Making collaborative editing the standard on the web
Etherpad lite is a really-real time collaborative editor spawned from the Hell fire of Etherpad. We're reusing the well tested Etherpad easysync library to make it really realtime. Etherpad Lite is based on node.js ergo is much lighter and more stable than the original Etherpad. Our hope is that this will encourage more users to use and install a realtime collaborative editor. A smaller, manageable and well documented codebase makes it easier for developers to improve the code and contribute towards the project.
Etherpad vs Etherpad lite
|Size of the folder (without git history)||30 MB||1.5 MB|
|RAM Usage immediately after start||257 MB (grows to ~1GB)||16 MB (grows to ~30MB)|
Etherpad Lite 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. Finally, Etherpad Lite comes with translations into tons of different languages!
Visit beta.etherpad.org to test it live
Also, check out the FAQ, really!
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 windows package https://github.com/ether/etherpad-lite/downloads
- 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
You'll need gzip, git, curl, libssl develop libraries, python and gcc.
apt-get install gzip git-core curl python libssl-dev pkg-config build-essential
yum install gzip git-core curl python openssl-devel && yum groupinstall "Development Tools"
Additionally, you'll need node.js installed, Ideally the latest stable version, be careful of installing nodejs from apt.
As any user (we recommend creating a separate user called etherpad-lite):
- Move to a folder where you want to install Etherpad Lite. 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 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 Lite instances from the same installation.)
You should use a dedicated database such as "mysql", if you are planning on using etherpad-lite in a production environment, since the "dirtyDB" database driver is only for testing and/or development purposes.
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
Read this git guide and watch this video on getting started with Etherpad Lite Development.
If you're new to node.js, start with Ryan Dahl's Introduction to Node.js.
You can debug Etherpad lite 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"