FOSSology -d /srv/fossology -g fossy -s /bin/false fossy

Alternatively, you can use the adduser command:

adduser --gecos "FOSSology" --home /srv/fossology --system --group fossy

You can see the rest of what fo-postinstall does in fossology/install/fo-postinstall.

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