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The website of the An Crúbadán project, built on the clld framework
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An Crúbadán - clld

This project holds the website for the An Crúbadán project, built on the clld framework.

This documentation was written by Nick Lewchenko. Questions about it should be directed to him.



This server depends on the following utilities:

  • git

  • unzip

  • wget

  • virtualenv (Ubuntu package: python-virtualenv)

  • python2.7

  • a webserver, probably nginx

System Prep


The clld server process should be run as an unprivileged user, so create one for that purpose if you don't have one.

Data Directory

The main data directory, /data/crubadan-clld must be in place and read/writable for the clld server user from the last step.

In the main data directory, you must also create the files/, metadata/, and olac/olac.xml files and directories and fill them (this should be all taken care of by the scripts that run the core An Crúbadán services).

Server Setup

Fetch Sources

It doesn't matter where you put these, but do note that they have to remain in place while the service is running. A sensible place would be the new user's home directory.

Make sure that you are running this (and all commands given from here-on in the document) as the user who will run the server:

~ $ git clone
~ $ cd crubadan_clld

Update nginx Configuration

You should now be in the sources' root directory.

Copy ./crubadan_clld.conf to /etc/nginx/conf.d/ (This step will require root privileges, of course).

This configuration will probably need some adjustments to work on your system. I'm no nginx configuration master... If there are any general rookie mistakes, please pull-request.

Set Up Sandbox Environment

This server has many python dependencies not listed above, but they are meant to be installed into a local sandbox with one command:

~/crubadan_clld $ ./sandbox-init

This sets up a sandboxed python installation in .venv. Commands given to ./service-control will use this behind the scenes.


Building (and re-building) the Database

Before starting the server, build its database:

~/crubadan_clld $ ./service-control build

This will write into /data/crubadan-clld, which again should be writable with your unprivileged server-user.

This same command should be run any time there are updates to the data available in the project. Doing so does not require a restart of the server processes.

Starting the Server

Make sure that nginx is updated and running, and then start the clld server processes:

~/crubadan_clld $ ./service-control start

If this goes wrong, or seems to have, check if the pid files were created and whether any pserve processes are running (there should be two of each):

~/crubadan_clld $ ls | grep pid
~/crubadan_clld $ ps -e | grep pserve

The server should now be running! Navigate a web browser to the hostname you've set up and see if it's there.

Stopping the Server

The clld server processes can be stopped with:

~/crubadan_clld $ ./service-control stop

The same troubleshooting steps given for start can be used here if it seems to fail.

Updating the Server

If upstream changes are made, just stop the server, use a git-pull to update the sources in place, and rebuild the sandbox and database before starting again.

~/crubadan_clld $ ./service-control stop
~/crubadan_clld $ git pull
~/crubadan_clld $ rm -r .venv
~/crubadan_clld $ ./sandbox-init
~/crubadan_clld $ ./service-control build
~/crubadan_clld $ ./service-control start

Glottolog Data

The metadata from Glottolog (used for the landing-page maps) is fetched only once; subsequent invocations of ./service-control build will use the previously-downloaded csv file.

If a new version of the Glottolog data is released, just remove the downloaded data and rebuild the database to update it.

~/crubadan_clld $ rm -r /data/crubadan-clld/glottolog
~/crubadan_clld $ ./service-control build
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