static distribution of Apache CouchDB using rebar
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rcouch Build Status

rcouch is a static distribution of couchdb using rebar. It is an extraction of the refuge code to ease the distribution of couchdb.

Based on the couchdb code it is tagged from time to time for stability purpose. At some point some supported branch may appear.

RCouch differs from refuge by only focusing on Apache CouchDB. It won't contain any of the refuge features like P2P nodes handling, ... . Internally we are using it to test couchdb and as an example on how to embed couchdb in your own applications.

RCouch is brought you by the Refuge project.


  • Apache CouchDB based
  • Geocouch integrated
  • rebar
  • relocatable
  • Fully opensource. All the sources are on refuge GIT repository ( under Apache License 2.


  • OS supported: Linux, OSX, BSDs (windows support is coming)
  • Erlang R15
  • Curl
  • zip (during build)
  • ICU (if not built statically)
  • Latest version of rebar installed on your system.


Installation is pretty simple. Just run the command line:

$ make rel

and it will generate a couch folder in rel/couch. This release is fully relocatable, so you can put it where you want on your system.

To create package for your system run make package . For now we build packages for OSX, Debian, Redhat & Solaris.

Build rcouchx

rcouchx is a macosx interface for rcouch based on the excellent work of Jan:

screenshot of rcouchx

To build it, run the command line:

$ make rcouchx

Then launch the application.

##Notes on building a truly distributable package

The package built above will still depend on some libraries from your system, so additional work has to be done to distribute it to older/newer systems.

  1. CouchDB will depend on the ICU library version that was present in your system at build time. To easily bundle this library with the package, build with:

      $ make rel USE_STATIC_ICU=1
  2. Check whether your package depends on Ncurses:

      $ ldd ./rel/rcouch/erts-*/bin/erlexec|grep ncurses

    If it does, copy the .so file to ./rel/myapp/lib/ or rebuild Erlang without this dependency.

  3. Decide whether you need SSL support in your package and check whether it depends on OpenSSL:

      $ ldd ./rel/rcouch/lib/ssl-*/priv/bin/ssl_esock|grep 'libcrypto\|libssl'

    If it does, copy the .so file to ./rel/rcouch/lib/ or rebuild Erlang without this dependency.

If you copied any .so files in the last 2 steps, run this command, so that your app can find the libraries:

$ sed -i '/^RUNNER_USER=/a\\nexport LD_LIBRARY_PATH="$RUNNER_BASE_DIR/lib"' ./rel/rcouch/bin/rcouch

Binding port 80

On most UNIX systems binding port 80 is a privileged operation (requires root). Running Erlang as root is not recommended so some configuration will need to be done so that rcouch can bind port 80.

If you run a recent Linux kernel with capabilities you can give Erlang the privilege using the setcap command (you may need to install a package named lxc or similar to obtain this command).

$ setcap 'cap_net_bind_service=+ep' /path/to/rel/refuge/erts-5.8.5/bin/beam`
$ setcap 'cap_net_bind_service=+ep' /path/to/rel/refuge/erts-5.8.5/bin/beam.smp

On FreeBSD all ports can be made accessible to all users by issuing:

$ sysctl net.inet.ip.portrange.reservedhigh=0